Highlights Derawan

< class="" style="width:650px;height:200px;">Derawan

Snorkel on the seagrass, and find ghostpipe fish & frog fish
See green turtles grazing the seagrass everywhere (1 turtle per 30m2)

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While waiting for the “egg-moment” enjoy the clear starry sky
Help the WWF turtle guards to release the small baby turtles
Badminton or Volleyball in the sportshall at night or at the beach just before sunset (±17:00)
Enjoy the pink sunsets
Dive at Heru’s jetty at sunset to see the Mandarin fish
Watch the Green’s laying eggs almost every night

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Day-trips from Derawan:

Maratua (Diving, island life)
Kakaban (Jelly fish lake & diving)
Sangalaki (turtle hatchery & MANTA’s)

p.s. Don’t ever buy rings or bracelets from turtle shell! The are being sold in high numbers on the Island. They say that there is no turtle killed for it, but in fact they cut the shell of a Hawksbill turtle and throw it back to the sea (thinking it will grow back 🙁 but of course it will die quickly ). You can recognize it by it’s brown and yellow spot pattern. See the bangles below for an example.

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Also, check these links top prepare your trip

Join the Conversation


  1. Nice album,but what are the bangles doing there on your 2nd last picture of your album?……………………………………………………………………………………………..

  2. @Saksham Like I quoted above the picture, they are there to show how the bracelets from hawksbill turtle shell look like. So that people know what they should not buy at Derawan Island

  3. i really like these pictures. whats the size of the turtle in the second picture, he’s really big.

  4. Hallo Marjolijn,

    I just read all your article here. That is awesome to know about sea turtle from your paper. I was in Derawan last 13-16 Sept 2013 ago… I just lucky could see 2 sea turtles for spawning at Sept 14 night nearby the Solar Power Plant. And I saw and swam with the Manta at Sangalaki after they disappeared for a few months. Of course I found a Sea Turtle took a nap just not far away from PT. BMI Resort.

    My guide said to me during the trip back to Berau Airport, he saw sea snake in Kakaban Lake while he took a foto from below… lol… I just laugh, but It’s true like you said..

    This is one of the best blog about derawan by the way because of your research about seagrass & green turtle grazing….

    Best Regards


  5. hello,

    soon im at east kalimantan and i go to kutai np with all your hints :o)
    i´m backpacker, so i will stay in a losmen at derawan. is there a nice place for snorkling at derawan. a reef with intact corals? or just around the other islands (that i have tu use a boot)

    thx a lot
    keep rolling
    nice greets

  6. Just in front of losmen Danaken you can snorkel with sea turtles on the seagrass meadow, a little further out is the coral reef. No reefs in are completely intact it is mere patches of reef that are still beautiful. Some parts of the walls near Kakaban (south of barracuda point) and Maratua (east) are quite intact with large fan corals. But I am sure you find snorkeling everywhere quite stunning.

    Have fun!

  7. Marjolijn,
    When is the best time to visit Derawan Island to see giant turtles? Im thinking of coming around mid July. Is a full moon best for turtle laying ? My daughter and I only snorkel but i think this would be a great adventure for her. Your website very helpful.

  8. Hi Phil,
    You can snorkel with big green turtles whole year round, around guesthouse reza. Nesting: mid July in the period 3days before-after full moon should be a ideal time, especially if you are spending multiple days on the island you should have an encounter on the beach (however turtles take no reservations)
    Have fun! and let me know your experiences.

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