Beach at Derawan Islands
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Tourism In IndonesiaEast KalimantanExperience the Underwater Wonderland of Derawan Islands
East Kalimantan

Experience the Underwater Wonderland of Derawan Islands

Overview

Derawan Islands: A Tropical Paradise with an Underwater Wonderland

The Derawan Islands are a group of 31 islands located off the coast of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. These islands are known for their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. The Derawan Islands are also home to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Why Visit the Derawan Islands?

The Derawan Islands are a popular tourist destination for a number of reasons. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities on the islands, including snorkeling, diving, swimming with turtles, manta ray encounters, shipwreck diving, beach bumming, island hopping, bird watching, and cultural experiences.

What to Expect in the Underwater Wonderland of the Derawan Islands

The Derawan Islands are home to a wide variety of marine life, including over 900 species of fish and 460 species of coral. Visitors can expect to see a variety of marine life while snorkeling and diving in the Derawan Islands, including turtles, manta rays, sharks, dolphins, and fish of all shapes and sizes.

Geographical Overview of Derawan Islands

Where are the Derawan Islands located?

The Derawan Islands are located off the coast of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The islands are located about 200 kilometers northeast of the city of Balikpapan.

Hill at Derawan Islands

The unique makeup of the Derawan Islands archipelago

The Derawan Islands archipelago is made up of 31 islands, of which only 11 are inhabited. The islands are surrounded by a coral reef system that is over 100 kilometers long. The coral reef system in the Derawan Islands is one of the most diverse and well-preserved coral reef systems in the world.

Exploring the Underwater Wonderland of the Derawan Islands

Discover a World of Marine Life and Vibrant Coral Reefs

Snorkeling and diving are two of the most popular activities in the Derawan Islands. Visitors can snorkel and dive at a variety of sites around the islands, including coral reefs, shipwrecks, and underwater caves.

Some of the most popular snorkeling and diving sites in the Derawan Islands include:

  • Kakaban Island: Kakaban Island is home to a unique jellyfish lake. The jellyfish in the lake have lost their stinging ability, making it safe for visitors to swim with them.
  • Maratua Island: Maratua Island is home to a variety of marine life, including turtles, manta rays, and sharks.
  • Sangalaki Island: Sangalaki Island is a nesting site for green turtles and hawksbill turtles. Visitors can snorkel and dive to see the turtles nesting and laying their eggs.

Experience the Awe-Inspiring Sight of Manta Rays Gracefully Gliding Through the Water

Manta ray encounters are another popular activity in the Derawan Islands. Visitors can encounter manta rays at a number of sites around the islands, including cleaning stations and feeding grounds.

Manta rays at Derawan Islands

Some of the best places to encounter manta rays in the Derawan Islands include:

  • Sangalaki Island: Sangalaki Island is one of the best places in the world to see manta rays. Visitors can snorkel and dive to see the manta rays swimming and feeding.
  • Kakaban Island: Kakaban Island is home to a manta ray cleaning station. Visitors can snorkel and dive to see the manta rays being cleaned by small fish.
  • Maratua Island: Maratua Island is home to a variety of marine life, including manta rays, turtles, and sharks. Visitors can snorkel and dive to see the manta rays swimming and feeding.

Explore the Fascinating Underwater World of Sunken Ships

Shipwreck diving is another popular activity in the Derawan Islands. There are a number of shipwrecks located around the islands, including a Japanese warship, a Dutch cargo ship, and an American tanker.

Some of the most popular shipwreck diving sites in the Derawan Islands include:

  • MV Segiri: The MV Segiri was a Dutch cargo ship that sank in 1942. The shipwreck is located in about 30 meters of water.
  • Cesna C47 Dakota: The Cesna C47 Dakota was an American military transport plane that sank in 1945. The wreckage of the plane is located in about 15 meters of water.
  • Japanese Warship: The Japanese warship is a sunken Japanese warship that is located in about 40 meters of water.

