What can we say other than wow! Today's visit with the Prince of Bali was like stepping onto the set of a movie or going back in time to a bygone era.
The rugged highlands of Sulawesi are home to the Toraja people, an indigenous population whose name derives from a derogatory Bugis word that means "bumpkin"! While the Toraja today are mostly Christian, they have held on to some of their customs and beliefs, particularly their elaborate funerary rites. In addition, the surrounding landscape is an excellent destination for outdoor sports and activities, among them watersports and trekking.
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While many Torajans are now Christian, converted by missionaries under the Dutch colonial administration, many still practice the rites of their religion, Aluk Todolo, an amalgam of animism and ancestor worship. Learn about the intricate funerary rites of the Torajans, particularly the use of multiple burials, cave chambers, and wooden likenesses called tau-tau.
Attend a buffalo sacrifice at a funeral rite. Enjoy a meal with the local natives as you learn about their norms, mores and culture. Such feasts can last for days, if not weeks.
Visit a Torajaland coffee plantation, where you can learn about the local means of production and cultivation. Take a sip of a special blend and if you wish, purchase coffee to bring back home with you.
Visit the village of Palawa, which offers an excellent example of tongkonan, traditional Toraja homes. These unique edifices are perched on columns with vast roofs that curve upwards in imitation of the sweep of a buffalo’s horns. A family’s wealth may be measured in columns of buffalo horns displayed outside the home. Meet local villagers and, through your guide and interpreter, chat with them about their lives.
Rantepao is the largest town in Tana Toraja, and is home to a fascinating market. Upwards of 600 buffalo, an animal integral to the Toraja way of life (and death) are on sale at any given time at Rantepao, with some fetching such astronomical prices as 22,000 USD. You will also see hundreds of pigs and many other animals for sale here, including roosters who are assessed for their prowess in cockfighting.
This 6-day tour of South Sulawesi will leave you spellbound, as it takes you through the sunny, friendly island’s beaches and forests. You’ll comb Bila beach, observe traditional boat building, meet tribes people living in the world’s oldest land, and check out the traditional hanging graves of Tana Toraja.
Travel 13 days in sheer luxury aboard your private jet to some of the most hidden corners of Indonesia. You’ll explore the ancient Borobudur in Yogyakarta, spot orangutans in Borneo, marvel at traditional burial grounds in Tana Toraja, enter the secret lairs of the Komodo dragon, and stay in luxury Indonesia hotels.
Experience Indonesia to the fullest on this private jet and yacht 10-day luxury voyage. You’ll fly in style as you uncover Yogyakarta’s ancient Borobudur, spot exotic orangutans playing at Camp Leakey, dive and snorkel in idyllic Makassar, and charter a luxurious, private cruise ship to the exotic Komodo island.
Let a private jet whisk you away on a thrilling 10-day journey through Indonesia’s remarkable history. You’ll fly in style to the UNESCO-listed ruins of Yogyakarta, orangutan rehabilitation grounds in Borneo, the traditional village of Kete Kesu in Tana Toraja, and to your luxury hotel in the cultural center of Ubud.
Toraja Heritage Hotel
At Toraja Heritage Hotel, guests are in for a real treat: located 2,300 feet above sea level, looking out over one of Indonesia’s largest mountain ranges, this hotel prides itself on following the architectural style of traditional Torajan clan houses, complete with traditional furnishings and handicrafts, and a roof shaped like a ship’s prow. But the hotel - the first four-star international hotel in Toraja - also provides world-class amenities and comforts seen around the world, with two outdoor swimming pools, a bamboo bar featuring fresh juice and a “drink of the day”, and even as a flying ropes course for the adventurous type! Venturing off-site, guests can enjoy visits to nearby sites including rice fields and a traditional plait center; staying on the grounds, they can indulge in a spa treatment and order some room service to their luxurious suite.