Mount Rantemario, reaching an elevation of 3478 m, is the highest point in Latimojong mountain range in South Sulawesi, as well as the highest mountain of Sulawesi altogether. Due to its remoteness is sparsely visited, especially by foreigners, so it can be a great destination for one seeking profound wilderness. It does not lie within a national park, thus no entrance fees are applied, nor having a guide is mandatory. There is one single trail reaching its top, ascending from the west, which is very well signposted and straightforward. Doing it independently is the best choice, though, if one wants so, there is a number of tour agencies operating in Makassar, Makale or Rantepao who could take care of the logistics. it is perfectly plausible for one to do the round trip in one day, though most commonly one overnight would be required.
The trailhead (S 3.41690 E 119.99023) is located at the village of Karangan. Reaching there without own vehicle would be very ineffective, if possible at all, and it is not recommended. However, if one has no other choice, the idea would be to get some sort of public transport to Baraka town, where you can ask to hire someone to drive you to Karangan. In such a case bear in mind that there is scarcely anybody speaking the slightest bit of English around that area. Renting your own car would be a better choice, though not 100% reliable, as the road, especially towards the end, may at times be impassable. The most reliable choice, though not the most comfortable, would be to drive thither on motorbike. Anyhow, you should first reach Baraka and from there continue to Karangan. Coming from the north, you leave the main road at Kalosi village. Coming from the south, at Mataran. Be aware that there is a labyrinth of small mountain roads after you leave the main road, and GPS I found not to be any trustworthy. You better ask for directions frequently (if you do not know Indonesian, you will basically only understand the hand-pointing after just pronouncing the name of your destination). Allow at least 2-3 hours, after you leave the main road, by motorbike and as much as the double by car.
Once at the village, you will be kindly asked by the villagers to park your vehicle at some designated spot. From there you keep following the road walking for a few hundred meters till it ends by the bank of a river. You will there see a bridge crossing the river and leading up to a path along the northern slope of the ravine. You neglect that one and you rather head straight where you’ll find another path moving along the southern slope. That's where the trail starts. The trail is divided into 8 sections, each of them terminating at a resting area signposted as "pos", with pos 8 being the summit. The first part of the trail runs up the hills through the coffee-plantations of the villagers. I didn’t see any signs at that part but it’s pretty much one path only, except one point where you should pay some attention, when another path comes sharply from up the left where you can see a shack in a few meters distance. There you should take that one instead of going straight. It takes about 30 min. to pos 1 (S3.41392 E119.99825). From there on you enter the rainforest and the trail is well-marked all the way to the top. This part goes first up quite smoothly and descends into the ravine till, after another 30 min., it reaches the river, where pos 2 (S3.41014 E120.00708) is. From pos 2 to pos 3 is the hardest part of the trail, heading straight up very steeply and being slippery as a joke when wet. The next two parts continue to head up through the rainforest but in a much smoother inclination. In pos 5 (S3.40118 E120.01938) the next water source is to be found, and as it is quite spacious also, it can make an ideal camping ground, especially for larger groups. Further up the trail gets steeper and continues through the rainforest till pos 6 (S3.39957 E120.02333), from where the vegetation starts to give out gradually allowing you to get the first glimpses of the view of what you have been climbing up all this time, until it gets at its best upon reaching pos 7 (S3.39479 E120.02754). There is a small stream running there and makes a good possibility for a campsite. From there on the trail continues generally flat for some more minuets and there you are on the top!
Just to go... No permissions, no fees, no guides, no blabla... That's why I love Indonesia!
When to Climb
Whenever you please.
Good space and water sources at "pos" 2,5,7
My account on climbing Mount Rantemario + map