One of our favorites, this is a very unique tour to one of Indonesia most mysterious places. Tours can range from 4-8 days and you can include this with an existing Bali tour.
Bright green rice terraces, tall limestone outcrops and bamboo graves are set against a backdrop of blue misty mountains. Traditional Tongkonan houses stand proudly in this setting. These intricately decorated houses with upward-sloping roofs are the center of all Aluktodolo (Torajan religion before the missionaries); from storing the harvest in the carved rice barns, "alang", to slaughtering sacred water buffaloes at a week or longer funeral ceremonies. Tana Toraja's beauty is also reflected in its people. Although they are a unique blend of Christianity (there are small number of Moslems especially in the southern area), they combine this religious belief with magic and mysticism. Secure in their ethnic identity, they welcome visitors to witness their ceremonies.
The land of the Toraja people is above all famed for their spectacular burial rites. After a person's death, the body is kept — often for several years — while money is saved to pay for the actual funeral ceremony, known as tomate. During the festival, which may last up to a week, ritual dances and buffalo fights are held, buffaloes and pigs are slaughtered to ferry the soul of the deceased to the afterlife (puya). The deceased is then finally buried either in a small cave, often with a tau-tau effigy placed in front, inside a hollow tree or even left exposed to the elements in a bamboo frame hanging from a cliff.
Tana Toraja has unique culture set in stunning scenery. Globalisation and tourism may have an impact, but if you venture away from the tarmac roads you will find soon a way of life that has not changed much in the last 100 years.(Wiki)
Incredible Toraja ~ 6 Days and 5 Nights
Starts/Ends: Makassar Airport, Sulawesi
DAY 1 : ARRIVE in MAKASSAR - TORAJA HIGHLAND
Upon arrival in Makassar, you will be met by your local guide at the airport and then transfer to Toraja by a deluxe air-conditioned private minibus or car to Toraja Land. The 8-hour trip takes you through amazing scenery including the Bugis Vilage with their traditional houses on poles along the magnificent mountain passes. Lunch will be served at Bukit Indah Restaurant in Pare-Pare, a small port situated 155 kms north of Makassar. Late afternoon we will arrive in Toraja and check-in at the hotel (L).
DAY 2 : TORAJA TOUR
After breakfast at the hotel we embark on a full day of exploring Toraja Land, visiting the cliff-side stone graves with wooden effigies on the balconies at LEMO, The royal family tombs at SUAYA, The baby graves in the huge tree at KAMBIRA and Cultural performance at SANGALLA. Lunch will be served at local restaurant in Rantepao. After lunch, we visit the natural cave at LONDA and then proceed to the traditional wooden carving village at KETE KESU. Overnight at hotel (B,L).
DAY 3 : TORAJA TOUR
After breakfast at the hotel we embark on the second full day excursion, visiting a most beautiful village with impressive stacks of buffalo horns in front off their houses at PALAWA. The Traditional cotton weaving village at SA'DAN, The ancient megalithic stone at BORI and then proceed to SESEAN mountain to view the large rice-field terrace at BATUTUMONGA and Lunch will be served here. After Lunch, we continue on to visit the boulder grave at LOKOMATA and then a beautiful nature-walk from PANA through the rice-field and picturesque villages down to TIKALA . From TIKALA village we return to Rantepao for refreshment. The back to the hotel (B,L).
DAY 4 : TORAJA TOUR
We start the day with a visit to Pangli to see the stone statue of the deadman. We also see several impressive graves including Bori, the existence of megalithic grave; Parinding, the big wooden grave; "erong", and remarkable caves. After lunch at Rantepao, we visit Singki, the horse Grave and the extraordinary village of Siguntu with traditional longhouses and rice barns. (B,L)
DAY 5 : TORAJA - SENGKANG
We start with a scenic drive to Sengkang, a small city to the south of Rantepao. We continue on to Sengkang, a cool mountainous city in the hinterland of South Sulawesi, about 4 hours drive from Makassar. Not too far from the small city, is a small preserved lake with diverse bird species and floating houses. We will paddle the dug out canoe to reach the center of the lake and to pay a visit to the local people in their unique dwellings. This area is also famous for its spectacular sunsets. (B,L)
DAY 6 : SENGKANG - MAKASSAR
After breakfast at our small hotel in Sengkang, we drive to the coast of South Sulawesi to reach Makassar to catch your flight back to Jakarta or Bali (B)