2 days in Makassar
Day 1: In the morning we visit Fort Rotterdam, representing 300 years of Dutch rule in Sulawesi. Lunch in one of Makassar’s numerous Seafood restaurants. In the afternoon: Benteng Somba Opu, the 17th-century citadel of the rulers of Makassar. A stroll through the large park, exploring the archaeological remains of the fort, finally visiting the musician Daeng Serang and his traditional drummers.
Day 2: A visit to Paotere, the old traditional harbour with its wooden boats lining up along the pier. We then take a stroll through the remains of Makassar’s China Town, and end up at Pantai Losari, the city’s sea-side promenade.
5 days Toraja
Day 1: We start our journey to Toraja with an excursion to the limestone mountains of Maros, where ancient caves contain some of the oldest rock paintings known worldwide. The road, then, winds up through spectacular mountains covered with tropical forest into the heart of South Sulawesi. After a drive through the scenic land of the Bugis, arrival in Sengkang in the late afternoon, where we will stay overnight.
Day 2: Sengkang is the ‘Silk City’. We visit a traditional weaving factory where finest silk clothes are produced. Optionally, we go for a boat trip to the floating houses on the Tempe Lake in Sengkang. Lunch in a panorama restaurant in the mountains of Enrekang. Passing the city of Makale, we arrive in Rantepao, capital of North Toraja Regency, in the afternoon.
Day 3: Today we explore the south of Toraja: A short drive brings us to the Tau Tau of Suaya, and the baby grave tree of Kambira. After lunch in a scenic restaurant, we take walk alongside a panorama road, followed by refreshments in a traditional setting. On the way back north we visit Lemo and/or Londa, famous stone graves nominated as UNESCO World Heritage.
Day 4: We are heading further north today. First stop is Palawa, a beautiful traditional village. The road then takes us high up into the slopes of Mountain Sesean and the area of Batutumonga, land above the clouds. The scenery gets more spectacular after every curve, until we reach Lokomata, which seems to be world’s end. In the afternoon, Kete Kesu will be our last stop: One of the oldest villages in Toraja, and, at the outskirts of the village, one of the spookiest burial sites.
Day 5: We return to Makassar on a different route which takes us along South Sulawesi’s longest river, the Sungai Saddang, through endless rice fields and, finally, to the ocean. Lunch in the pretty coastal city Pare Pare. We arrive in Makassar in the late afternoon.
5 days Bira
Day 1: A drive through Sulawesi’s fisher towns with several stops. Fancy a try of the famous Jeneponto horse soup? We arrive in Bira in the early afternoon, time for a rest or a walk at white beaches under coconut trees.
Day 2: Swimming and snorkeling at the Bara and Bira beaches: White sand, coconut palms, the warm sea. A snorkeling trip by boat to the offshore islands is also possible
Day 3: We visit the traditional boat builders in Tanah Beru, including fish fresh from the sea for lunch. The traditional knowledge of the local boatbuilding became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018.
Day 4: Panrang Luhuk, a village under palm trees, where people live in stilt houses and go for fishing every day. Modern life has arrived in the harbor at the entrance of the village. We visit a fish market with the delicacies of the sea.
Day 4: The Kajang people reject modern life and do not allow electricity, chairs or bicycles. A visit to Tana Toa Village must be approved by the village government and visitors must adhere to local rules: no photos, no shoes, black clothes. Since wheelchairs are also prohibited as too modern, guests who can not walk must be carried – which is why this very special excursion is unfortunately not suitable for everyone. Then it’s back to Makassar.