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Six Reasons You Should Go to Derawan Islands!

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Six Reasons You Should Go to Derawan Islands!


I mean, who doesn’t love crystal clear and turquoise colored water?

If you are looking for a perfect getaway with this kind of view, you better pack your bags and go to these islands! Here are my favorite reasons why you should go to Derawan:

1. Say Hello to the Beautiful Beaches, Corals, and Fish!

When traveling in Derawan, expect to see beautiful, crystal clear, turquoise water by the beach! There are several phenomenal diving spots around the island and a great spot for snorkeling as well!


Here are some pictures from snorkeling in Sangalaki Island, two hours from Derawan by speedboat.

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No need to get out of the boat, you can see the beautiful corals already!


Hop on Maratua Island to enjoy its super crystal clear water and definitely the best place to get beautiful pictures with your friends at any time.


Let’s play in the water, shall we? Anyway, this picture was taken in Sangalaki Island. There is a turtle conservatory in the island, but we preferred to enjoy the shallow, clear water instead.


2. Explore the Unique Haji Mangku Cave

Located on the other side of Maratua Island, this cave is uniquely placed in the “middle” of the jungle. From the dock, you have to walk about 5 minutes or less to find this cave. If you feel adventurous, you can directly jump from the height of 3-4 metres!


It was not a very large cave. So, we were lucky to arrive at this place early. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be as fun as if we were alone!


You can also explore the cave using scuba tank. Surely there are a lot of unique creatures in this cave!


When you do not want to jump, you can enter from this beautiful cave.

3. Swim with The Harmless Stingless Jellyfish

Sick of trying to avoid the itch due to jellyfish sting when snorkeling? Not here! You can freely swim around a lot of jellyfish without being stung because they are totally stingless! You can swim with the stingless jellyfish in Lake Kakaban.

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Why are they stingless? Historically, the lake was formed from the tectonic plate movements, which resulted in part of the sea being lifted and became Kakaban Island. These jellyfish was caught in the lake with no predators, so over time they lost their defense system i.e. their sting. Basically, they all look like normal jellyfish, but without the nasty sting!


PS. If you go to swim in this lake, you don't need to use fin, just go swim barefoot. You don’t want to hurt those tiny beautiful creatures, do you?

4. Gaze at the Majestic Manta Rays

Love to dive? Haven’t been able to see these creatures anywhere? You can find them without even diving here! Near Sangalaki Island (at the right moment, of course) you can find manta rays around your boat. If the wave is not too big, you can also swim with them. Just watch out not to disturb or touch them, ok?

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5. Swim with the Whale Shark

Who would not be amazed with the gentle-friendly-giant whale shark? In Derawan, you can see them with your own eyes! Just remember to visit at the right time, because during full-moon, they don’t usually appear. It will be a really nice experience to swim and take pictures with the whale shark, right?


When you swim with them, please don’t touch them as you will potentially hurt yourself and them!


6. Marvel at the Crystal Clear Waters at Labuan Cermin

If you have more time, why don’t you visit Labuan Cermin? Though the distance is quite far, this lake is definitely worth visiting! From Berau, you can hire a car and drive to Biduk- Biduk Village, the journey is about 8 hours long.


See how clear is the water? The locals also call this lake “The Lake of Two Flavors”, as the bottom part of the lake is plain water and the upper part is salty water.


The best time to visit this lake is around 9-12am when the sun shines. It will look like the boat is floating. During holidays season, this not-so-big lake will be full of people. I prefer to visit this place when it's not during high season, as you can see the lake was totally empty!


But above all, Derawan is truly a place to have fun!

These islands are pretty far from everywhere, so you can do whatever you want with your best friends, do some crazy stuff, jump to the sea, catch the sunsets, take as much pictures as you like, enjoy the sceneries!


This place is full of beauties and love!

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I would say Derawan is the best place to have fun with your bestest of bestfriends! And oh, did I mention I love Derawan Islands? Because I do!

How to get there:

Derawan Islands located in East Kalimantan. There are two ways to get here. You can fly to Berau or Tarakan. From Tarakan, you can take speedboat for 3-4 hours to reach the island. Alternatively, (the one we used) from Berau, drive to Tanjung Batu port (2 hours) and charter speedboat to Derawan for 30 minutes. You can always talk to us to help you plan your trip!

Written by :

mg_3597 Gabriela Davita Amelia

A proud Indonesian travel addict. In love with underwater world as well as overhead places. Thus I am always looking forward to my next dive and hike! I believe that the beauty of the world is here to be relished and preserved.



Photo Credit :

Gabriela Davita, Marischka Prudence, Wira Nurmansyah, Liburmulu.com & Indonesia Kaya