Tana Toraja is quite simply unique. A cultural island, hemmed in by mountains on all sides, the Toraja prove there is life after death with their elaborate ceremonies. Cave graves, hanging graves, tau tau (life-sized wooden effigies) of the dead and buffalo carnage every summer; it’s macabre but mesmerizing. This is a world unto itself.
Some 250km north of Makassar, a steep wall of mountains marks the limits of Bugis territory and the start of Tanah Toraja’s highlands, a beautiful spread of hills and valleys where sleek buffalo wallow in lush green paddy fields. With easy access and one of Indonesia’s most confident and vivid cultures, Tanah Toraja is planted firmly on the agenda of every visitor to Sulawesi. Tour groups tend to concentrate on key sites, so it’s not hard to find more secluded corners.
Tanah Toraja’s main town, at least as far as tourists are concerned, is Rantepao, 18km north of the regional capital, Makale. It’s a popular base for travellers, most of whom descend for the major festival season between July and September. Expect hot days and cool nights; there is a “dry” season between April and October, but this is relative only to the amount of rain at other times, so bring non-slip walking boots and rainwear. Tanah Toraja is known as Tator in the local idiom, and you should look for this on transport timetables. There are buses to Rantepao from points all over Sulawesi, including night buses from Makassar.
Day : 1 Arrival In Makassar / Drive Totanjung Bira
On you arrival at Hasanuddin Airport Makassar, you will meet our Tour Guide. Then drive to Tanjung Bira, located on the southern tip of Sulawesi Island famous for its ancient mariners and beautiful white sandy beaches. On the way, we will visit the Bissappu waterfall in Bantaeng district. Lunch en route. Stop also will be made in Tana Beru, the center of traditional Phinisi boat building. In the afternoon, arrive in Tanjung Bira. Dinner and overnight stay at a in Bira.
Day : 2 Free Program / Kajang Tour
After breakfast, you free at leisure at Bira Beach where you can take a change for swimming, snorkeling, relax under the sun shine or take a soft trekking to visit the local fishermen villages with their typical daily life style. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will take you to the village of Primitive Kajang Tribe where we will explore the secret of the black color culture of Ammatowa. After enough time, back to Tanjung Bira for dinner and overnight stay.
Day: 3 Bira – Sengkang Via Sinjai
After breakfast, depart to Sengkang via Sinjai. Lunch will be served in Wattampone. After lunch, we will visit the Museum of Andi Mappasissi to see all ancient collection from the royal family of the former Bone kingdom. In the afternoon, arrive in Sengkang onwards we will visit the Lake Tempe where we will have a boat trip to explore the daily life of the local Bugis fishermen who do live on the floating houses. Dinner and overnight stay at Sengkang.
Day : 4 Sengkang – Toraja
After breakfast, we will visit the weaving center where we can see women hand spin and weave traditional sutera sarong silk clothes. Then drive to Toraja via Palopo. On the way from Palopo to Toraja offers us many spectacular views where we will also stop on Puncak Paredean for having refreshment while enjoy the beautiful mountainous panorama. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, arrive in Rantepao. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel Toraja.
Day : 5 Full Day Toraja Tour
After breakfast, we will take you on a full day Toraja tour. First, we will visit Lemo where we can find hanging graves with their rows of Tau-Tau sculptures. Then we will visit to Tampangallo, an ancient and natural grave in a cave with its entombed deceased. On to Kambira, where we will explore the extra ordinary of the baby graves on tree which called “ Tarra Tree “. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Rantepao. After lunch, we will visit Marante & Nanggala, local Torajan villages with big Tongkonan houses and rice barns. In Nanggala we also could find bats hanging on trees around this village. At last we will visit Kete’ Kesu, a local Torajan village which listed on the world heritage book where we can see old Tongkonan houses with their rice barns. Then we back to the Hotel for dinner . Spend thenight Hotel Toraja.
Day : 6 Full Day Toraja Tour
After breakfast, we will take you on another full day tour around Tana Toraja. In the morning, we will visit Bori’ where we can find ancient megalith stones which already exist since thousands years. Then we will take you to Tinombayo highland to enjoy the superb view of the rice terraces and Torajan local villages from the hill-top. Then we will visit Batutumonga where we can view the town of Rantepao. Then we will visit Lokomata where we will find graves on a giant megalith stone. Continue our trip by taking a soft trekking from Pana to Tikala passing through the several Torajan villages with the local daily life style. Lunch will be served at a local Restaurant in Rantepao. In the afternoon, we will visit Pallawa & Sa’dan famous as the center of wood carving and weaving center in Tana Toraja. Spend the night at Hotel Toraja.
Day : 7 Toraja – Makassar Via Pare-Pare
After breakfast, check out hotel. Then drive back to Makassar via Pare-Pare. On the way we will stop on Puncak Bambapuang to view the spectacular view of the erotic mountain Buttukabobong. Lunch will be served at a seafood restaurant in Pare-Pare. In the afternoon arrive in Makassar, and transfer directly to the Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day : 8 Short City Tour / Transfer Airport
After breakfast, we will take you on a short city tour around Makassar by visiting Balla Lompoa Museum, the palace of the former Gowa kingdom where we can find all ancient collections from its royal family. Then to Sulawesi Miniature Garden to see the all types of South Sulawesian traditional houses and the Fort Somba Opu. Continue to the local Makassarese fishermen harbor in Je’neberang river. Then transfer directly to Hasanuddin Airport to catch your flight for your destination.