Tana Toraja ( Toraja Land ), which lies in the north of the province is known for its unique culture and ancient traditions. The center of tourism is Rantepao, 328 km from Ujung Pandang by road. There are several small bungalow hotels at Rantepao, and Makale, the district capital. The entry to Tana Toraja is marked by a gate built in traditional boat-shaped architecture.
The road passes through the mountains of Kandora and Gandang on which, according to Toraja mythology, the first ancestors of celestial beings descended from heaven. The majority of the people still follows an ancestral cult called Aluk Todolo which governs all traditional ceremonies. From Rantepao, side trips can be made to Kete, a traditional village where there are handicraft and unique shops. Behind the village there is a grave site on a hillside. Life-size statues guard over old coffins. As roads are not always paved, it is necessary to use a jeep or walk if the weather is good (between May and October).
There are several steps how to get to Tana Toraja from Bali:
Flight from Bali – Makassar
The fastest way to get Makassar is by airline. The flights leave from Ngurah Rai Airport, Denpasar, Bali to Sultan Hasanuddin Airport, Makassar. It takes about 45 minutes , and go to Makassar Bus Terminal.
Bus from Makassar – Rantepao ( Tana Toraja )
Many buses ply the arduous route from Makassar to Rantepao, and most of these buses are safe European-style coaches with air-conditioning. The most reliable bus operator to Rantepao is Litha & Co ( who are the only bus company to depart from Makassar Bus Terminal ), but other companies are available, such as New Liman or Bintang Prima.
Though these companies depart for Rantepao from elsewhere in the city. Whoever you travel with, you can expect to pay at least 80,000 Rupiah per person each way, and for a slightly higher standard of comfort ( Executive Class ), 130,000 Rupiah per person.