Indonesia - as an archipelago - has an area of mostly water. Then, it is so obvious, when Indonesia has many islands tourism potential. Indonesia has many unspoiled islands. Because of that, I often get confused about what I am going to write about :)

Travelling to the remote islands has unique challenges. In order to get to such kind of tourism spot you have to travel overland, sea, and even air. Facilities available are not as complete as in big cities. Trips to Derawan Islands, Berau, East Kalimantan (Borneo) is among one of them. Derawan Islands consists of four islands destinations, they are Derawan Island, Sangalaki Island, Kakaban and Maratua Island. Each island has its own beauty.

View from Derawan Island

From the results of studies supposedly recorded more than 870 species of fish, ranging from pygmy seahorses that are very small to giant manta rays. Endangered species such as the green turtle, hawksbill, and some economically valuable species commonly found in the region. Sangalaki Island is the kingdom of the green turtle. If you are patient enough and when the high tides at certain hours, the turtle's footprint can be found after the spawn, and if you're lucky, you can see turtles laying their eggs directly.

Cute little turtle

Kakaban island has an area of 774.20 hectares, while the lake on it about 390 hectares. At first Kakaban island is an atoll with a lagoon in the middle of the reef formed over 2 million years ago. Then it geologically lifted  for thousands of years. The sea water is then trapped in a lagoon and formed a lake. Eventually the water's salinity changes, becoming more tasteless than the surrounding sea.

The ancient world of jelly fish

Changes in the nature of lake water also affect the creatures in the lake. Creatures that live in the lake have evolved to adjust to changes in their environment creates a new, very unique ecosystem. The most striking changes occurred in jellyfishes. They are losing the ability to sting. The existence of unique jellyfish is the main attraction Kakaban lake. Whey the day getting darker the thousands of jellyfish and other creatures in the lake will be casting colored light.

Kakaban Island and its lake


The nearest airport to Derawan Islands is Sepinggan International Airport, located in Balikpapan. Flights from Jakarta took almost 2 hours. If you start the journey from Denpasar, Bali, Denpasar-Balikpapan flight takes 1.5 hours.
Then, the journey can continue towards Berau through the air. Travel time from the Sepinggan to Kalimarau Airport (Berau) about 30 minutes. There are four flights from Balikpapan to Berau, some flight services are Trigana Air and Batavia Air.
From Kalimarau, you can rent a car to the Port of Tanjung Batu. One-way rental prices ranging from Rp 350,000. Road trip from the airport to Tanjung Batu is about two hours. 
From Tanjung Batu, the journey continues by speedboat to the Derawan island about 20 minutes. Prices start from Rp 250,000 per vessel for the capacity of three to five people.

just dive!

The alternative way to get to Berau from Balikpapan is aboard a plane toward  Tarakan (Juwata International Airport). 
From the airport you can take a taxi to the SDF port
From SDF continued on speed boat to Tanjung Selor port. 
From Tanjung Selor, you can ride travel car to Tanjung Redeb, Berau.

Now you've in Derawan Island. If you would like explore the islands, you can rent a boat in Derawan. The rental price of fast ship to explore the islands is around Rp 1,500,000 per vessel/day. From Derawan Island to Kakaban Island take up to two hours by speed boat. Then, from Kakaban Island to Sangalaki Island takes approximately 30 minutes.


With a long journey, then you will need lodging in Tanjung Redeb, Berau. One of them is the Hotel Bumi Segah which is across the river Segah. This hotel is equipped with a restaurant, meeting room, coffee lounge, ballroom, and banquet. This hotel is one of the best hotels in Berau.
Other hotel choices in Berau is Hotel Sederhana which is well located in the heart of Tanjung Redeb. Indeed, not many hotels in Berau, because most travelers straight to the Derawan island and stay there.
On the Derawan island the lodging is widely available. Home stay rental rates per day ranging from Rp 125,000. Tourists can stay on Bumi Menore Interbuana Resort with a natural atmosphere, and the building made of wood. Prices start from Rp 385,000 per night for two people. Another resort is floating cottage in Maratua, Nabucco Island Resort.
Natural charming waters scenery of Maratua is a daily sight here. 

Natural Conservation
Kakaban lake
Traditional fishing platform (karamba)
Inside the karamba

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1 comment:

  1. Love that little turtle's photo as well that jelly fish adventure, they do look so fun! I haven't done diving though snorkeling I think is as enjoyable.. or should I start getting a diving lesson now? for Derawan Islands I will.


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