Rantepao's small airport has flights Tuesdays and Fridays from Makassar via Merpati Airlines for Rp.210,000. Be warned though that it is possible the flight could be cancelled last minute due to aircraft maintenance or insufficient passengers.
From Makassar, you can reach Rantepao by coach bus with Metropermai (located on Perintis Kemerdekaan) for Rp140,000 (May 2015 price), leaving daily at 9am or 9pm. These busses are comfortable and air conditioned, allowing you to use them for a night's accommodation. Your hotel can reserve you a seat. Note that this departure location is closer to the main city than the Terminal Daya option, which offers faster kijangs, but ultimately both options should take you ~8-9 hrs with traffic.
From Sengkang you would need to travel by bemo to Lawawoi first (30.000rp June 2015). Tell the driver you want to go to Rantepao so he will drop you off at some intersection where Kijiang pass that will take you to Rantepao in about 4-4.5 hours. Cost 70.000rp June 2015
Scooters are easily arranged for in homestays. There are also several rental places but they will usually require the motorbike be returned by 17 PM if you rent per day. Usual price is Rp80k per day. (July 2015)
Rumah Makan Ande (A cheap and delicious local Indonesian restaurant. Lovely woman that runs it. Look for big red and yellow sign.), (on Jl Diponegoro, a stone's throw from Jl Ahmed Yani (the main drag).). Rp 15000+). edit
La Moraipa Cheap restaurant with delicious local food, specially the "Pangrarang" (pork). Young and lovely couple, always able to help you. They speak english. On Jl. Mangadil Nº2 close to Indomaret Supermarket. Rp 5000+
The Palm Wine / Ballo’
Ballo’ is a local beverage known as palm wine, which is usually served in a bamboo tube. The wine is produced from tapping palm trees (Nira in the local language). The sap is extracted and collected from the cut flower of the palm tree. It is collected in a container is fastened to the trunk. The white liquid that initially collects tends to be very sweet and non-alcoholic before it is fermented.
The homemade wine contains a small amount of alcohol when the fermentation process has finished. Traditional Ballo’ has two flavors; sweet and sour. The flavor of the drink is the result of the fermentation process and the quality of the Nira tree.
Ballo’ is usually served at ceremonial events (Rambu Tuka’ & Rambu Solo’) where all the family members are gathered. It is believed this typical drink will keep the heat of the body and give the person who drinks it energy, thereby prolonging their life.
Wisma Monton, Jl. Abdul Gani 14A. Double rooms for 150,000 Rp (Oct 2015) with western toilet and shower. Includes breakfast (ask for an additional telur) and free water refill. As good wifi as you get in Rantepao.
Riana Homestay. Small family-operated home stay with 4-5 spacious rooms. Hot water shower with good pressure, good WiFi, clean rooms with fan and friendly hosts. Simple breakfast included & motorbike for hire available. Rp150,000-300,000 depending on season and your negotiating skills. [email protected], +6281 343 696 270
Hotel Pison, Jl. Pongtiku No. 8., Clean & spacious rooms, hot shower, balcony, free WiFi, great restaurant, helpful & friendly staff, rp. 170,000. Slightly out of town (10 min walk to main centre). Beside Pia Poppies hotel (another decent option. Very quirky.)
Toraja Heritage Hotel, Jl. Kete Kesu, first 4 star hotel in Toraja, superior and deluxe rooms are in a traditional Torajan house (tonkonan)
Wisma Maria 1. Simple cheap hotel well located. Rooms a bit tired, some missing toilet seats, but relatively mosquito proof, and clean. Rp140,000 to Rp220,000 depending on single/double and hot/cold shower. Breakfast choice is: no choice. You get eggs and home baked toasts with home made jam, fruit juice. Local guides will come in the morning to find clients - prepare to be 'hunted' for. Scooters available for rent.
Pia's Poppies. Rp176.000,- decent spacious rooms, no AC, some of them with mosquito net. Free wifi in the restaurant, breakfast is a bit pricey for what it is, otherwise good value. Only 10 minute walk from the center. Welcome drink.
Government Tourist Information Center The tourist information office which Government-owned is located at Jl. A. Yani, Rantepao, which is open from 7 am to 1 pm from Monday to Saturday. Phone: +62-423-21277