The Derawan islands must be everyone’s dream of the
perfect tropical paradise: warm, isolated islands with soft white sand
beaches fringed with waving palm trees, pristine seas that change color
from green to deep blue, and an amazing underwater life of giant
turtles, dolphins, manta rays, dugongs and barracudas, stingless
jellyfish and sometimes, whales Derawan is indeed one of world’s
richest areas in bio-diversity. Small wonder that the Derawan Islands
are considered the third best dive destination in the world.
just away from the mainland of East Kalimantan in the district of
Berau, the Derawan archipelago comprises 31 islands, most well known
among these are the islands of Derawan, Maratua, Sangalaki and Kakaban.
Here is Indonesia’s largest nesting site of the rare and endangered
giant green turtles and hawksbill turtles, where one can daily watch
turtles lay their eggs in the sand or swim to sea with the turtles. The
entire marine conservancy region covers a total area of no less than
1.27 million hectares.
Here, you can find 460 different species
of corals, ranking this area second only to the Raja Ampat Islands in
West Papua. The Nature Conservancy and a team of international experts
also found more than 870 species of fish here, ranging from tiny pygmy
seahorses to giant manta rays. On some days, groups of up to 50 manta
rays have been seen feeding together in Derawan’s waters, says the
While on Kakaban, you can find the world’s largest
and most diverse jellyfish lake, including four unique species of
stingless jellyfish one of which can swim upside down. It is for this
reason that Kakaban is considered for UNESCO nomination as a World
To reach Derawan, SilkAir flies
from Singapore to Balikpapan in East Kalimantan.
Or you can take
a flight from Jakarta, Surabaya or Denpasar to Balikpapan or Tarakan by
Garuda Indonesia or Mandala Air. Then take a connecting flight by
either KALStar, Deraya airlines or DAS to Tanjung Redeb in Berau. From
here, boats will take you to the islands.
Derawan Islands have a large number of unique and protected species,
among which are the coconut crabs, whales, dolphins and dugongs. The
coconut crabs are found near the islands of Kakaban and Maratua, while
whales and dolphins in particular months can be seen around Semama,
Sangalaki, Kakaban and Maratua. Dugongs swim around Pulau Panjang and
Semama, and manta rays are found around Sangalaki with pygmy seahorses
around Semama and Derawan. Other protected species are the barracuda.
are a total of 28 dive points identified here. Avid divers will need at
least 10 days to explore them all.
Derawan resort provides transportation and diving equipments. For
accomodation, the resort offers Kalimantan-style cottages facing the
sea. There are also simpler accommodation and restaurant facilities
available on Derawan and cottages on other islands.
You can also
book liveaboards (boats designed for people living aboard them, usually
for long journeys) to Derawan from Bali.
Quoted from : http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/430/derawan-archipelago
Supported by : JavaTourism, Lintang Buana Tours