These journey times and costs are accurate from my June-July 2012 trip. At this time the Makassar–Toraja road was being renovated and resurfaced. This made the journey slower, but once the roadworks are complete, the smooth, wide road should speed everything up.
For the Makassar-Toraja and Toraja-Makassar legs of my trip, I took air-conditioned executive buses, which were very comfortable. Litha & Co has buses departing throughout the day, with the last departure at 10pm; you should arrive at the terminal in plenty of time to ensure you get a ticket because the buses do get full. Bintang Prima’s buses were slightly more luxurious than Litha & Co, but both buses had powerful air-con, reclining seats and adjustable footrests. Both stopped for lunch and a few other times along the journey.
If you want to travel from Tana Toraja all the way to Pantai Bira in one day, you can either hire a car for the whole journey, for which I was quoted prices over a million rupiahs, or you can do as I did and rent your car from Makassar. My rental car with driver met me at the bus terminal on my arrival in Makassar and we arrived at Pantai Bira later that night. If you don’t want to fork out for car rental you’ll have to break your journey with a night in Makassar.
Travelling anywhere by public car, expect to squeeze into half a seat as they normally take ten passengers. From Pantai Bira to Makassar, ask your hotel to book seats in a public car a day before you want to leave.
|Makassar airport to city centre||Under 1 hour||Rp. 100,000 fixed price to Zone 1 destinations|
|Bus Makassar to Tana Toraja (Litha & Co)||9 hours including stops||Rp. 90,000|
|Public car Makale to Rantepao||Under 1 hour||Rp. 5,000 (shorter journeys cost less)|
|Bus Tana Toraja to Makassar (Bintang Prima)||9 hours including stops||Rp. 100,000|
|Private car hire Makassar to Pantai Bira||6 hours including stops||Rp. 600,000|
|Public car (kijang) Pantai Bira to Makassar||6 hours including stops||Rp. 50,000|
|Taxi Mallengkeri bus terminal to central Makassar||–||Rp. 36,000|
|Taxi central Makassar to airport||Under 1 hour||Rp. 80,000|