[5D4N] Derawan Islands, Labuan Cermin & Teluk Sulaiman
• Derawan Islands
• Labuan Cermin
• Whale Shark
• Stingless Jellyfish
• Manta Point
• Teluk Sulaiman
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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.
Located 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 than1.27 million hectares.
Kakaban Island: Strange Stingless Jellyfish in the Derawan Archipelago
Kakaban island is a large coral atoll in the Derawan Archipelago in the district of Berau, off the east coast of East Kalimantan, covering 774 hectares of uninhabited terrain. It’s most distinctive feature is a huge land-locked lake, which makes up almost two thirds of the island. This brackish lake is alive with several species of endemic marine life, including millions of stingless jellyfish that only exist in one other place on the planet. The island is surouded in a tangle of dense mangrove forests, right down to where the water meets the earth. There are very few sections of beach, as most of the Kakaban’s circumference ends in a rocky wall of sheer limestone cliffs, some sections dropping hundreds of feet to the choppy waves below.
Kakaban Island is one of 31 islands belonging to the Derawan archipelago, which include Sangalaki, Maratua and Derawan. Kakaban was elevated through years of geological pressure, which eventually sealed off what was once a lagoon, creating the Kakaban Lake. “Kakaban” comes from a word in the local dialect meaning “hug,” because of the way the 9-shaped island “hugs” the lake in the center. Kakaban lake has been declared a government nature reserve, and has been nominated as a World Heritage Zone.
The ecosystem of the lake is very similar to that of the open sea, but with a twist! The trapped sea-water diluted with rain water and ground water creates a unique habitat that has caused the creatures trapped inside to evolve! The lake has warm, brackish water of 11 to 17 meters in depth, and is carpeted in marine green algae. Four species of jellyfish criss-cross the waters of Kakaban lake, but unlike their counterparts beyond the coral wall, the lake-jellies have no natural predators, resulting in the evolution of the species to no longer need their venom as self-defence.
Marine scientists and geologists have long puzzled over the phenomena of the survival of plant and animal life in so isolated an environment, but life will do what life does best. Adapt. “Jellyfish Lake,” on Palau Island in Micronesia, is the only similar environment on Earth, housing two species of stingless jellyfish. This makes Kakaban lake not only the largest, but also the most diverse brackish lake in the world.
Arrival on Kakaban begins with long wooden pier, extending 120 meters into the deep blue sea. This wooden trail continues as a staircase, climbing precariously up the side of the island, and eventually into a pathway cutting through the twisted mangroves, and ending with arrival at the lake.
Maratua Island : Dive with Green Turtles and Manta Rays in East Kalimantan
This paradise island is situated within the fabled Coral Triangle, with all the richness and beauty within itsexotic underwater landscapes that one would expect from such a location. Over 20 dive spots across the island allow visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves amidst the bountiful treasures which lay tucked neatly beneath the sapphire waters. Maratua’s garden under the sea proudly exhibits an abundance of colorful coral reefs populated with a variety of species of fish, green turtles, manta rays and other marine life.
Unlike some of the other Derawan islands which are uninhabited, Maratua has a population of about 3,000 people and is divided into 4 villages, most of which come from the Bajo Tribes.The Bajo people, or Sea Gypsies as they have often been called, are a landless tribe that is sustained completely and exclusively by the ocean. But not only do they survive solely on marine resources—they actually live in the ocean as well. Entire villages are built on stilts and connected by wooden bridges over large expanses of coral reefs and rocks in the middle of the open sea. The Bajo tribes maintain an intimate knowledge of the maritime coastal ecosystems, as well as the seasons, winds, currents, tides, lunar cycle, stars and navigation. These mysterious sea people are also distinguished by their exceptional free-diving abilities, and through years of practice have acquired physical adaptations that enable them to see better and dive longer underwater.
Sangalaki, Underwater Paradise
Blowing winds, clean seawater, soft sands, warm sun, beautiful waves, coconut trees, and beautiful afternoons complete the excitement of your diving. Sangalaki‘s underwater scenery facinates everyone who sees it. Manta Alfredi (Pari Hantu), which only exists in Derawan, Barracudas, Stingrays, giant squids, and starfish are only part of the underwater paradise of Sangalaki.
DAY 1: Berau – Derawan Islands (L,D)
Meet at Kalimarau Berau Airport and right away head to harbour which will take about 3 hours journey by land. Reach harbour, we will take a bot to cross to Derawan Island (about 30 minutes). Check in, rest and free until dinner time. Enjoy the sunset before heading to dinner and exploring the island.
DAY 2 : Maratua – Kakaban – Sangalaki – Derawan (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we will be going to Haji Mangku at Maratua. Then continue to Kakaban for the stingless jellyfish and finally to the Turtle Conservation area in Sangalaki. On the way back, we will stop by at Gusung Island, a sandbank that only surface during low tide. Spend some times at Gusung island then go back to Derawan.
DAY 3: Derawan (B,L,D)
Today after breakfast, we will be exploring around the Derawan Islands. Stop by few spots for swim or snorkle around the island. We will also go to Manta point to see the Manta Rays. Back to our accommodation in the late afternoon. Rest, dinner and free time.
DAY 4 : Derawan – Talisayan – Labuan Cermin (B,L,D)
Get up early in the morning before sunrise and we will check out to Biduk-Biduk. On the way, we will stop by at Talisayan where Whale Shark usually appears. The journey from Derawan to Biduk-Biduk will take about 3 hours. Check in to our homestay and right away we will go to Labuan Cermin, a crystal clear lake with two layers of water – salty and fresh. From there, we will then go to Sulaiman Bay to see the waterfall or just exploring the islands there. Back to our homestay, dinner, rest and free time.
DAY 5 : Biduk-Biduk – Airport (B)
After breakfast, get ready to check out. We will go back to Berau by land which will take about 5 hours. Along the way, we will have a break before heading to the airport or drop-off point.
• 4 nights accommodation
– 3 nights in watervilla in Derawan Island
– 1 night guesthouse in Biduk-Biduk
• Land transportation during the trip
• Speedboat for island hoping
• Meals as stated on the itinerary
• Snorkeling Gear
• All necessary permits and administrative requirements
• Drinking water
• Tour Guide/Leader
• Visa on Arrival (if applicable)
• Optional tours which are not stated on the itinerary
• Personal expenses
• Tips for guide and boatmen
• Travel Insurance
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