Snorkeling with turtles on Derawan Island

Snorkeling with turtles on Derawan Island

For the second part of our honeymoon trip we scheduled 7 nights on Derawan, a tiny island a couple of kilometers off the shore of Kalimantan. After the wonderful but exhausting hikes at Kutai NP, we wanted something laid back with not much action around. There is one village on Derawan with approximately a third of all houses transformed into guest houses or cottages for tourists. Since we stayed over the Christmas holidays, we booked a night in advance at the Sari Cottages. The cottage was nice, however, due to a big renovation of the place we changed the following day to the Rainbow Cottages on the other side of the island.

The main thing to do on the island is snorkeling with giant sea turtles, which graze around the island on sea grass. It was super amazing, so most days we rented snorkel gear and went into the water a couple of times. Additionally, a beautiful coral reef is just about 100 meters away from the jetties. When we did not snorkel or swim, we lay around in the shade reading and went eating out. It was lots of fun. Both of us had never snorkeled in a coral reef area before and we were amazed by how many different kind of fish we saw. Thanks to Bettina’s awesome planning skills, she bought a waterproof case for her iPhone in Berlin so we could take pictures and videos while snorkeling. Here is a video of one of the sea turtles eating and breathing.


Another activity on Derawan is to go on a day trip to the close by islands. We did a long trip in the middle of our stay to Kakaban housing a stingless jelly fish lake, and Sangalaki with its turtle hatchery, which I will write about next.

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