Journey through Sulawesi on a cultural quest. Start with a visit to Makassan’s La Galigo Museum for an introduction to the island’s diversity. Then take a closer look with visits to authentic villages inhabited by the Bugis and Toraja ethnic groups, learning about their unique traditions and ancient customs. 

Trip Highlights

Essential Sulawesi

Explore Toraja villages

Meet Torajan people, dine in a traditional boat-shaped house and visit hanging coffins for a glimpse into this unique culture. 

Visit a weaving factory

Witness Torajan textiles, called ikat, being woven using traditional techniques and decorated with customary motifs. 

Discover Makassan’s highlights

See traditional phinsi schooners at the harbour and the city’s Dutch Fort then explore La Galigo Museum’s insightful ethnic displays.



Arrive to Makassar – Hotel

Airport – Makassar City Center (23km): approximately 60 minutes Makassar City Tour short: ( 18 km): approximately 120 minutes, long: (30 km): approximately 180 minutes Makassar City Center & vv. (2 km): approximately 20 minutes / way

Arrival at Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in Makassar on the island of Sulawesi which was once referred to as Celebes and is sometimes called Ujung Pandang, the islanders interchange the names frequently.

Recommended flights (not included in package and quoted separately – airfares and schedules subject to change without prior notice):

Domestic: Garuda Indonesia from Surabaya to Makasar GA671, departing at 16:35 and arriving at 19:10 or Garuda Indonesia from Denpasar to Makassar GA620 departing at 17:20 and arriving at 18:50.

International: Silk Air from Singapore to Makassar MI142 (Monday and Thursday), departing at 07:55 and arriving at 11:00 or MI144 (Sunday), departing at 14:45 and arriving at 17:55.

An airport assistant will bring you to your private car and driver for the transfer to your hotel in the city center of Makasar.

On today’s city tour take a walk through the locals streets to Paotere harbour to learn about the famed Bugis Phinisi schooner shipbuilders of the region and continue to city’s most iconic landmark, Fort Rotterdam. Recently refurbished it is perhaps one of the best preserved Dutch forts in all Indonesia; learn more about the diversity of Sulawesi at the La Galio Museum. At Phoenam Coffee shop local coffee, Teh Tarik and snacks are in the menu, and it is a typical Chinese coffee shop where people meet to discuss business. There is still an Abacus which can be used to calculate the price of the coffee. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

Dinner at Dinar Restaurant.

Overnight in Makassar.


Makassar – Pare Pare - Rantepao

Makassar – Pare Pare (155 km): approximately 4 hours 30 minutes Pare Pare – Rantepao (175km): approximately 5 hours 30 minutes

The island of Sulawesi is one of the four larger islands of Indonesia and has been known as Celebes, by the Portuguese, and Ujung Pandang, by the locals. This stunning island is as rich in culture and history, as it is in exceptional experiences.

Check out from your hotel and depart for to Toraja via Pare Pare.

Your journey takes you through several villages of the Bugis people whose stilted houses line magnificent mountain passes. Take a lunch at a Asia restaurant in Pare Pare.

Your drive continues through the hills reaching Rantepao in the late afternoon. Stop at Carawali Village

Check in to your hotel in Rantepao.

Dinner this evening is at the hotel.

Overnight in Rantepao.


Northern part of Tanah Toraja

Rantepao – Rantepao Market MALLANGO (2 km): approximately 20minutes Rantepao – Bolu Market (3 km): approximately 15 minutes Rantepao Market/MALLANGO – Palawa, Bori and Batutumonga (35 km): approximately 2 hours, narrow snacky road. Bolu Market/MALLANGO - Palawa (13 km): approximately 45 minutes Mentirotiku – 1 hour trekking start point to LEMPO (4 km): approximately 60 minutes Mentirotiku – 2 hours trekking start point to BORI PARINDING (7 km): approximately 2 hours. Tinongbayo – Rantepao (22 km): approximately 55 minutes Tikala – Rantepao (8 km): approximately 25 minutes Rantepao – Todi (2 km): approximately 15 minutes Todi – Kete Kesu (6 km): approximately 30 minutes Kete Kesu – Rantepao (6 km): approximately 30 minutes

This morning after breakfast, if the schedule permits, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in the bustling life of the Torajan’s with a visit to their twice a week traditional Buffalo market in Bolu. This market is important to the local society as buffalos and pigs are an essential part of the intricate funeral ceremony.

Note: Bolu Market depends on the schedule and is only held twice a week every Tuesday and Saturday. In case there is no market on the day you visit, we will replace it by a visit to a local market in Rantepao.

