Diving in Maratua Island
Derawan Islands as the scuba dive paradise, is surrounded by a group of several islands along the coast of East Kalimantan, which make it an attractive dive and leisure destination. Among them is the beautiful Island with a small lake and a bay, Maratua Island. Maratua Island is another diving spot in Indonesia that you have to see where you will witness such a breathtaking and an overwhelming natural beauty. Maratua Island is a wide island with an immense lagoon that is fringed by reefs and walls that have many beautiful hard and soft corals. The variety and size of the corals around Maratua Island can hardly be found in other popular and famous sites in the world.
Maratua Island is located in Derawan Islands of Berau, off to the eastern coast of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. If you are using international flight, you can fly from Singapore or Sabah directly to Balikpapan. You can also reach Balikpapan from Jakarta, Bali and many other major cities in Indonesia. From Balikpapan, you can take a one hour flight to Berau (Tanjung Redep). After arrival in Berau, you can take a speedboat to Nabucco Island inside the large lagoon of Maratua Island, where you can find a resort. You can also reach the neighboring islands of Kakaban and Sangalaki in one hour by speedboat, depending on the weather conditions.
Maratua Island is a large island, which circles part of the lagoon, where the rest is fringing reef filled with a wealth of marine life. The lagoon in Maratua Island fills and drains through a single channel, creating a very strong tidal flow. Most of the dive sites of Maratua Island are on the north-eastern side of the island where you can encounter turtles, napoleon wrasses, sting rays and eagle rays, sometimes reef sharks and leopard sharks. You will also see large schools of pelagic fish, mandarin fish, the stargazers, leaffish, cuttlefish and many more marine lives around here. Here, you will also find reef that is covered with beautiful soft and stony coral. Maratua also has several impressive drop-offs and you will have a good chance to sea large pelagic like sharks, tuna, eagle rays and schools of barracudas, trevally and mackerels. You can also do an extreme drift dive through a channel into the lagoon, but be careful because the current around this area is strong. Imagine you are sitting on a ringside seat, the arena an underwater colosseum at 100 feet, beneath you and abyssal plunge beyond the depth of the lagoon. Here, you will find hoards of great barracuda emerging from the distance. You may want to hire a guide to dive in hard spots, but there are also some easy diving spots in this area. You will see sharks, rays, large schools of pelagic fish, mandarin fish, the stargazers, leaffish, cuttlefish and many more marine living around here. The best thing about diving in Maratua Island is the underwater visibility. The visibility here rivals most other dive sites and it is no exception to have a visibility of 30 meters and more in Maratua Island dive sites.
The waters around Maratua Island are still a secret to be discovered by all types of divers. Whether you want to see the large pelagic life, search for the smallest weirdest critter, and snorkel in a huge jellyfish lake or watch mandarin fish mate on their house reef, there are more to see than you can imagine while diving in Maratua Island.