Tana Toraja: discovery of a thousand-year-old animist culture! - Azimuth Adventure Travel Ltd
Ethnic minority

Tana Toraja: discovery of a thousand-year-old animist culture!

Sulawesi, also known as the Celebes Islands, is a true mosaic of peoples. Its position in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago and its strategic role in the international spice trade have made this island a crossroads of populations.

This tour allows you to discover all the cultural riches of the Toraja people, nicknamed “The People of the Mountains”. It is the originality of their culture and their impressive funeral ceremonies that have made this ethnic group very famous. Add to this the ve...

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Day 1Arrival in Makassar and city tour

Day 1Arrival in Makassar and city tour

  • Reception at Makassar airport and transfer to the hotel. Makassar is the capital of the province of South Sulawesi located on the edge of the Makassar Strait. Rest of the day free.

  • At the beginning of the afternoon, visit the fish market, an essential place of life and meetings, because fish represents an important food in the culinary culture of Indonesians.

    Then transfer to the port of Paotere, to admire magnificent schooners built in wood.

  • You end with a visit to Fort Rotterdam, built in 1545 by Raja Tunipalangga: it was originally just an earthen rampart called “makassar”. It was only in 1634 that these were reinforced with stone walls, at the request of Sultan Alaudin. The fort was later (in 1667) conquered by the Dutch and renamed "Rotterdam" (the birthplace of Speelman). Today, the fort is completely restored and even houses a small museum which traces its history.

Meal and accommodations

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 2On the way to the capital of the country Toraja

Day 2On the way to the capital of the country Toraja

  • Morning transfer to the Maros region (once discovered by Alfred Wallace), famous for its rice fields and karst peaks. Short stroll in the surrounding area and exploration of a cave almost 39,000 years old, which is full of numerous rock paintings.

    Your guide also offers you a canoe ride on a river near which many species of birds live. Meetings with the local population who live in houses on stilts.

    At the end of the morning, transfer to the maritime city of Pare Pare, then you go up the Sa’Dan river, towards the mountains, through magnificent landscapes. The plain landscapes are therefore quickly replaced by thick coconut forest.

    Stop en route at Bambapuang, from where you will have a view of a so-called “erotic” mountain. Arrival at Rantepao (the capital of Country Toraja) in the early evening. Installation at the hotel.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

40m
40m
Kete Kesu

Day 3Funerary art

Day 3Funerary art

  • Today, you start with a visit to the funeral site of Lem. It is a rock wall in which balconies have been dug which house numerous figurines, called Tau Tau.

  • Transfer, then, to the royal tombs of Suaya and continuation on foot to another interesting site: Tampangg’alo. In the afternoon, visit the Londa caves, at the foot of a large cliff, which shelter coffins and scattered bones.

  • Easy hike to the village Kete Kusu (known for its wood carvings and rice granaries), through rice fields, villages & bamboo forest. Also discovered troglodyte tombs, and other, older, suspended ones.

  • Preamble: the course of the program for the three days of exploration of the Toraja country may be adapted if a funeral celebration takes place in the region at this time. Your guide will take you to attend this ceremony and introduce you to the family of the deceased. For your information, no ritual in Toraja Country is organized for tourists: everything is absolutely authentic.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 4Excursion to the surrounding villages

Day 4Excursion to the surrounding villages

  • In the morning, visit the village of Bori, famous for its megaliths carved into the shape of tombs, then that of Palawa (the largest in the region), and finally that of Sa’dan, renowned for its traditional textiles.

  • Transfer to the wild north of the Toraja region, which offers magnificent panoramas at an altitude of 1,400 m. Easy walk around Batutumonga through rice fields, traditional villages and bamboo forest.

  • Later, hike from Lokomata (where the tombs are carved into a giant rock) towards Mariri, during which you will have the opportunity to meet children returning from school and stop in a few knife making workshops.

    Return to the hotel at the end of the afternoon.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 5Rantepao and its curiosities

Day 5Rantepao and its curiosities

  • Visit the colorful Rantepao market, where many buffaloes & pigs are offered for sale.
    It is then time to attend the funeral ceremony (see Preamble).

    In the afternoon, transfer to Pemancar, where you begin a lovely walk towards Salu, through rice fields and plantations (mainly coffee & cocoa).
    Walking time: approximately 4 hours

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

5h-210km
Sengkang

Day 6Road to Sengkang

Day 6Road to Sengkang

  • In the morning, we reach the charming little town of Sengkang which stretches on the banks of the Walanae River.

    In the afternoon, visit traditional silk weaving workshops.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

Sengkang

Day 7On the waters of Lake Tempe

Day 7On the waters of Lake Tempe

  • Early in the morning, transfer to the shores of Tempe Lake and board motorized canoes for an extraordinary discovery of this marshy lake which is home to many species of birds and where there is an astonishing lakeside village. This is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the habits and customs of the villagers, for whom time seems to have no influence.

    Night in the same hotel.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

Sengkang
5h-210km
Bira

Day 8Visit to shipyards

Day 8Visit to shipyards

  • En route, visit some shipbuilding yards (in Tanaberu), renowned as the best in Indonesia. These wooden boats are assembled by carpenters who still use ancestral techniques, without a construction plan, and based solely on know-how that has been passed down from father to son for generations. These schooners, locally called Pinisi, can reach up to 30 m in length and weigh more than 200 tonnes.

    Check-in at the hotel in the afternoon, by the sea.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

Bira

Day 9Relaxing day in Bira

Day 9Relaxing day in Bira

  • Free day of rest. Possibility of discovering the neighboring islands by traditional boat: emerald blue sea, white sand, snorkeling, barbecue… paradise on Earth!

    Return to the hotel in the afternoon.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

Accommodation: Hotel

Bira
Departure

Day 10Have a good flight and see you soon!

Day 10Have a good flight and see you soon!

  • Free morning until transfer to the airport, via the villages of Bulukumba, Jeneponto & Takalar, where you will visit salt factories.

Meal and accommodations

Breakfast: Hotel

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