Something of an overgrown village, Rantepao is an easy-to-manage town that lies within striking distance of the region's major sites, and offers a good range of accommodation and restaurants. The centre is a tad scruffy, but traffic isn’t too heavy and the streets quickly merge with farmers' fields on Rantepao's outskirts; you're never far from the crow of a rooster.
Around Tana Toraja
To really experience all that Tana Toraja has to offer, you’ll need to spend a few days exploring the spectacular countryside. Stunning scenery, cascading rice fields, precipitous cliff graves, other-worldly tau tau, hanging graves, soaring tongkonan and colourful ceremonies: this is the wild world of Tana Toraja.
One of the easiest places to stay overnight in Tana Toraja, and also one of the most beautiful, Batutumonga occupies a dramatic ridge on the slopes of Gunung Sesean. From here you will have panoramic views of Rantepao and the Sa’dan Valley, and stunning sunrises. It's located about 20km north of Rantepao via Deri, so you could day-trip here for some hiking and a local lunch.
West of Rantepao
About 2km west across the river from Rantepao, Gunung Singki (930m) is a steep hill with a slippery, overgrown hiking trail to the summit. From the to you'll get panoramic views across Rantepao and the surrounding countryside. Return to the road and head to Siguntu (7km from Rantepao), which offers more superb views of the valleys and Rantepao.