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Derawan Islands: (7, and 10 nights) View Dive Map
The Derawan Islands (Kepulauan Derawan) are located off the eastern coast of Borneo (East Kalimantan Province) in Indonesia, in the famous Celebes Sea. Derawan is an archipelago with the main islands being Derawan, Maratua, Kakaban and Sangalaki, forming small and remote atolls with sandy banks. This special place is considered the second most biodiverse place in the world.
Derawan Islands are part of the Coral Triangle, which features 872 species of reef fish, 507 species of coral, and invertebrates, including protected species (5 giants clam species, 2 sea turtles, coconut crab, etc.).
The diving offers abundant marine life with a huge variety of coral reef dives, caves, walls, and lagoons, including a jellyfish lake visit. Guests will see sharks, schooling barracudas, mantas, whalesharks and macro life. Derawan also contains the largest green turtle nesting site in Indonesia, making dives with turtles quite common.
The itinerary starts and ends from Tarakan, a large modern city , which has an international airport and multiple daily direct flights from Jakarta. Making the trip an connections quite easy for international travelers.
The Raja Ampat Aggressor guests will embark and disembark from Taratan. Once guests arrive, they will be greeted at the host hotel or airport and transfered to the yacht which will be docked 30 minutes away.
The Tarakan Airport (TRK); Juwata International Airport is an airport in Tarakan, North Kalimantan, Indonesia, located on the island of Tarakan which is off the coast of Borneo. There are multiple daily non stop flights between Jakarta and Tarakan being serviced by Garuda Air and Lion Air. There are many flights connecting Tarakan with Surabaya Airport from Bali, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.
• Kakaban: Kakaban is known for the non stinging jelly fish lake, located in the middle of the island and a brisk 15 minute walk. The non-stinging jellyfish have vacated the lake for centuries as there are known known predators. The outer ring of Kakaban island offers divers a wide variety of dive sites that includes corals, large pelagic and thrilling caves.
The most famous area is Barracuda Point which has schooling barracuda which are visited by large tuna and sharks.
• Sangalaki: This area is famous for the large population of turtles and manta rays year round and guests will frequently see them feeding. The
island has a turtle nursery run by the local government which can be visited. Whale sharks are frequently seen off the coast of the island.
• Maratua atoll: The Raja Ampat Aggressors favorite dives are "The Channel" and "Big Fish Country" which has tornados of barracuda, grey reef sharks, tresher sharks, loads of turtles and schooling eagle rays schooling. Maratua Island has at least 13 caves with hundreds more that have yet to be explored.
• Pulau Panjang & Pulau Derawan: This is an area known for amazing macro life such as satomi pigmys, sea dragons, ghost pipefishe, frogfish, blue ring octopus, harlequin shrimp and tiger shrimp. This is a macro haven with the weird and wonderful.
• Talisayan: A large population of whalesharks can be found here during the diving season. Similar to Cenderawasih Bay, the whale sharks can be found swimming under the fishing platforms of the local fishermen.
Sample Seven Itinerary (22 Dives)
• Day 1: On the charter start date, guests will be picked up at the Tarakan International Airport and transfered to the Raja Ampat Aggressor or their local partner lounge until boarding. Once all guests are onboard, the adventure begins to the Derawan Islands (approximately 10 hours). No diving this day.
• Day 3: 4 dives in Kakaban Island
• Day 4: 4 dives in Talisayan Whale Sharks
• Day 5: 4 dives in Maratua
• Day 6: 4 dives in Maratua
• Day 7: 2 dives in Derawan.
• Day 8: Disembark and transfer to the Tarakan International Airport or partner lounge in the area.
The Swiss-Bel Tarakan is located 10 minutes from from the Juwata International Airport. Close to attractions such as Amal Beach and mangrove forests and swamps, it is a great place to stay before or after your Raja Ampat Aggressor trip. Swiss-Belhotel Tarakan is four star hotel in Tarakan that offer 82 well-appointed rooms of various sizes and styles to suite guests needs. Guests will have a comfortable stay with a full range of amenities.
Derawan is an unexplored destination with just a few resorts. Located in the Celebes Sea, these are the same waters that feed the reefs of famous places like Bunaken, South Philippines, and is compared to West Borneo (Malaysian part) and the Sipadan Islands.