Tentena is a city in Region name.
Tentena sits on the road between Ampana and Rantepao. The town itself could be easily overlooked if it were not for the number of guides and locals recommending it as a better option than Poso for an overnight stop.
The main street might be a little underwhelming, however the various warungs and homes build over the clear lake waters, and the surrounding rice fields give this charming little town a surpsising appeal.
The community exists on two sides of the lake, connected by a busy concrete traffic bridge and a quieter, wooden foot bridge. The main side of the lake is the more commercial area, while the oposite site has a noticeably quieter and more homely feel.
The arrival point is the Bus Terminal - a simple drop-off point on the side of the road. From here its a 4km walk into the main areas of guesthouses and shops. A better option is to flag down a local Ojek (motorbike) to take you and your luggage in for a mere 5,000IDR.
If you are arriving from Rantepao, 'tourist guides' will be on hand to suggest accomodation options. They are likely to charge you double the normal rate for an Ojek (motorbike) ride; however the late arrival of the bus from Rantepao (anywhere between 8pm and 11pm depending on road conditions) means the touts can save you from a long walk in the dark.
Ojeks (motorbikes) can take you to most local spots for around 5,000IDR
The main attraction within Tentena is the lake, which has beautiful clear water, adjacent warungs (and some home-stays under construction) and a peaceful vibe. 2 parallel bridges exist to bring you back and forth. Its worth exploring the opposite side of the lake for guesthouses, homestays and warungs.
By all accounts the Tentena waterfall -while a little tough to reach - is one of the best available; notable for the lack of other tourists and businesses. There are approximately 10 drops, each of which you can bathe in. A nice relief from the heat of Sulawesi, and worth if considering if you have time.
Victory Hotel has good, clean rooms in both budget (110,000IDR per person) and delux (150,000 IDR with tv and hot shower). All prices include breakfast. A good option for a single night.
If you're in town for a few nights, clean and well priced options can be found on the oposite side of the lake. These include Tropicana, Online Rock Cafe (under construction) and others. The oposite side is worth exploring for the peaceful atmosphere (away from the traffic and 'bussle') superior views of the lake and nearby farmlands, and good range of warungs.
All connections in Tentena are made from the Bus Terminal, 4km out of town. Ojeks (motorbikes) are easily chartered to take you and your luggage to the Terminal for Rp 5,000.
Buses conect Tentena with Rantepao (10 hours, Rp 110,000).
To reach Ampana, Bemos will take you first from the Tentena Bus Terminal to Poso (2 hours, Rp 20,000) where you can board a Bus to Ampana (a further 4 hours from Poso, Rp 70,000). Taxis and private vehicles will hover by the Poso Bus station trying to convince you that the Bus is not available. Predictably, once it is apparent you intend to wait for the bus, the price of Taxis and Private vehicles will become more competive (sometimes the same price as a bus seat).
There are no Buses from Tentena to Poso.