Pajoka Eco House – Mandala Ria Beach – Ara – Bulukumba – South Sulawesi


Pajoka is a collaborative project between Noan Fesnoux and Reski Amirullah. With experience in tourism, education, and environmentalism, they set out to build a new type of holiday destination (at least for South Sulawesi). From this came Pajoka, a secluded and well thought out beachside resort where learning and relaxation meet.

While defintely off the beaten track, the southernmost tip of Sulawesi is known to travelers for its world class diving, pristine white sand beaches, and unique culture. To access this region you can fly into Hassanuddin International Airport in Makassar, whereupon a 4 hour drive will bring you to Tanjung Bira.

The reefs in and around Ara are incredibly diverse, with many forms of reef waiting to be explored. For divers, there are many sites south of Mandala Ria Beach that involve seeing larger pelagics. For those wishing for immediate undersea delights, Ara has more than enough to keep one occupied for some time.

This villa is beautiful. The resort is so private and so remote. Perfect if you wanna spend a great vacations with your famiy and friends. The resort is fully furnished, well equipped and very comfortable. The openness of the decks are amazing. It’s located right on the beach so you can imagine the view of the ocean when you’re on the decks and when you open the windows and the doors!. The sunrise view is breathtaking.

It was the best experience for me. Waking up early and witness the sunrise while sipping my coffee was mesmerizing. This villa has three bedrooms and one and a hlaf bathrooms, it’s got a tree house!!!. Awesome one!. Great to spend a night there as well or just to chillout. If you’re heading towards south sulawesi definitely spend a few nights at this resort, it’s just twenty minutes from Bira beach and more or less one hour from Bulukumba. It’s on Pantai Mandala Ria in Ara village.

Being pioneers on Mandala Ria beach gives Pajoka great advantages, such as perfectly quiet evenings and peaceful sunrises. However, it has forced our hand, resulting in us becoming as self sufficient as possible. With no infrastructure, from the onset we have put in systems to do just this.
Sustainable Building Materials:

Pajoka has used almost entirely local sources for building materials. The primary building material is coconut wood, which was acquired by going round and buying 80 year old trees which were at the end of their life cycle. These were all milled on site, reducing the transportation of the wood as much as possible. Bamboo and locally grown teak were also used in the construction of the house. In addition, we also collected driftwood for many elements of our house.
Zero Emission Electricity:

Since Pajoka is a bit isolated, it’s perfect for us to use solar panels as our main energy resource. We have ordered our solar panels a few weeks ago and hopefully we’ll have them by the end of this month. This will be our Christmas presents!!

We have them here now! Hoorayyyy….. Today Noan and Gappar are trying to figure out how to install them. Lots of discussion going on here 🙂 . Hopefully they’ll be able to get them done today, fingers crossed!.

Rain Water Harvesting:
Ohh, the other good thing is that we now have fresh water, or we will have as long as we have rain. We built a 20 cubic metre water tank to preserve water. The first time it rained for a few hours and we nearly filled up the whole tank. So yes, fresh water is not an issue anymore. We might need to build more water tanks to keep all the fresh water during the dry season, but in the event that we don’t have enough, there is always the water in the caves dotted throughout the area.

Locally Sourced Food:
When it comes to food, nothing beats that local bounty found in South Sulawesi. There is an abundance of fish caught by sustenance fishermen (although some of the industrial fishing practices have reduced the fishery over the last decade). All the veggies sold in the market are grown in Bulukumba district, and are generally picked that day. Pajoka will also grow some of its own food in the coming years. To ensure quality produce, Pajoka has alliances with farmers, assisting them in developing organic methods of farming.

Things I’d like to know

How can we get there by public transport from Makassar?
Go to Mallengkeri terminal and get public transport to Bulukumba. When you get to the terminal in Bulukumba, find a Pt-pt that goes to Ara. This can be difficult as there’s no regular transport that goes to Ara village. We can arrange a pick up from Bulukumba terminal to the resort.

How far is it from Makassar?
It takes around four and a half hours from the city.

What should we bring?
Basically bring all the essentials you would usually take to a beach, such as hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, snorkelling or diving gear, bug spray, torch, etc. The resort is fully furnished. We have full kitchen and all appliances and utensils. If you would like to have something special, buy it in Makassar (it’s a big city, you can find most things there). We provide breakfast, if you wish to make your own lunch and dinner, you can buy your groceries in Makassar or in the local market in Ara village (the market is every other day).

How big is Ara village and are there any shops around?
The population of Ara is 3000 people. The resort is located around 15 minutes walk from the village centre. There are quite a few shops around the village with all the basic needs.

Can I see a doctor in the village of I need to?
Yes. There’s a local doctor and a small clinic in the village. We have a good first aid kit in the house as well.

What can I find in Pajoka Eco Resort?
Things we have in the house:
– A small library
– Fridge and freezer
– Fans
– Kitchen appliances (stove, rice cooker, blender, thermos, plates, glasses, bowls and all kitchen equipment etc)
– Hammock
– Toilet paper, towels, bedsheets, blankets, sarongs
– PC
– Stereo and speakers
– Drinking water
– Cleaning supplies

Could you make us a customized package which will include accommodation, meals, tours, activities and transportation?

Yes, we could. Simply tell us what you would like to do and how you want things to be, then we’ll design your perfect vacation.

House Rules
House Rules of Pajoka Resort:
– Please fill in the guest registration form upon arrival
– Please don’t litter
– Please turn off all lights and electronic devices when you’re not using them
– Please don’t waste water
– Please don’t throw toilet paper in the toilet
– Please try not to bring any plastic waste to the resort e.g. plastic water bottles, aqua bottles, etc. We provide drinking water and reusable bottles for you to use
– Please keep the beach and the resort reasonably clean and tidy
– Please look after everything in the resort and put things back in their place when you are finished with the. Guests will be asked to pay for any loss, damage or breakages.
– No smoking in the guest rooms

– Villa for two to three people (children are free) Rp. 900,000/night. Includes breakfast for two, free coffee and tea, drinking water, afternoon snacks, and free pick up and drop off to or from Bira.

– Villa for four to six people Rp. 1.150,000/night. Includes breakfast for four to six people, free coffee and tea, drinking water, afternoon snacks, and free pick up and drop off to or from Bira.

– Villa for seven to ten people Rp. 1.350,000/night. Includes breakfast for six to ten people, free coffee and tea, drinking water, afternoon snacks, and free pick up and drop off to or from Bira.

– Villa for special occasion for groups of ten to fifteen people Rp. 1,700,0000/night. Includes free coffee and tea and drinking water. We have beds for ten people only, we will provide extra mattras and hammock if needed.

We have a fully furnished kitchen so feel free to bring your own groceries or go to the local market which is located ten minutes by motorbike and car or twenty minutes by foot. We would be happy to provide lunch and dinner upon request for an extra charge per person, depending on which menu you choose. If you have any special requests or allergies to anything, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

High and peak season apply from July 01-September 15 and December 01-January 15 with additional charge Rp. 250.000/night/rooms

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