Baubau, Butung, Indonesia

Expect a day of exotic discoveries in friendly Baubau — beginning with a traditional welcome dance performed as you step ashore. The main city on Butung (Buton) Island in southeast Sulawesi, Baubau provides visitors with a glimpse into sultan life at Buton Fortress, built in the 16th century to protect the palace complex. Measuring more than a mile and a half in circumference and constructed of coral and limestone, this massive fortress commands breathtaking sea views. The island’s rainforest-covered interior invites with numerous waterfalls and an incredible array of flora and fauna. Visit the fishing village of Bajo, home to sea gypsies who build their houses atop the water, or go spelunking in Lakasa Cave near Sulaa village; its crystal-clear lake is believed to have curative properties. Equally healing are the warm waters and white sands along Nirwana Beach, one of many fine beaches that line the coast.