Sangalaki Island, the Underwater Paradise
For those of you who like diving, the beauty and diversity of flora and fauna around Sangalaki Island will attract you to come again and again. This island is located in the Derawan Archipelago, Berau, East Kalimantan. It is one of the best locations for diving and snorkeling in the world, along with Raja Ampat in Papua province.
Blowing winds, clean seawater, soft sands, warm sun, beautiful waves, coconut trees, and beautiful afternoons complete the excitement of your diving. Sangalaki‘s underwater scenery fascinates everyone who sees it. Manta Alfredi (Pari Hantu), which only exists in Derawan, Barracudas, Stingrays, giant squids, and starfish are only part of the underwater paradise of Sangalaki.
Since Manta Alfredi is a very rare animal, many tourists come to Sangalaki to see this very unique animal. This tropical animal looks like a stingray, but both its whiskers work as wings. Popular diving points in this area include Channel Entrance, Coral Gardens, Town, Sandy Ridge, Manta Run, Sherwood Forest, Manta Parade, Manta Avenue, Ridge, Lighthouse, and The Rockies among others. Sangalaki is also known as an island where turtles lay eggs. You could see this unique process during breeding season close-up.
Unlike other diving locations, the management of Sangalaki Island strictly maintains the natural conservation of this island. It is situated between East Kalimantan and Sulawesi. As an example, at night when you don't need any urgent electricity, the management will shut down the electricity on this island. Thus, this island is very quiet and is a favorite place for those of you who like to stay away from busy and noisy cities.
To reach Sangalaki Island, you may take an airplane from Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta to Sepinggan airport (BPN) in Balikpapan. Among airlines flying to Balikpapan are Garuda Indonesia, AirAsia, and Lion Air. From Sepinggan, you may take a Deraya airplane to the capital city of Berau district, Tanjung Redeb. Deraya serves commuter and chartered flights. During this journey, you may see the life of the local community in the Kalimantan hinterlands which are not influenced by modernization.
Upon your arrival in Tanjung Redeb, you have another journey by speed boat along the Segah River to Sangalaki. Seeing the local community living by the river side and happy children playing will bring a smile to you after a long journey. In total, it takes about 8 to 9 hours from Jakarta to Sangalaki. In addition to visiting Sangalaki, you could also visit equally interesting neighboring islands such as Maratua, Derawan, and Kakaban islands.