Sangalaki, Maratua & Kakaban Itinerary
Discover an untouched diving destination, which offers everything you need for the ultimate dive safari. Located off the East Coast of Kalimantan (The Indonesian portion of Borneo) the Islands of Sangalaki, Maratua and Kakaban offer some of the most remote, un-crowded and untouched diving spots visited by the Raja Manta. You be diving away from the crowds and the diving is spectacular with plenty of ‘Big Fish’ sightings possible throughout the area.
Sangalaki: Famous for large aggregations of Manta Rays who use the islands surrounding colorful reefs as a cleaning and breeding ground, in certain conditions Whale Sharks can also be spotted.
Kakaban: A stunning fresh water Jelly Fish lake fringed by virgin Mangrove forest, Sheer drop offs and walls that attract Huge schools of Trevally and Barracuda along with the possibility of Hammerhead, Grey Reef and Black Tip sharks.
Maratua: One of the most action filled destinations in the region, The walls that surround this island provide some great Big Fish dives, Massive schools of Chevron Barracuda, hunting Trevally, Thresher sharks and much more!
Water Temp: 82-86F/28-30C. Air Temp: 82-86F/28-30C.
Visibility: 30-90FT/10-30M. Experience Level; intermediate to advanced.
Best Time to Dive: Year round
What to See/Highlights? Pelagic; Manta, rays, hammerheads, barracuda, jacks, tuna, & even the chance of Whale Shark! Reef; amazing soft corals, turtles, leopard & reef sharks, harlequin shrimps, pygmy seahorses, frogfish, ribbon eels, cuttlefish, nudis, & usual
Please note also that this itinerary is an example only, and will change depending on weather and logistics at the Captain's discretion.
Day 1. (0-2 dives) 5pm - Sail from pier to Derawan. Warm welcome, briefing, and dinner; if everyone arrives earlier we may have time for a check dive & even night dive? (Cruise director’s decision)
Day 2. (4 dives) Diving around Sangalaki & Kakaban, looking for Manta Rays, Turtles & More!
Day 3. (4 dives) Diving around Kakaban & visiting the stunning fresh water Jelly Fish Lake.
Day 4. (4 dives) Diving around Maratua Island, Big Fish and hunting Action, sightings of Thresher sharks possible!
Day 5. (4 dives) Diving around Maratua Island Huge schools of Barracuda along the current swept walls.
Day 6. (2 dives) Diving around Sangalaki Island, then sail back to Tg Batu Port Sailing time 3 hours. Last night onboard Raja Manta Explorer in the harbor.
Day 7. 6am - 12pm - breakfast & farewells, then check
Raja Manta Explorer Trip Schedule:
Embarkation / Disembarkation: Tg.Batu pier, Indonesia. 2 hour To/From Berau (BEJ)
Departure; 6pm, 1st Day - Tg Batu Pier to Derawan island. Or, earlier if everyone arrives before and all Trip Preparations completed. Free transfer from Berau (BEJ) Airport on Trip Departure day.
Return; 6am, Last Day - Tg Batu Pier. After breakfast and fond farewells we take you to Berau (BEJ) Airport in time for Check In & flight. Transfer 2 hours.
Last dive ends; 12pm (midday), Penultimate Day. Plenty of time for R&R while we sail back to Tg Batu where we spend last night on Raja Manta Explorer. This also allows for your minimum 18 hours surface interval/ No Fly Time before flying next day.
All trips Embark and Disembark at Tg.Batu pier, Indonesia. Transfers To/From Berau (BEJ) Airport is around 2 hours to Tg Batu Pier via car. Pick up on trip departure day from airport or local hotel. Our staff will be there to greet you at the Airport.
International Flights: First you will need to fly to Balikpapan International Airport (BPN), Kalimantan, Indonesia. Daily flights are available from Singapore or Jakarta by Silk air, Garuda or Lion Air.
Domestic Flights/Hotels: We highly recommended overnighting in a Hotel near Balikpapan Airport and taking one of the scheduled morning flights to Berau (BEJ) on Trip Departure day. There are many good quality hotels available near the Airport in Balikpapan, located near shopping malls & restaurants so you can enjoy a comfortable overnight stay before flying to Berau the next morning. Check out the following hotels for your stay: Hakaya Plaza Hotel (150m from Airport), IBIS Balikpapan (10km from Airport), Novotel & Swiss Bell Hotel (both 15min Drive from Airport).
Fly on to Berau (BEJ) Airport on trip departure day with Garuda (09:00) or Lion Air (08:45) Please be advised we shall be planning pickups on trip departure day based on guests arrival times to the airport, in order to get the trip underway and have the chance to enjoy a check out dive on the first day We highly recommend all guests to arrive to Berau in the morning on one of the above flights.
How to get from Berau (BEJ): Garuda and Lion Air have morning flights back to Balikpapan, which will allow you to meet connecting flights in the afternoon back to Jakarta or Singapore. Please note our earliest drop off on trip return day will be scheduled to meet Garuda Indonesia’s & Lion Air’s morning departures (GA693 ETD 10:45 & IW1381 ETD 10:30). We will leave Raja Manta Explorer in plenty of time for your flight's check in. If you plan to depart Berau on an earlier morning flight, you will need to leave the boat after the final dives on the penultimate afternoon. In this case, we can arrange transport to a local hotel in Berau. We recommend the Bumi Segah for its proximity to the airport.
Raja Manta Explorer Reminders – IMPORTANT: You will need to provide us in advance of your trip 1x Passport scan (face page), so that we may apply in advance for your permits.
