The Natuna islands together with the Anambas archipelago are Indonesia’s outermost northern border islands in the Riau Archipelago, on the west side of the South Chinan Sea. Strategically located between Singapore, the Malaysian Peninsula on one side and East Malaysia on Borneo on the other, the two island-clusters are now fast growing into a favorite playground for yachters, more so ever since Indonesia eased entry regulations for yachts to sail into Indonesian seas.
Secluded in the open ocean, Natuna and the Anambas promise true off-the-beaten-track adventure into some pristine beauty. Here you will find mountain peaks sloping down to serene white sandy beaches, some strewn with giant boulders, and colorful coral reefs, transparent through translucent waters.
The archipelago consists of some 270 islands that are divided into three groups, namely the North Natuna, which includes Laut Island (Pulau Laut); Middle Natuna, which includes Bunguran (or Natuna Besar); and South Natuna, which include the Subi Islands and Serasan.
The Administrative centre of the Natuna Archipelago is called Ranai, and is found on Natuna Besar (often referred to simply as Natuna). The town of Ranai is the transport hub for arrivals and leaving the Natuna Islands and offers accommodation, restaurants, and a few other facilities. So when you plan to explore the other islands, be sure to get all your necessities first in Ranai. The island itself is virtually surrounded by sandy beaches and beautiful clear seas, a fringe of swaying palm trees that line the coast, often obscuring a band of sandy shores.
For your perfect getaway, visit the beautiful hidden beaches of Tanjung Sebagul, Teluk Selahang or Setengar beach. Some of these beautiful beaches attract sea turtles to lay their eggs. Because of their remoteness, the islands offer some of the best underwater experiences for snorkeling and diving, particularly around Natuna Besar, Sedanau Island, Senua Island, Tiga islands group (the three islands). Here you can feast your eyes on colorful coral reefs and be amazed at the strange tropical sea creatures in their diverse shapes, size and color.
If you are feeling more adventurous try exploring a number of natural caves such as the Batu Sindu and Batu Kapal.
The most popular attraction, though, is the unique Alif Stone Park. Here lie scattered giant boulders as if strewn at random on the shore by some Titan. Among these are a cluster of 11 rocks that stand supported by large upright stones, that together seem to inscribe the word “Alif”, which is the first letter in the arabic alphabet. For this reason, the resort is called the Alif Stone Park.
The waters among the boulders here are sparkling clean and are favorite spots for a cooling swim.
How to Get Here:
Unless you arrive by your own private yacht, most others will have to fly to Natuna. Wings Air and Sriwijaya Air serve flights from the Hang Nadim Airport on Batam Island to the Ranai Airport in the Natuna Archipelago. Sriwijaya Air serves the flights three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. While, Wings Air operates the route four times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight takes about an hour.
A new passenger terminal was inaugurated on 6 October 2016 by President Joko Widodo. The recently-built terminal has an area of 3,868 sq. meters, several times the size of the old terminal which had an area of only 243sq. meters. The new terminal can accommodate around 385 passengers daily.