Derawan consists of several, very tiny islands. This nature reserve is a perfect tropical paradise with soft white sand beaches fringed with waving palm trees, and an impressive underwater world.
The waters around Derawan are good for swimming, fishing, scuba diving, and other water sports. But the area is first and foremost known for its diving sites. Several species of rare flora and fauna are preserved here, such as scaled turtles and sea cows. It is even possible to swim among black mantas up to 3.5 meters wide.
Travel to Derawan
The way to Derawan is long, complicated and expensive. Travelers have to fly to Balikapan first. Balikapan airport is well connected within Indonesia, so from Jakarta and Surabaya, for example. From Balikapan take a flight to Kalimarau airport in Tanjung Redeb, the main town in Berau regency. Kalimarau airport is only served by regional airlines, e.g. by Kal-Star. From there you can take either a taxi or a bus to the village of Tanjung Batu, which is the gateway to the Derawan area. From here you take a speedboat to each of the islands, which will cost between Rp. 200,000 and 400,000. If you stay at the Derawan Dive Resort, the boat transfer might be organized by the resort.