Forget about Bali, let’s head to the coastal shelf of East Kalimantan. Derawan Islands, a group of desert islands off the east coast of Borneo, offers you powder-fine beaches, lush greenery, and mysterious lagoons with stingless jellyfish.
We’ll walk with you through this guide before you go, so you won’t get lost. Pssst… tiket.com team really went far from Jakarta to Derawan to present you with real experiences and stories. Let’s explore this hidden paradise in Indonesia!
About Derawan Islands
Located in the Sulawesi Sea, precisely in Berau, East Kalimantan Province, the archipelago of Derawan will surely amaze you with its reefs and islets. For those who love diving in golden beaches and tranquility, Derawan is your typical dream of a tropical paradise.
The islands are considered as one of the best diving spots in Indonesia, with white-sand beaches, clear blue water, cool breeze, and palm trees. The archipelago consists of 31 islands, covers a total area of no less than 1.27 million hectares.
Don’t miss out on the chance to spend your day by diving into an amazing underwater life of giant turtles, dolphins, manta rays, barracudas, stingless jellyfish, and whale sharks. Here you can find 460 different species of corals and more than 870 species of fish.
How to Get There?
You can reach Derawan easily from Jakarta or anywhere. Take a flight to Tarakan or Tanjung Redeb in Berau. It usually stops in Balikpapan before you take a connecting flight to those two airports. Then from there, you can ride a boat to the islands.
If you go in a large group like 10 people, we advise you to take a flight to Tarakan then take a boat for around 3 hours. However, if you only come with 2-5 people, it’d be best to fly to Tanjung Redeb then hop on a small speedboat for around 45 minutes.
Generally, flights to Tarakan will cost you less than flights to Tanjung Redeb. Nevertheless, it also depends on how many people you’re going with. There’s no regular speedboat from Tarakan, so you can only cross to the islands via Tarakan if you rent a big speedboat.
But no worries, both ways won’t cost you a fortune if you book your tickets through tiket.com!
Accommodation in Derawan Islands
Another thing you shouldn’t forget is to book your accommodation in Derawan. Even though the islands are pretty small, there are plenty of guesthouses, resorts, and cheap hotels that will suit any budget.
Wanna experience a fancy and romantic stay? Head to Maratua Island, which offers you some beautiful beach villas or water cottages. If you’re a bit tight on budget, you can stay at small water cottages in Derawan Island.
300K – 500K IDR per night*:
Derawan Sari Cottage: 294,118 IDR per night
Lapauta Derawan Resort: 400,000 IDR per night
Maratua Ranu Cottage: 470,588 IDR per night
Up to 1 Mio IDR per night*:
Pratasaba Resort Maratua: 1,300,000 IDR per night
Maratua Seaview Resort: 1,750,000 IDR per night
Find other hotels in Derawan Islands only at tiket.com! Don’t forget to enjoy exciting hotel deals so you don’t have to cut-off your budget on accommodation.
4 Days 3 Nights Itinerary
To explore some most beautiful places in Derawan Archipelago, you’ll need at least 4 days to travel and back. Trip to Derawan is quite long, you need to take a flight, car ride, then cross to the island by a speedboat.
Before you go, make sure you already booked a private speedboat to get around the islands for the next two days. You can find a lot of people offer private tour services there. Prepare your agenda as well, but no need to hassle, we’ve got you covered with this 4D3N itinerary.
Fly to Tanjung Redeb or Tarakan. Take a morning flight so you’ll arrive in the afternoon. Once you reach the hotel, you can take a shower, rest, then head to the nearest restaurant to enjoy dinner. Don’t worry, there are numerous small stalls and restaurants around.
Exploring Derawan Islands! Depending on where you stay, the first stop will be either Derawan Island or Maratua Island. Then you’ll continue your trip to Halo Tabung Cave, Kehe Daing, and Kakaban Island where you can swim with stingless jellyfish.
After that, you can go to Sangalaki Island to see sea turtle conservation. Not far from this island you’ll spot Manta Point and if you’re brave enough, don’t miss out on the chance to dive in the ocean and get a closer look at manta rays. They don’t bite!
In the afternoon, as you’ll back to the hotel, you can stop by Gusung Sanggalau. This white sand small island will charm you during sunset so make sure you stay until then. Don’t forget to take plenty of photos otherwise you’ll regret it 😉
Back to the hotel, have dinner, then rest.
On the third day, you only will go to 3 spots but be ready to experience a long speedboat ride. These places are located quite far from both Derawan or Maratua Island, which takes around 3 hours away.
At first, you’ll see amazing whale sharks in Taliyasan. Make sure to dive so you can see those huge and beautiful creatures clearly. Many people take underwater photos as well with the whale sharks.
The next stop is Labuan Cermin Lake, or you can say Mirror Lake. This fascinating attraction located in the village of Labuan Kelambu, Biduk-Biduk. The lake is connected directly to the sea but has a freshwater surface.
In the afternoon before you go back, you’ll stop by Manimbora Island. There’s nothing much to do here but this stunning island is a perfect location to level up your Instagram feed. Manimbora Island is also often known as Spongebob Island by the locals.
Then back to the hotel, have dinner, pack your bags to go home tomorrow.
Since the way back from Derawan Islands to the airport will take a long time, you have to go in the morning before 12 pm. If your flight is in the evening, you can kill the time by going to the nearest souvenir shop and buy traditional food or gifts to bring back home.
Discover the Hidden Paradise of Derawan Islands
Since you have the itinerary already, you should know a glimpse of the attractions that you’ll visit. Check out more about 11 must-visit tourism places in Derawan Islands for your upcoming trip!
Make sure to bring your camera, bikinis or swimsuits, summer outfits, and sunscreen. Have a delightful tropical holiday in this Indonesian hidden paradise, t-mates!