Rammang Rammang Maros: Karst Village By Makassar, Sulawesi
Rammang Rammang Maros is a group of villages in the karst mountains of south Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The scenery at this place is really mind blowing. Watch out for dinosaurs. You never know what you might see here.
Seriously though, with the possible exception of some places in Hawaii, I’ve never been anywhere that looks more like Jurassic Park.This travel guide will explain how to get there, and everything you need to know before you go!
What Is It?
The karst mountains at Rammang Rammang Maros were formed by limestone erosion over the ages, and they’ve been settled since prehistoric times. The name means ‘set of clouds or mist’.
This is one of the biggest karst areas in the world, right behind the Tsingy area in Madagascar and Shilin in China. I also think it has a lot of similarities to Krabi in Thailand and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, although that last one is underwater now.
As of 2020 this place is still mostly unknown to tourists, but it’s easily one of my favorite spots to explore in Indonesia!
How To Get There
Rammang Rammang Maros is located in south Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The nearest airport is Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG) in Makassar, which has direct flights from Bali (DPS) or Kuala Lumpur (KUL).
Rammang is a 1 hour drive from the Makassar airport, or a 1.5 hour drive from the city center.
The two best transport options are with a day driver or a taxi (more information on this below).
Our Makassar Driver
The easiest way to visit Rammang is to book a driver from Makassar for the day, which should cost about 600-650k IDR ($45 USD) for the whole car and driver (for 12 hours).
We booked a trip with Dodo Mursalim from Makassar and he was punctual and helpful. You can contact him on his Facebook page or via WhatsApp at ☎ +62 812-4129-913.
It costs about 100-150k IDR ($7-10 USD) one way. The downside with a taxi is that you’ll need to find a driver for the return trip. There won’t be Grab or Go-Jek drivers in the Maros area, which means you’ll have to get a local taxi from the village.
The return trip with a local taxi from Rammang can cost upwards of 200-300k ($20) since it’s a remote area and they can determine their own pricing.
Nasrul, the friendly owner of Nasrul Homestay in Rammang, can arrange a return taxi for you if you need it. His WhatsApp is ☎ +62 823-4700-2175.
Visiting Rammang Rammang
The best way to explore Rammang is on foot and by traditional boat. There are walking paths that you can use to reach all of the main objects of interest, and the trails are pretty flat.
There’s no entry fee for visiting Rammang. All of the trails are 100% free unless you take a boat trip up the Pute river (more on this later).
Best Things To Do & See
This is not a complete list of all the interesting things to do and see at Rammang, but just some of my favorites.
All of these can be seen in a day trip.
🔸 Berua Village (Kampung Berua)
This is the highlight of any trip to Rammang.
There’s a big pond reflecting the mountains and jungle, with 3 perfect palm trees lined up in a row. It’s an epic view that never gets old!
The main way to get to Berua is by boat (see below), but there’s also a secret path to hike there.
🔸 Pute River Boat Trips
Boat trips on the Pute river are one of the most popular ways to explore Rammang.
I skipped this because it’s a bit overpriced for only one or two travelers — 200k ($14) return per boat. If you have other people to share the boat with, then the price would be worth it.
You can fit 6 people per boat.
🔸 Fireflies Cave (Goa Kunang Kunang)
This is a big cave with sparkling limestone formations that look like fireflies blinking at night.
The cave is big enough that you’ll have to climb a couple of ladders to reach the top.
It’s impossible to capture the lights and colors here with a camera, so you’ll have to go see it for yourself!
🔸 Prehistoric Cave (Goa Bulu Barakka)
This is a small cave with some prehistoric painted art.
If you look around, there are two ancient hand prints left here by humans in ages past.
Side note: if you’re looking for the best hand prints and cave art, those are at Leang Leang, a separate geopark nearby.
🔸 Stone Forest
This is a group of weird pointy looking rocks mixed in with trees and bushes.
From a distance it really does look like a stone forest.
Best Time To Visit
The best months to visit Rammang Rammang Maros are in the dry season, especially from April to August when things are greenest.
You can visit outside of these months, but it may be more dried out (at the end of the dry season) or rainy (in the middle of the wet season).
The best time of day to visit is early in the morning, before the wind picks up.
This is good for photos, because you’ll be able to capture the reflections in the ponds at Berua village. It’s also much less hot in the morning compared to midday.
EXTRA: Leang Leang
After visiting Rammang, there’s another karst geopark near Makassar called Leang Leang.
This one is known for its prehistoric caves with some of the oldest man made art in the world.
If you have time, check out both Rammang and Leang!
More info: Leang Leang Prehistoric Park
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the 3-star Pesonna Hotel in Makassar city, and paid $20 USD for a private double room with cold A/C and hot shower.
They have a restaurant on site, and a nice pool. My only gripe is that the WiFi is really slow. Still, I haven’t found a better value in the Makassar area! It’s hard to beat this price for a clean double or twin room.
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.