Being an archipelagic country, islands hopping is one of the must have journeys for travelling in Indonesia. Derawan Islands is a spot in Borneo – in the coast of East Kalimantan – that has heavenly islands including the famous four: Derawan, Sangalaki, Kakaban and Maratua. Pristine seascape is in the main menu. The turquoise sea with fishes, coral reefs, manta rays and sea turtles are within vicinity. Most people will always be tempted to jump and roam the ocean in these islands, either by snorkeling, diving or just by swimming.
Yet the place is heaven not just because of the landscape and the seascape, but also the warm tropical sunshine and the calm atmosphere of the village life. Derawan and Maratua are the only islands that are inhabited. Peepers usually fly to Berau or Tarakan (where it will be the last stop to collect cash as there will not be any ATM in Derawan Islands) and travel 3 hours by speedboat to Derawan or Maratua island. There are more options to stay in Derawan while Maratua offers more of private/honeymoon-type lodges. From these two islands, peepers can rent a boat to go to the other islands or to certain dive spots.
Another points for Derawan Islands is the unique ecosystem. The entire area is considered as a Marine Protected Area due to its rich biodiversity. Some say that the diversity of underwater life in Derawan Islands is among the top five in the world. In addition, Sangalaki is the nesting site for the endangered green turtles, where everyday there will be turtles laying their eggs in the sand or swimming to the sea. As for Kakaban, this island is very unique because it has a large pond of brackish water inhabited by thousands of non-stinging jellyfish. Swimming surrounded by jellyfish? Definitely sounds like something you must do before you die.