Tana Toraja can be reached from many cities within Indonesia or the island of Sulawesi, though mostly visitors come via Makassar by inter-state buses. Starting the journey to Tana Toraja from Makassar by land is a relatively good with magnificent sceneries along the way (land, sea and a tortuous route with stunning mountainous views at the last part of the journey). However the trip to Rantepao from Makassar or vise versa usually takes about 8 to 9 hours journey.
Aiming to reduce travel times, PT Transnusa Air Services has opened new routes from Makassar to Pongtiku Airport, Tana Toraja and vice versa started on 3rd December 2016. The flight takes around 45 minutes on a Fokker 50 plane. Passengers travelling via a hub airport might have a compulsory overnight stopover in Makassar before continuing their journey the next day depending on the weather condition.
Transnusa flies from Monday – Saturday with the following flight schedule :
- Ujung Pandang (Makassar) – Tana Toraja (Estimate time departure 09:30 – Estimate time arrival 10:15)
- Tana Toraja – Ujung Pandang (Makassar) (Estimate time departure 11:00 – Estimate time arrival 11:45)
- Type of Aircraft : Fokker 50 – Twin Turbodrop
- Manufacture : 1987 – 1997
- Passangers Capacity : 48 seats
- Baggage Allowance : 10 Kg/pax
About Tana Toraja:
Tana Toraja is safely protected beyond the lofty mountains and rugged granite cliffs of the central highlands of the island of Sulawesi and the home of the Toraja people. The nobility of Toraja are believed to be descendents of heavenly beings who came down by a heavenly stairway to live here on earth in this beautiful landscape. To keep up the energy of the land and its people, the Toraja people believe that these must be sustained through rituals that celebrate both life and death, which are attached to the agricultural seasons. Tourists to Toraja, therefore, are either attracted by its unique culture and rituals, most of which are mostly centered around graves and death ceremonies. While others prefer to avoid the morbid images and go trekking through the spectacular, almost untouched Toraja countryside visiting remote villages, or exhilarate in rafting the Sa’dan river rapids.
“Discovered” and opened to the world from their long isolation only since the beginning of the last century, the Toraja people today still adhere to their age-old beliefs, rituals and traditions, although many have modernized or have become Christians. When one travels to the Tana Toraja highlands, therefore, expect to be awed by the spectacular beauty of nature, at the same time experience how communities have through the ages sustained their beliefs and traditions in splendid isolation in order to live in harmony in this eternal cycle of life and death on earth.
How to get there
To get to Tana Toraja one must fly to Sultan Hasanuddin airport in Makassar, capital of the province of South Sulawesi. As a hub for East Indonesia there are many airlines flying to and from Makassar.
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