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Due to its remote location, this area of Indonesian Borneo sees relatively few divers, which is why its biggest attractions are still a relative secret.

The Derawan Archipelago lies off the east coast of Kalimantan. Seldom visited, the spectacular diving, tranquility and palm fringed soft white sand beaches make this a tropical paradise. The most well known islands for divers and snorkellers are highlighted below.

Maratua Atoll offers the best prospects for encounters with larger pelagic species, especially on the channel dive known as Big Fish Country, home to towering schools of barracuda, patrolling sharks, bumphead parrot fish, eagle rays and sightings of hammerheads for the lucky ones.

Sangalaki is home to several manta ray cleaning stations. Gently sloping reefs, with a maximum depth of around 20 metres, make it a great place to see both large and small marine life. In addition, green and hawksbill turtles nest on the island throughout the year.

Kakaban is most famous for its lake which, amongst other marine life, features four species of non-stinging jellyfish that have adapted to live in the brackish water surrounded by a mangrove forest. This is a unique experience and available from all resorts.

Derawan Island offers variety; plenty of muck sites for photographers and exhilarating drift dives along thriving reefs for everyone.

The diversity of marine life in this region is less well known than others, but with over 400 species of coral and almost 900 species of fish recorded, it certainly packs a punch. For divers seeking off the beaten track adventure, Kalimantan offers much to enjoy.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: green turtle, barracuda, leopard shark, manta ray, giant frogfish
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Maratua Paradise Resort

Located off the east coast of Kalimantan on the island of Maratua, this resort comprises eight beach chalets and five water bungalows and offers some of Indonesia’s most remote and pristine diving.

Nabucco Island Resort

A tropical island paradise off the coast of Kalimantan this small, exotic resort is ecologically sound and perfectly located to dive the signature sites of the Maratua Atoll.

Nunukan Island Resort

Located on the south eastern tip of the lagoon on the Maratua Atoll, this resort offers guests lavish bungalows and provides adventurous divers with access to some of Indonesia’s finest diving.