What Exposure suit do I need? Warm, tropical waters with temperatures between 78-82F/26-28C mean a 3mm shorty is fine for most, however if you do get cold easily you may want to bring along a full wetsuit (3mm or more) and hood.
Are you diving with 12L or 15L tanks and are you using DIN or Yoke valves? Our tanks have both INT valves and DIN inserts. You don’t need to bring an adapter. We can provide 15L tanks on request (rental fee applicable and subject to availability on booking).
When is the best time to visit Sangalaki? Conditions are usually at their best above and below the water during the high season from June through to August.
Check List of what to bring? PASSPORT, Dive certification card, log books, Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, book, MP3/Tablet, camera chargers, memory sticks/SD cards, and CASH for any travel necessities. NOTE: We will require a scanned copy of your passport’s photo page at least one month in advance of trip departure.
Check List for Diving Gear: BCD, Regulator, Fin/booties, Mask, snorkel, wetsuit, dive computer, underwater flashlight/torch with batteries, SMB, hood, reef hook. If you do not have any of these items, we have rental gear available; just let us know what items and sizes (if applicable) in advance, as all gear is subject to availability. Please note the use of a dive computer is compulsory for all Indonesia itineraries, if you do not have one, we have them available for rent onboard.
Do I need a visa? Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival (VoA); many countries now receive a free 30 days on arrival, some pay USD35 to obtain VoA, others will have to obtain Visa BEFORE Arrival. Passport; ensure your passport is in good order, has enough pages, is valid for at least 6 months, and that you are able to enter Indonesia. Check with your local Indonesia Embassy if unsure.
Will I need to Pay Departure Tax at the airport? Departure Tax; Indonesia Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) has changed (March 2015) to be included in your flight ticket price. Please check with your airline if unsure.
Should I purchase Travel & Dive Insurance? Dive Insurance with evacuation coverage is compulsory for all trips. We also strongly advise you get adequate travel insurance. Please check your travel insurance policy for your travel needs. For dive travel insurance, we recommend DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure. More information about insurance options can be found HERE.
Travel Insurance: please NOTE: we cannot be held accountable for airline flight changes, delays, or cancellations. We STRONGLY advise you take out adequate insurance to cover such eventualities.
Follow Safe Diving Practices at ALL times: we do not allow Decompression Diving or Solo Diving on any of our trips.
Is Malaria present in this area? Will I need Immunization boosters? You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel; while the risk is low some health professionals recommend travel vaccines for Hepatitis A/B and Typhoid. Kalimantan is a low risk Malaria Zone; however it is advised you take the proper precautions against malaria including speaking with your physician or travel medicine specialist for appropriate anti-malarials. DAN provides information on diving and anti-malarials, which can be found HERE. Good preventative measures include DEET-containing insect repellent and long armed/legged clothing in the evening. If unsure about any health matters please consult a diving doctor prior to your trip.
What Currencies are accepted in Sangalaki? Most places accept US Dollars, as well as Indonesian Rupiah. Please ensure ALL bills are in good order; NOT worn or torn and unmarked or they will not be accepted. Exchange rates differ for USD100/50 bills and USD20/10 bills. There are a number of ATMs & Banks available in Balikpapan.
Is there a fuel Surcharge? NO fuel surcharges in place at this time but may be implemented to account for any wide fluctuations.
What Plug types are available? We have 3 pin UK standard plugs, 220v in every cabin, salon, dining area, and dive deck. International plugs plus USB sockets are also available. We also have some adapters onboard. Most modern mobile phones, computers, camera batteries, etc. are dual voltage (check labels to be certain), so most guests only require adapters, rather than converters. If a converter is required, please bring your own.
Is there Internet/ Mobile signal available in Sangalaki? Local Telkomsel is best local card to buy. The islands of Sangalaki, Kakaban and Maratua are remote; there is limited coverage available, although often patchy at best. The island of Derawan has fairly good connection speeds. Telkomsel simpati sim card is the best and costs only 3USD plus credit to add on top!!!
How much luggage is allowed on domestic flights? Most airlines allow 10-20kg/pax checked & 7kg carry-on. Additional weight is charged per/kilo (USD2-5/ kilo). Maximum allowance between 20-30kg. Consult with your Travel Agent or Airline carrier for actual details.
How about the weather? What Clothes should I bring? Generally, throughout the day, light clothing such as shorts and T-Shirt should be enough; most often it is hot and sunny with fine clear blue skies. However you may also want to bring a light sweater or jumper as the evenings can sometimes turn a little cool. There is also the chance of a short, sharp tropical downpour; a light water proof jacket may also be useful.
Will there be any land based visits? We will have a chance to visit the beautiful fresh water Jelly fish lake at Kakaban, a short trek over an easy walk way through lush tropical jungle leads to this stunning and tranquil lake, an experience you will never forget!
How much should I tip the crew? Average guest gratuities are around 10% of your trip price, or more if you wish to reward their excellent service, this is entirely up to you of course. (USD or Indonesian Rupiah preferred).
What's included? All nights' accommodation & 3 meals/ day onboard, tea, coffee, fruit, snacks, towels, dive guide, all dives, 12 liter air tanks, use of weights & belt, 2-way land transfer from Berau Airport (BEJ) or local hotel.
What's excluded? Airfare to Berau (BEJ) accommodation on land, marine park & harbor fee (USD180/pax), dive insurance (required), travel insurance, massage services (USD30/ hour), soft drinks, beer, Nespresso coffee, Diving Gear; 15L tank rental, Nitrox EANx32, Nitrox & Equipment Rental Items.
Credit card: MasterCard & Visa only, all credit card transactions incur 4.5% processing fee.