Other Activities in the Derawan Islands

Relax on the Pristine Beaches of the Derawan Islands and Soak Up the Sun

The Derawan Islands are home to a number of pristine beaches. Visitors can relax on the beaches and soak up the sun, or they can go for a swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.

Scuba Diving at Derawan Islands

Some of the most popular beaches in the Derawan Islands include:

  • Kakaban Island: Kakaban Island is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Kakatua Beach and Pasir Putih Beach.
  • Maratua Island: Maratua Island is home to a number of secluded beaches, including Maratua Beach and Derawan Beach.
  • Sangalaki Island: Sangalaki Island is home to a number of quiet beaches, including Sangalaki Beach and Manta Point Beach.

Visit the Different Islands of the Derawan Archipelago and Experience Their Unique Charm

Island hopping is a great way to see the different islands of the Derawan archipelago. Visitors can take a boat tour to visit the different islands, or they can rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the islands on their own.

Tourists at Derawan Islands

Some of the most popular islands to visit in the Derawan archipelago include:

  • Kakaban Island: Kakaban is a small island that is home to a unique jellyfish lake and a variety of marine life.
  • Maratua Island: Maratua is a larger island that is home to a number of beautiful beaches, resorts, and restaurants.
  • Sangalaki Island: Sangalaki is a small island that is home to a nesting site for green turtles and hawksbill turtles.

Spot a Variety of Bird Species, Including Hornbills, Kingfishers, and Sunbirds

The Derawan Islands are home to a variety of bird species, including hornbills, kingfishers, and sunbirds. Visitors can go bird watching on the different islands, or they can take a boat tour to see the birds in their natural habitat.

Some of the most popular bird-watching spots in the Derawan Islands include:

  • Maratua Island: Maratua Island is home to a variety of bird species, including the hornbill, the kingfisher, and the sunbird.
  • Kakaban Island: Kakaban Island is home to a number of bird species, including the frigatebird and the tern.
  • Sangalaki Island: Sangalaki Island is home to a number of bird species, including the eagle and the osprey.

Learn About the Rich Culture and Traditions of the Local People

The Derawan Islands are home to a number of cultural experiences. Visitors can learn about the rich culture and traditions of the local people by visiting the local villages, attending cultural performances, and trying the local cuisine.

Some of the most popular cultural experiences in the Derawan Islands include:

  • Visiting the local villages: Visitors can visit the local villages to learn about the traditional way of life of the people of the Derawan Islands.
  • Attending cultural performances: Visitors can attend cultural performances to learn about the music, dance, and theater of the people of the Derawan Islands.
  • Trying the local cuisine: Visitors can try the local cuisine to experience the flavors of the Derawan Islands.

Travel Tips for Derawan Islands Visitors

Best times to visit for underwater activities in Derawan Islands

The best time to visit the Derawan Islands for underwater activities is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. During the dry season, the water is clear and the visibility is good.

Preparing for a dive or snorkel in the Derawan Islands region

When preparing for a dive or snorkel in the Derawan Islands region, it is important to:

  • Use properly fitting dive gear.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and your dive buddy.
  • Respect the marine life and environment.

Other travel tips for Derawan Islands visitors:

  • Book your flights and accommodation in advance, especially if you are visiting during the peak season.
  • Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Pack light, as you will be doing a lot of walking and swimming.
  • Bring cash, as there are limited ATMs on the islands.
  • Be prepared for power outages, as they are common on the islands.
  • Learn a few basic Indonesian phrases, as this will help you communicate with the locals.

Summary

The Derawan Islands are a beautiful and unique destination with something to offer everyone. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities on the islands, including snorkeling, diving, swimming with turtles, manta ray encounters, shipwreck diving, beach bumming, island hopping, bird watching, and cultural experiences.

If you are planning a trip to the Derawan Islands, be sure to book your flights and accommodation in advance, especially if you are visiting during the peak season. Also, be sure to pack light and bring cash, as there are limited ATMs on the islands.

I hope this article has helped you to learn more about the Derawan Islands and what they have to offer. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

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