OverviewRantemario is the highest mountain in Sulawesi. It is located in the Latimojong Range, to the south of the Tana Toraja region, in southwestern Sulawesi. The top is a rather flat area ("rante" = flat, "mario" = quiet). Rantemario, unlike most other Indonesian mountains, is not a volcano. It does not lie too far off the road from Makassar to Rantepao - part of the “beaten track” for visitors to Sulawesi - but getting to the mountain is a bit difficult. Rantemario is not very well known and not much frequented.
The ascent is a steep walk-up through mountain rain forest, which noticeably changes with the altitude. The path is divided into 8 sections. After each section there is a small, signposted clearing, called "pos". There are 8 “pos” altogether, “Pos 8” being the summit. The walking distance between two “pos” is 30 to 60 minutes. The trek is not difficult, nor is it dangerous, though between "Pos 2" and "Pos 3" the trail is in part a bit slippery, especially in wet conditions. The ascent from the starting-point (1,450 m) to the top takes 7 to 8 hours. The difference in altitude is 1,990 m.
Try to be at the top at sunrise, not only to experience a beautiful sunrise but also to have the best chance of getting a clear view. Later the view may soon be blocked by clouds coming up from the rain forest. You can camp at "Pos 7" and walk up to the top before sunrise (see below).
Getting ThereYou can organise the trek to Rantemario in Makassar (formerly Ujung Pandang), Makale or Rantepao. Then go to Baraka via Kalosi (the latter lying on the road from Makassar to Rantepao). There are transport services. From Baraka you have to get a ride in a 4WD vehicle to the village of Rantelemo. There's no scheduled service. You have to ask around for a car. The ride takes 2 to 3 hours. In Rantelemo the dirt road ends and you have to walk for another 2,5 hours to Karangan (1,450 m), the last village, where you will find the trailhead. The owner of one of the houses at the upper end of the village provides accommodation.
Map of Sulawesi
Map of Tana Toraja
CampingThere are no shelters, i.e. not even the roofed wooden platforms on stilts found at the "pos" of some other Indonesian mountains, e.g. Klabat and Rinjani. You can put up a tent at every “pos” including the summit (a rather flat montane heath), but drinking water is available at "Pos 2" and "Pos 7" only. At "Pos 5" you can get it, but from further away. "Pos 7" (3,194 m) is a suitable place to build a base camp. The final ascent to the summit is easy and takes 30 to 45 minutes.
When To CimbMay - October
External LInksKomunitas Petualang Indonesia
You may also be interested in climbing Sirung (Beang, Pantar).