Sangalaki Island, a Diving Haven at Derawan


Derawan Islands is a cluster of small islands on the eastern coast of East Kalimantan province, Indonesia. These islands are popular for their unique natural wonders. One of the most beautiful islands here in Sangalaki Island, a small tropical wonder in the middle of the sea.

Diving at Sangalaki. via

In terms of tourism, Sangalaki is unique because it is also a strict conservation area. However, this island is also a great destination, even with its own exclusive resort. Here is all you need to know about Sangalaki Island in Derawan Islands.

Location and access

Manta Ray. via

Administratively, Sangalaki is located in Berau Regency, East Kalimantan. You can get to Berau via Tarakan or Balikpapan. Sangalaki is one of the islands in Derawan which are the closest to mainland Kalimantan. As a result, you will need a boat ride from the mainland to Sangalaki. The closest seaport is Tanjung Batu in Berau. You will need a one hour trip using a speedboat from Tanjung Batu to Sangalaki.

Turtle Conservation

Sea turtle. via

Sangalaki is surrounded by soft white sand. That sand stretch is a perfect nesting site for sea turtles to lay their eggs. That is why many turtles visit this island annually and the government made the island a conservation area. That means the tourism activity is not the highest priority here. Additionally, the government makes sure that the turtles can breed freely on this island and the eggs are safe.

11 Diving Spots

Lots of diving spots. via

This island indeed has an extremely good underwater life. There are no less than 11 diving spots you can find just around this island. The northern part is home to manta rays, there are at least three diving spots where you can find mantas there. You can also meet some leopard sharks if you are lucky enough. Some other spots will let you meet ghost eel, coral garden, turtles, and other sea creatures. In general, this area is a haven for macro photography.


Nice chalets. via

There is only one accommodation on this island; Sangalaki Dive Lodge. This is a dive resort that caters to all divers’ needs. Not only providing rooms to stay, but this resort also has a dive station where you can get the required diving gear. The resort also has a nice speed boat to get you to the best diving spots. Even with 10 beachfront chalets built, this resort only takes less than three percent of the island area, making sure that the conservation effort is still the main priority.

The accommodation is comfortable. via

Sangalaki is an exotic tropical island in Derawan. There are so many wonderful diving spots you can find around this small paradise. Sangalaki Island, however, is a conservation area first and foremost. The conservation effort takes the number one priority here.

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