Emerging from the hanging clouds, the Toraja is where the way of the ancestors is still being walked and where people of the highlands started welcoming the most curious travelers from all over the world just recently. Toraja has seen quite a lot through its course of existence, from Dutch colonization, peaking in tourism and accepting Christianity, the rather small land of Toraja is full of exciting discoveries, details, and treasures. Today, we are more than privileged to witness the ancient land that is still preserved and cherished with its unique cultural and natural entities. From ancient heritage, fascinating architecture, exciting Toraja tours to striking landscapes and the funeral traditions that will blow your mind, the Toraja is inspiring, beautiful and majestic. Let us introduce you to this fascinating destination and help steer the wheel for Toraja to end up on top of your bucket list!
Toraja is not only beautiful green highlands perched above the clouds, but it is also a rural region that cultivates cacao, rice, coffee, and cloves for the majority of the year and continues to captivate its visitors with their unique culture. But the most intriguing part of how they approach life is their ancient belief systems, strong focus on death, and recent transformation, brought by the winds of change and history. Today, travelers can also understand Toraja even more deeply with the help of Toraja Tours.
Up until 20th century, Toraja Land was hidden behind green striking mountains, preserving a way of life that lasted centuries. But the 1920s became a critical point of change for Torajans, as the Dutch started missionary aids to the region as they saw the family-bonded people as potential Christians.
Before the strong impact of Dutch colonists and the church, Toraja’s indigenous belief system was always the polytheistic animism, also known as aluk, or “the way”. According to Toraja myths and legends, the ancestors of Torajan people came descended from heavens using stairs. Using those stairs, they communicated with the creator known as Puang Matua.
In Toraja, one of the largest events in a person’s life is actually death and as a traveler from seemingly another world, a very contrast one for sure, this is a spectacle to witness for the ages. The complex and intriguing burial ceremony is a death fest like no other. Slaughter of buffalos and pigs, fierce cockfights with traditional music and dances, a rather gruesome showcase, but in a fascinating and unique way.
But before all that happens, the deceased person still keeps on living as a family member in the house, until the family gathers up enough resources to perform this mysterious celebration also known as Rambu Solo. Welcome death together with Torajans and be blown away, or simply do it together with Toraja Tours that with a local guide by your side for more confidence!
Toraja land and its pulsing highlands compose both natural & cultural elements that are nothing short but spectacular. Charming paddy fields, refreshing grasslands together with stunning cliffs and lush forests compose a natural puzzle that can be solved in many ways. Combine that with one of a kind architecture, ancient villages and authentic works of art, and you have yourself an adventure of unprecedented value.
Torajan myths and legends, once again link us back to the creator Puang Matua, as it is said that the first tongkonan house was constructed in heaven. And after the first glance, you will notice why it is believed so in a heartbeat! The boat-shaped houses with a saddleback roof were are one of the highlights of Toraja, that will leave an everlasting impression.
One of the gems of the area is ancient villages, and most them still preserved their authentic charm, with Batutumonga being one of the prime destinations today. It has nearly everything that we mentioned, from extraordinary nature vistas, tongkonan houses and much more to discover.
Wondering if there’s anything beautiful to conquer? Stumble upon yet another gem, that will provide crisp mountain air to breathe was just a beginning and the adventure of epic proportions.
Mount Seasan, the highest summit of the Toraja Land will deliver splendid views of the ancestral surroundings and bring clouds right beneath your feet as well as a sunrise that will paint a picture worth millions.
Social or religious concepts are expressed often through wood carving, an art form for Torajans that showcases both culture and nature.
Each carving here receives special name and meaning, making every piece of significant importance with common motifs being animals and plants. Torajan wood carvings are also comprised of square panels, each representing different things, such as wealth for the family with a carved buffalo or simply a knot and a box giving the hope that all of the family’s offspring will be happy and harmonious.
Here in Toraja, it is all about harmony between nature and culture and life and death. A bond that represents a true and natural way of life.
