Cosmos Bungalows – Bara Beach – Bira – South Sulawesi – Indonesia


Cosmos Bungalows is located in the quiet fishing village of Bira on the southern tip of Sulawesi – one of 17,000+ islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago,

Still unsure where we are? Ok, so you could say we are sandwiched between Borneo to the Northwest and Bali to the South. (see map below).

Sulawesi is a fascinating Island, with breathtaking scenery, amazing wildlife, rich and diverse local cultures and an underwater ecosystem rivalled by very few places in the world.

Even though Sulawesi has a little bit of everything the adventurous traveller could wish for, it is still well off the beaten track. This is probably a good thing, but the doors are slowly opening and it wont be too long before the virginal feel of Sulawesi starts to become more like the rest of South East Asia, so come now and experience independent travel at its best!.

Cosmos Bungalows is a simple hotel consisting of budget wooden huts overlooking an amazing azure bay. A lot of love has gone into the decoration of our cute bungalows, making them both welcoming on the inside, and visually stunning once you step onto the terrace and witness the Sea of Flores below. We believe in continually trying to upgrade and improve our property (when we can afford it!), and pride ourselves on customer engagement and doing whatever we can to ensure our guests have a great time.

Local Area:
To be completely frank, getting to Bira is a bit of a pain in the ar$e. It is a long journey whichever way you arrive, so is it really worth the effort?

In short, Yes. It most certainly is.
Bira itself is a coastal village with a rich maritime heritage and dotted by pretty, traditional houses on a collection of attractive beaches. The area known as Pasir Putih, or White Sand, is the tourist zone and stretches from the big red entrance gate (where you will most likely be charged a 20,000IDR entrance fee) all the way to a potentially gorgeous little beach at the end of the road. I say potentially because unfortunately, despite its incredible popularity with local tourists, the area is very poorly maintained. Polystyrene food containers and drinks bottles are tossed shamelessly by day trippers, ruining the very area they have come to visit.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. And it just so happens to be where Cosmos Bungalows is situated! Hooorrah!

A short walk west – either along the coast or a bumpy jungle track – will take you to Bara; a stunning bay made up of two long, sweeping beaches. Powder white sand is lapped lazily by the crystal clear Sea of Flores, whilst monkeys, wild pigs, monitor lizards and opportunistic investors rummage in the predominantly undeveloped cliff side jungle above.

Ok, so the beach is pretty at Bara. But I get bored shitless sunbathing after ten minutes, what else is there for me to do in the area?

Excellent question. here goes….

First Class Scuba Diving
The area surrounding Bira is home to an incredible array of aquatic life. Diving here is incredible, and very cheap in comparison to many other areas of the world. At the time of writing our closest dive shop, maybe 200m further west along the beach, is charging approximately €24 per dive. And considering sperm whales, whale sharks, manta rays, hammerheads, dolphins and many more awe-inspiring creatures have been seen off the coast lately (some by the management on recent dives) it makes for very good value indeed.

You don’t have to be in the diving clique to enjoy the marine life round here. The snorkelling can be just as amazing. Where the turquoise sea descends into the deep blue makes for an ideal location, as here is where most of the turtles like to chill out. Graceful and serene, these beautiful beings are here in abundance. You may also see the placid white and black tip reef sharks if your lucky, plus plenty of other things to keep you entertained for hours.

Ship Builders
Being a coastal town, the people of this region are seafaring folk. Their local style of boat, the Phinisi, is world renowned for its two masted design and sleek beauty. Traditionally used for shipping cargo around the Indonesian archipelago, these boats are very much in vogue now for expat investor to convert into live aboard diving vessels. Seeing these ships being painstakingly created by master craftsmen is incredibly interesting. Contrarily, having to listen to one of the snobbish money-men brag about how big, beautiful and effective their phinisi is can quickly become very tedious indeed.

Freshwater caves
Got a decent torch? Is it waterproof? If yes was the answer to both of those questions then you have no excuse not to visit the freshwater caves in the nearby village of Ara. These beauties are a pig to find, but make for a fun and exciting few hours taking a dip in the crystal clear water whilst enveloped in darkness.
Renting a scooter

Just get on a bike and drive. Take left turns, right turns, u-turns, do whatever you like, just get out into the countryside and small villages to see what life is really like in this area of South Sulawesi. From coconut groves, to remote deserted beaches, to rice paddies, to fishing villages, to salt harvesting and shrimp fields…take your camera and see what you can find. Take some decent pictures and we will put them on the walls of our bungalows. Maybe.
Still not satisfied?? Jeez, you’re a tough nut to crack.
Why not just get pissed and have a bbq instead.

At present Cosmos Bungalows Bira comprises of four guest rooms. Each wooden bungalow is tastefully decorated using driftwood, Indonesian art and travel photos taken by the management and former guests.

Bungalow One
With the best views, Bungalow one has prime position at the front of our hotel. Perched on small cliff face, this simple, yet tasteful room houses a double bed, fan, hammock on the terrace and breathtaking views of Bara beach and Liukan Island.

Bungalow Two and Three
Bungalows Two and Three located behind the bungalows one but still has excellent view of Bara beach of Bira.

Bungalows Four
Bungalows four located near the entrance gate, its quite and pleasant place to stay away from any hassle.

Room Rates:
Bungalows One : Rp. 600.000/night/single or double including breakfast and taxes
Bungalows Two and Three : Rp. 540.000/night/single or double including breakfast and taxes
Bungalows Four : Rp. 450.000/night/single or double including breakfast and taxes

Please note: All rooms share two common bathrooms. Fear not however, as our toilet block is lovely. Each bathroom has western toilets and monsoon showers with sea views. They are cleaned frequently throughout the day.

We also have one of the most beautiful urinals in the word – The Sea of Flores. Please feel free to hop into the ocean and relieve your bladder. Although we do not encourage flashing, so be discreet if you can help it.

High season and peak season apply from July 1-September 15 and December 01-January 15, Chinese New Year, Idul Fitri and Easter with additional surcharge Rp. 150.000/night/rooms/night.

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