Toraja Burial plot
Prime funeral season is after the harvest in July to October.
The only airport in Tana Toraja is in Rantepao, which was closed for several years for upgrading. The airport reopened in late 2005 and Dirgantara Air Service (DAS) now operates flights three times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, departing from Makassar at 10 AM (30 min, Rp. 250,000 one way). Note that the tiny airport can only handle turboprops and has no navigation gear, so flights are often delayed or cancelled in bad weather. Dirgantara Air Services is on the List of airlines banned within the EU check: http://aviation-safety.net/database/operator/airline.php?var=6336
Tana Toraja is a solid 300-km, 8-10 hour drive from Makassar. The cost is 80,000 Rupiah on an air-conditioned bus from Makassar to Rantepao. There is usually a morning or an overnight bus. Frequent mikrolets/bemos leave from Makassar to the bus terminal and take about 40 minutes.
By taxi or charted vehicle
A chartered car usually costs about 700,000 Rupiah one-way from Makassar. It is possible to find one for a few hundred thousand less if you can coordinate with someone who is driving in that direction. If you plan on staying for a few days and would like the return trip as well, a driver with car should cost about 400,000 Rupiah per day.
Bemo/mikrolet rides run from 2,000Rp for short rides of a few kilometers up to 10,000 Rp.
Most hotels will put pressure to hire a local guide for 150,000+ Rp a day. Although it can be expensive if you are on a budget, a guide can provide a lot of insight into the local practices and customs.
It is still possible to visit most of the famous sites and funerals on your own, although information can be hard to find from most hotel operators. Tora Tora Primitive Art Gallery has a very friendly English-speaking owner who provides free maps of the area. It is located on the main street in Rantepao.
There are many walks (1-3hrs) that pass by many different types of gravesites, including the most popular sites. Most can be reached by short bemo rides from Rantepao and do not require guides.
Ballok. Buy it on the street. The darker, the stronger but be warned, it can be very strong.