Spend six days exploring Indonesia's Tana Toraja region, home of the traditions and rituals of the Torajan ethnic group. Enjoy a scenic journey from Makassar as you leave the stunning coastline for mountains and thick forests. Visit the Cliffs of Lemo and learn the Torajans' beliefs about death. Explore the villages of Ke'te and Palawa with their traditional sweeping roofed homes before hiking among rice fields, bamboo fields, and cocoa plantations.


  • Experience a scenic journey from the sea to limestone cliffs in South Sulawesi
  • Learn the rituals of the Torajan people and see key burial sites in the Toraja
  • Explore the traditional markets and villages of Ke'te Kesu and Palawa 
  • Hike through authentic villages, rice terraces, and bamboo forests in North Toraja

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Jakarta Jakarta
Day 2 Transfer to Tana Toraja via Makassar Tana Toraja
Day 3 Visit Lemo Cliffs, Londa Burial Caves & Suaya Tana Toraja
Day 4 Explore the Villages of Ke'te Kesu & Palawa  Tana Toraja
Day 5 Visit Sa'dan, Hike to Lempo & Tikala Tana Toraja
Day 6 Transfer to Jakarta via Makassar & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Jakarta

× Istiqlal-Mosque-The...Southeast-Asia
 Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta

Welcome to Jakarta, the capital and largest city in Indonesia! This sprawling city is a melting pot of cultures, including Javanese, Arab, Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European. After checking in at your hotel, go for a stroll through the historic center of Kota Tua, watch the old wooden boats in the harbor at Sunda Kelapa, and sample street food in the Chinatown-like district of Glodok. Get some rest before the next day's adventure begins.

Day 2: Transfer to Tana Toraja via Makassar

Travel through the Sulawesi highlands
Leave Makassar's beautiful coastline

Your adventure starts this morning when you head to South Sulawesi. You'll be transferred to the airport, where you'll take the two-and-a-half-hour flight from Jakarta to Makassar (also known as Ujung Pandang), the capital of South Sulawesi. From there, you'll head eight hours north for Toraja. The drive will lead you along the coast through the plains and the Bugis (an ethnic group) villages. You'll see small towns along the sea, with their tiny houses on stilts. Along the way, visit Bugis houses and fishing villages when you stop for lunch composed of fish specialties in Pare-Pare.

The road then leaves the seaside, turns inland, and follows along the Sa Dan River. As it rises toward the mountain, enjoy magnificent panoramas. Marvel at the stunning change of scenery as the coastal zone is quickly replaced by thick forests, the kingdom of coconut palms. The roads become smaller and more winding, the air turning fresh and cool as you start to spot tongkonan (traditional) houses with roofs shaped like buffalo horns. At the end of the day, you'll arrive in Rantepao, the base for the rest of your trip. Located at the gate of Ke'te Kesu, you'll check in at your hotel and relax.
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Day 3: Visit Lemo Cliffs, Londa Burial Caves & Suaya

Learn more about the Torajan culture as you visit different villages
The cliffs of Lemo with their tau tau

The Torajans are an ethnic group indigenous to the Sulawesi region. They live in houses shaped like boats and worship the water buffalo, the only animal capable of transporting the souls of the deceased on the path of their ancestors. They organize grandiose funeral ceremonies which last several days, and their systems of tombs are suspended and installed on the cliffs above. You'll start today with a visit to the cliffs of Lemo with tau tau (the dolls of the dead), where these realistic wooden statues of deceased persons line up on several balconies.

Next, enter the burial caves of Londa with lanterns in hand, and explore the contours filled with stalagmites and stalactites. Witness the royal tombs of Suaya, among the oldest preserved, and the burial site of the royal family of Sangalla. No one else except these royals is allowed to be buried in the massive rock; hence, large parts are still unused. In 1972, the burial of the last king of Toraja took place here. Afterward, you'll continue with a short walk to Tampangg'alo, another fascinating Toraja site. 

Day 4: Explore the Villages of Ke'te Kesu & Palawa 

Explore the royal family tombs in Tana Toraja
Typical family homes in Ke'te Kesu and Palawa

Visit the colorful market of  Rantepao before discovering the villages of Ke'te Kesu and Palawa with their family houses called Tongkonan. Ke'te Kesu sits amid a vast expanse of rice fields and is over 400 years old. It is considered a living museum where you can experience the rituals and traditions of the Torajan people. This village, along with many in the region, is known for its fascination with death. This is seen through its extravagant funeral ceremonies, hanging graves, and decorative burial sites. It has the most well-preserved megalithic culture and death-celebrating traditions in Toraja.

After lunch, visit Bori' Kalimbuang, a UNESCO World Heritage site often compared to Stonehenge in England. The area accommodates 102 megalithic-era menhirs (stones) of various sizes embedded in the ground in an upright position. The stones commemorate the souls of villagers, and it remains a place of worship for ancestors and important ceremonies. After exploring the site, you'll return to the hotel at the end of the afternoon. 

Day 5: Visit Sa'dan, Hike to Lempo & Tikala

The road to Lempo

After breakfast, your driver and guide will take you to visit Sa'dan, a village known for traditional weaving. Afterward, you'll head to Tinimbayo, the starting point for a hike to Lempo, which is the most scenic in North Toraja. You will enjoy the beautiful view of the rice field terraces and the panorama of North Toraja. As you walk, you'll snake through authentic villages, witness farmers working in their rice fields, see cocoa plantations, and wander in bamboo forests. 

You'll have lunch at the Mentirotiku restaurant offering a magnificent view of the valley. You'll then make a leisurely descent on foot to Tikala, passing children returning from school, villagers preparing the market, and artisans who make knives and other handicrafts. When the tour is finished, you'll head back to your hotel.

Day 6: Transfer to Jakarta via Makassar & Depart

Travel through the Sulawesi highlands
The view along the coast of Makassar

Following breakfast, you'll transfer back to Makassar with a stop at Puncak Lakawan for a coffee break to admire the magnificent view of Mount Buttukabobong. Enjoy a seafood lunch in Pare-Pare before arriving at Makassar airport for your connecting flight to Jakarta and beyond. Safe travels!

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Map of Wander South Sulawesi: Rituals & Traditions of Indonesia - 6 Days
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