Even with rising tourism, Toraja is still an unknown land for many, with little information and paths that are yet not walked by many. That’s why you simply must consider Toraja Tours, as it is a perfect opportunity to take this article as a jumpstart and introduction to an area and finish it strong with a tour that is guided by a passionate local. From traditional villages and markets to iconic funeral ceremonies, hanging graves to cultural discoveries, embrace Toraja Tours as a golden opportunity to travel the land with guidance, knowledge, and eagerness to discover the unique.
We had a wonderful journey around Toraja area. Our tour guide, Ms Rita, was a well qualified one. We met the driver at the hotel in Makassar and drove through the Toraja mountain.
We took part in a funeral ceremony; it was so impressive. The place where we stayed was so quietful and in a great natural environment. I… Read more “Toraja Tour”
Perfect!!! Everything has been perfect.
The drivers were always waiting me ad the airport, the guides were expert, gentle. the cars were very good.Hotels and flights too. a very interesting mix between nature, culture, religion and traditional uses.
A suggestion.. Bring from your own another sheet for the bed on the borneo’s boat and a jacket for the… Read more “Borneo, java, flores and sulawesi”
Hernan Halim provided an excellent tour of Sulawesi. Comfortable air con car, excellent company, fantastic English and very knowledgeable. I really liked his use of local guides who provided in depth local knowledge. This was particularly great in Toraja- understanding the importance of funerals as well as the complex social networks.
Trips to togean islands and Bunaken islands were… Read more “Trans Sulawesi”
Hernan Halim responded quickly to our info request on the internet. We wanted to travel for 3 weeks in Sulawesi. Unaware of all the possibilities to visit the Togean Islands and the norther parts, we decided on a trip along the coast to Toraja. Hernan proposed a cross Sulawesi trip including the Togean Island and Manage, northern part plus Bunaken.
Read more “Perfectly organized trip from Makassar to Manado”
My husband and I visited Java the first time in late April to early May 2018 during our 2 week private tour that was fully organised by Hernan at IndoGlobal Adventure, the head office now based in Jakarta. This is the second time we used Hernan’s services. First time we traveled with him to Sulawesi. We were so impressed with… Read more “The best and most reliable local tour company in Indonesia!”
I was looking at several tour operators in Indonesia for Toraja trip and found IndoGlobal Adventure looks promising – the complete itinerary and the owner, Hernan, speaks fluent English. They also replied my email fast. Being an Indonesian myself, my parents were worried me travelling solo. They thought European country would be safer to do so. If you read this… Read more “Wonderful Solo trip in Toraja”
No. Driving from Makassar to Toraja Land will take approximately 8-9 hours, not to mention the additional stop you make for meals and breaks. So by the time you arrive in Rantepao, it will be dark.
Alternatively, we can recommend you to make some stops along your way to Toraja Land at some interesting sites.
1. Rammang Rammang Karst Complex
2. The Bugis Makassar village
3. The “Erotic mountain” in Bambapuang
Please notice that by visiting those places is subject for traffic and late arrival time in Rantepao.
Yes, we do. The one-way transfer from Makassar to Toraja will cost IDR 1.400.000 / Car. The car can be use with up-to 4 Passengers plus driver. The price already include driver and fuels. Please contact us at Contact Form for this additional service.
Yes, we can definitely help you with purchasing Bus Ticket from Makassar to Toraja Land or Vice Versa. The price would be IDR 250.000 and this is a Semi Sleeper Bus. Please use the Contact Form to inquiry for this service.
Yes, flights are availlable daily from Makassar (UPG) to Palopo (LLO) Airport. The flight takes approximately 55 minutes and the drive from Palopo Airport to Rantepao is approximately 2 hours drive.
Wings Air flies everyday at 09:40 from Makassar and arrives in Palopo on 10:30. Garuda Airlines are no longer serve this route.
If you have problem with Flights Booking thru the Internet, because most of the Flights Booking Platform in Indonesia does not accept foreign credit card, please dont hesitate to contact us. We can help you for this.
Tipping is now a common thing in Indonesia, they are expecting it. So what we can say that tipping is relatively required. But, there is no rule for how much to tip. That is really depends on how satisfied you are with the services. But we can recommend IDR 50.000 per day for your driver and IDR 100.000 per day for your guide.
Please consider this very indicative. If you are on a low budget you could consider less, and if you are on a high budget you could consider more. But any amount is really appreciated!
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.