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Javaindo Ecotourism

Exploring Sulawesi Toraja Culture

Bugis Village Toraja
Bugis Village Toraja

This land still has extravagant funeral practices and ancient burial sites. For instance, they still practice death and afterlife ceremonies. Toraja is one of Sulawesi’s most stunning landscapes and one of Indonesia’s most compelling traditional cultures.

Toraja today still adhere to their ancient beliefs, rituals, and traditions, although much of their society is modern or has converted to Christianity. To reach Toraja, you will go through a wondrous journey that moves you through interchanging sights of stunning granite cliffs, lofty mountains, and vast seas. Others prefer to avoid this traditional ceremony and go trekking through the spectacular and almost untouched Toraja villages. They also visit remote villages or revel in rafting on the Sa’dan River. Tana Toraja offers a variety of enchanting views that will make you want to come here again. It also offers a wealth of culture for you to enjoy and learn more about.

Places to Visit
Kete Kesu: The famous Kete Kesu Village is a beautiful destination with a beautiful panorama. This place holds an extraordinary history of how the first people of Tana Toraja existed. There are also many historical finds and ancestral remains in this village. It makes this village a perfect cultural tourist spot. On the cliffs behind the village are very old cave burials and hanging graves, some are reported to be 500 years old or more. Broken coffins hung from wooden beams below the overhang, while others fell onto a pile of bones and skulls below.

Londa: is a cemetery located in a cave on a hill. There are coffins, bones, and body skulls more than one hundred years old in this place. Greeting you as you arrive in Londa are rows of wooden statues known as Tau-Tau. Tau-Tau itself is a statue of a corpse buried here. The Toraja people believed that passed away people brought them good luck, therefore they had to protect the wealth of their loved ones thus starting this tradition. also believe that the taller they are, the higher their chances of being accepted easily in the afterlife. This place is rich in culture and will help you understand the beliefs of the Toraja people. To reach this area you can use the Rantepao–Makale bemo.

Bori Kalimbuang: These are 102 Menhirs from the megalithic era. Menhirs are stones of worship to their ancestors. In the vicinity of these Menhirs, there are various traditional Toraja houses, the perfect setting for beautiful views and learning experiences for you.

Sa’dan River: It is the lifeblood of the Toraja people, as the Sa’dan irrigates the surrounding fertile rice fields and provides water for the people and livestock of this vast agricultural land. This river is one of the longest rivers on Sulawesi Island, flowing for 182 km and 80 meters in width. Rafting across the Sa’dan River offers challenges, passing through beautiful green rice fields, ancient traditional villages, steep gorges, and high rocky mountains. The Sa’dan River is a river for experienced and adventurous rafters. The rapids at Puru grade three, and Seba Rapids grade 4, with the fastest Fitri rapids that offer grade 5 challenges will surely boost your adrenaline.

Batutumonga: Batutumonga is a city located in a mountainous area and offers refreshing natural views. Batutumonga is located at the foot of Mount Sesean. This city is even often titled as the most beautiful place in this district. The best time for you to enjoy a refreshing journey to Batutumonga is when the sun rises from high above the clouds, it will be the best way to start your wonderful day. Batutumonga is about 24 kilometers from Rantepao. You can also visit Baik Village with a row of tongkonan traditional houses on the hill. Plan one of the best ways to refresh yourself away from the hustle of the city right, here in Batutumonga!

Ma’Nene Ceremony: This is a cleaning corpse Ceremony in Tana Toraja which is held every year in August. The process is to exhume the corpse to be washed, treated, and dressed in new clothes. Damaged boxes are repaired or replaced. The mummies then walked around the village following a straight path. Following this straight line is perhaps the most important part of the ceremony. Since these entities only move in straight lines, the soul from the body of the deceased must follow Hyang’s path.

According to the ancient Toraja belief system, the spirits of those who die must return to their origin village. So if someone died on the way, the family would go to the place of death and accompany the deceased back home by driving them back to the village. In the past, people were afraid to travel long distances, they were afraid they would die on the way and couldn’t return to their village.

Expedisi Toraja
Expedisi Toraja

Culture and adventure trip? Toraja has it all! Plan your trip to this magical land now!

Toraja Coffee: A long journey to the coffee plantations and it is very memorable to learn that the coffee plantations here grow on the slopes of the mountains. The sloping land drains energy from walking up it, and coffee farmers here have no difficulty getting around. Sapan itself is a small area in North Toraja regency, coffee plants grow on the slopes of Mount Sesean.

Local Transportation
Local people usually call Bemo Pete-pete.
– Motorbikes are the best way to explore Tana Toraja. The roads can get muddy in the rainy season. All hotels and guest houses can arrange motorbike or car rentals.
– Ojek is a motorbike taxi. You can hire a motorbike for a short ride or even for a day tour. Enjoy walking around the village.

How to Get There
To get to Tana Toraja you have to fly to Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi. As a hub for East Indonesia, many airlines fly to and from Makassar. Arriving at Makassar airport, you will head to Toraja. The only way to get to Toraja from Makassar airport is by land. There are no flights between Makassar and Toraja.

There are also buses to Rantepao. The journey takes about 8 hours and includes a meal stop. Several companies in Rantepao run buses back to Makassar. The number of buses per day depends on the number of passengers. The best and easiest way is to contact an experienced travel agent to arrange and take care of your complete itinerary to the Toraja Highlands.