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Diving in the Derawan Archipelago Liveaboard or Island based

Tel 0844 412 0848
Int'l +44 1428 620012

Indonesia's Derawan archipelago is renowned for its exceptional fish and coral diversity, schools of manta rays and opportunities to dive with thresher sharks. Amongst its beautiful white beaches and clear waters, you can find 872 species of pelagic and reef fish and 507 species of hard coral. That's almost 10 times as much hard coral diversity as the whole of the Caribbean.

The Derawan archipelago is a group of 31 islands in the Sulawesi Sea off the coast of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). It's best known islands are Derawan, Sangalaki, Kakaban, Maratua, Panjang, and Samama. There are many other submerged reefs and islets besides. Colourful coral reefs are key attraction here. Schools of manta rays at Sangalaki are another and thresher sharks up to 6 metres long are another best seen at Maratua atoll. For further information about diving and the marine life of this area, please click HERE.

We can take you diving in the Derawan Archipelago either from a land base on Maratua atoll, or by dive liveaboard. If you choose a land base it's relatively easy to combine your trip with liveaboard diving in the Sipadan area of Malaysian Borneo (click HERE for details). Local diving is ideal for opportunities to see thresher sharks, schooling barracuda and many coral reef dive sites. Day boat trips to Sangalaki island and the world's most diverse jellyfish lake in the world at Kakaban Island can also be part of your diving here.

Diving by liveaboard provides a broad span of dive sites, including Maratua, Kakaban and Sangalaki. 2 days out of a one week dive trip are also spent around Derawan Island itself. There are 9 dive sites off the island and of the larger species you can hope to see white tip, leopard and nurse sharks, cuttlefish, Spanish mackerel and schools of jacks. There are some areas of excellent coral reef with a locally discovered endemic species called Acropora derawanensis. Derawan's 656ft jetty is home to dumpling squids, crocodile fish, finger-sized purple crayfish, squat lobsters, decorator crabs, sea horses and various species of worms, tunicates and Dwarf scorpionfish.

Getting there

Indonesia spans a large area and at the first glance, travelling beyond the well trodden areas of Bali and Manado can seem a little daunting. But for diver, the rewards of getting off the beaten track can be very high indeed and we are here to help you. Contact us for advice.

The local access point for liveaboard dive trips is Taraken Island. There are flights here from the capital of Indonesian Borneo: Balikpapan. Balikpapan connects easily with Singapore, Jakarta and Bali.

The access point for the land based option is Nunukan. We can get you here by ferry from Tawau, Sabah in Malaysia Borneo; or by flying in from Balikpapan.

Responsible travel - Komodo - Raja Ampat - Sulawesi - Lion Air flights - Silk Air Singapore Airways - Bali - Sabah - Sarawak