a VirtualTourist member asked on Jun 28, 2014
How to get to Makassar from Manado, without taking any domestic flights or any expensive boat/ferries?
The only way is by bus, but maybe you would like to visit Rantepao on the way. Buses leave Manado for the 3 day journey. From There you can get a bus to Makasser which takes 8 hrs. It has been a few years since i have been to Sulawesi but i think there is a bus that takes you all the way to Makassar, 1900kms.
I think you need to change bus at least once on the very long journey to Makassar. A friend in Manado advised me to break the journey when I planned doing this last year. Suffice to say I abandoned the idea.
As Davidjo says, the bus takes three days. It is a long haul. Travel time is slow in Sulawesi due to the mountainous and widing roads. If you are travelling by bus, does this mean you have time to stop of at places?
If so, an alternate route could be Manado to Gorantalo by bus. Ferry to Togean Islands for a couple of days. Ferry to Ampana. Bus to Rantepeo - plenty to see here for at elast a few days. Bus to Makassar.
Although you said you don't want to fly, if you do want to go directly from Manado to Makassar you should consider it. Lion Air amongst others often has cheap tickets.