Proceed to Palawa, a typical Toraja village, and on to the highlands of Batutumonga for stunning views across the Toraja valley. See the megalithic stone monuments of Bori.

Here you will take lunch at Mentirotiku local restaurant.

According to your preference, take a 1 or 2 hour light trek through fascinating Toraja villages.


Perched on the slopes of Mt Sesean, these villages offers beautiful views of rice fields dotted with large black rocks, remains of ancient volcanic eruptions. A 1 hour trek will take you through the village of Lempo and Tinongbayo while the easy two-hour walk takes you through the villages of Bori and Tikala where you will get to meet the locals and observe their traditional lifestyle and customs.

These two villages have ancestral stone circles, part of the local lore of the Toraja people, with each stone representing an important noble who has passed away. They also feature impressive Tongkonan houses.

Return to Rantepao with a stop at a Todi weaving factory where the ancient technique and motifs for Torajans textile known as Ikat’s are preserved.

Visit the unique village of Kete Kesu which has one of the finest ensembles of Tongkonan (Toraja traditional houses) in Sulawesi. These boat-shaped houses have tall roofs made of slender bristles and create strange silhouettes in the sky. The Tongkonan facades boast many carved and painted motifs and a buffalo head wood adorns the wealthiest homes. Kete Kesu village also has a rice granary of the traditional Toraja country style. Take a short walk around the village and view the bones and ornate coffins that still reside in the rocky outcrops.

Return to the hotel late afternoon. Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight in Rantepao

Note: Between July and September (dry season) many funerals take place and during this period many Toraja migrants return home for the holidays. The program will be tailored to allow for an attendance of such ceremony during stay in Toraja if desired and possible. On weekends (Saturday and Sunday) such ceremonies do not take place, and there is never any guarantee that it will be possibly to attend.


Touring the southern part of Toraja – Enrekang - Sengkang

Rantepao – Lemo/Londa/Suaya (25 km): approximately 3 hours. Suaya – Makale for lunch (10 km): approximately 20 minutes Makale - Enrekang (50 km): approximately 2,5 hours Enrekang - Sengkang: (150 km): approximately 5 hours

Early wake-up call today at 05:45 am. After am early breakfast and check-out you head south of Toraja to visit two traditional villages and their surroundings. Begin with a drive to Lemo and Suaya villages which are enveloped  by cliffs pierced with graves and tau tau (hanging effigies) of deceased noblility. These cliffs are also referred to as the ‘death balconies’ due to their perilious location. In Suaya-Kanbira witness children graves in a tree. 

Lunch is served in a Local Restaurant Panorama in Makale

After lunch continue for a longer overland drive to Sengang.  On the way photo stop with views of “Erotic Mountain” also known as Gunung Nona (basic bathrooms are available and a kiosk).

Check in to your hotel in Sengkang. Enjoy a Local Bugis style feast dinner at hotel.

Overnight in Sengkang.


Sengkang – Lake Tempe - Departure

Sengkang hotel – Tempe Lake side (1,5 km): approximately 20 minutes Tempe Lake – Andi Mustakim Silk Workshop (2 km): approximately 30 minutes Andi Mustakim Silk Work Shop – Sengkang Hotel/Lunch Glory (2 km): approximately 30 minutes Sengkang via BULU DUA – BARRU - Makassar / Makassar Airport (198 km): approximately 5 hours

Rise early this morning at 05:15 to take advantage of the picturesque scene across the Lake Tempe.  The Bugis people have a unique housing style where their traditional houses float on the lake. Take this opportunity to travel on a local longboat to enjoy the Bugis hospitality with a cup of tea or coffee, and maybe some fried banana (a favourite snack in Indonesia). There are about 30 houses that remain on the lake and participate in the old traditions of fishing and fish drying.

Return to your hotel for breakfast. After breakfast and check out you leave Sengkang and continue visit a local silk home factory in Sengkang.

Early lunch at hotel. Transfer to the airport in Makassar.

Recommended flights (not included in package and quoted separately – airfares and schedules subject to change without prior notice): Garuda Indonesia from Makassar to Denpasar GA621 departing at 19:35 and arriving at 21:00 or Garuda Indonesia from Makassar to Surabaya GA630 departing at 18:00 and arriving at 18:35.

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in half-twin/double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • English speaking local guide (other language available).
  • All entrance fees and donations as indicated in itinerary.

Our Services Do Not Include:

  • Visa arrangements.
  • International and domestic flights.
  • International and domestic departure taxes.
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc).
  • Travel insurance.
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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