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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sangalaki, Derawan Islands. Manta's Dive Spot. Indonesia

There is no direct international flight to Derawan. The only one international airport in East Kalimantan is Sepinggan at Balikpapan. From Balikpapan we could choose to go to Tarakan or Berau with smaller plane. But there is no flight to Derawan.

So if you choose to go to Tarakan, you must continue the journey with 3 - 4 hours across the sea by speed boat. If you choose to go to Berau, you must go to Tanjung Batu first by land transportation (it's about 2 hours long from Berau) and then take 30 minutes journey by speed boat to Derawan.

If you want to go by land transport from Balikpapan, you will take about 750 km to reach Tanjung Batu and then take 30 minutes journey by speed boat to Derawan. It is a long and hard way. It could take 16 - 24 hours long because of the condition of the road. The path is Balikpapan - Samarinda - Bontang - Sangatta - Muara Wahau - Berau - Tanjung Batu.

Located in a biodiversity hotspot, the Derawan Islands feature 872 species of reef fishes, 507 species of coral, and invertebrates, including protected species (5 giants clam species, 2 sea turtles, coconut crab, etc). Some of the islands harbor the heavily exploited turtle eggs and yet the largest green turtle nesting site in Indonesia. Here you can dive with the manta, see meraka dancing in the water, so the experience will not be forgotten.

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