• Camp Leakey
  • Mahakam
  • Neusapen Mahakam
  • Kalimantan
  • Derawan
  • Turtle Derawan
  • Manta
  • Whaleshark Kalimantan

Round trip 21 days Kalimantan

This relaxed tour of Kalimantan takes you along the mighty Mahakam River, where you become part of the river life, get acquainted with the Dayak culture and enjoy the flora and fauna in the rainforest.

Then you're going to look for the orang utans in the Berau district, swim with the whale sharks, put on your make-up at the mirror lake Danua Cermin.

The tour ends with a relaxed stay at the bounty islands of Maratua, Sangalaki and Derawan with beautiful dive and snorkeling spots.

A wonderful trip for young and old!
This roundtrip is a sample how your trip could look like. The target prices are based on middle class hotels. Our Indonesia experts are happy to help you tailormade your trip to your demands.

Target prices

Low season based on 2 persons: € 3.785 p.p.
High season based on 2 persons: € 4.015 p.p.
Low season based on 4 people: € 3,475 p.p.
High season based on 4 people: € 3.705 p.p.

Supplement Deluxe 3-cabin houseboat Mahakam: approx. € 450 p.p.

Included and excluded

•Intercontinental and domestic flights
•Accommodations as stated in the program and accommodation list
•Breakfast, lunch and dinner
•English speaking guide
•Donations and entrance fees

Not included:
•Other, not mentioned excursions
•Tips and personal expenses
•Travel and cancellation insurances ( mandatory)
•€ 30 booking fee and Calamity fund contribution per booking
•SGR contribution € 5 per person
•CO2 compensation € 22 per person

Day 1 Flight Amsterdam-Jakarta-Samarinda (Garuda)

Garuda Indonesia flies non-stop from Amsterdam to Jakarta with its new Boeing 777-300 ER. Experience the hospitality of Indonesian culture on board at Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia. The direct connection takes you from Amsterdam to Jakarta in only 13.5 hours. Departure Amsterdam around noon, arrival Jakarta early in the morning. Your connecting flight departs about 2,5 hours later and takes about 2.5 hours.

Day 2 Arrival Samarinda

After you have picked your suitcases from the belt, you walk out of the arrivals hall. Your driver is waiting outside to drive you to Loa Janan, close to Samarinda, where you get on board of your own houseboat for the next few days. It is a simple river-boat but clean and neat. Downstairs you'll find the kitchen and dining-room, your bedroom with AC is upstairs. Simple but clean sanitary facilities. You’ve got your own cook on the boat and your meals are prepared on board with fresh produce. The Mahakam River at Loa Janan is very wide. You will see many big ships sailing here, mainly with logs and coal. The further you sail away from Loa Janan,the calmer the traffic on the riverbecomes and the sparser the buildings on the river banks. The boat also moves on during the night.

Day 3 Muara Muntai, Mancong, Tanjung Isuy, Muara Pahu

The boat moors and you walk through the village on stilts on the river Muara Muntai. Here live the Kutai. There are no streets but over beams of ironwood you walk along the market and the (little) school. You then step into a motorised canoe and sail to Jempang Lake and Ohong Creek. The village Jantar is built on the water. In Ohong Creek there are lots of long nosed proboscis monkeys and birds such as kingfishers and birds of prey. Today you also visit the Dayaks, who welcome you in Mancong. In Dayak Nenuaq you visit one of the oldest longhouses of East Kalimantan. You will see beautiful wood-carved statues here. In the late afternoon you get into the canoe again and sail back to your houseboat which takes you to Muara Pahu.

Day 4 Muara Pahu, long nosed proboscis monkeys and dolphins of the Bolowan river

Today you will go out again with the motorized canoe and sail up the Bolowan River. This is the area of ​​the Kutai Dayak. Previously, many freshwater dolphins could be encountered here, but they are now becoming rare. What you will see are proboscis (nose ape) monkeys, many species of birds and macaques. In the afternoon you sail upstream to Melak. You sleep on board in the harbor of this lively city. You can take a walk through the city.

Day 5 Dayaks, black orchid and waterfall

With a 4-wheel drive jeep or car (depending on the weather) you drive to the National park Kersik Luway today. The black orchid is still growing here. You drive through kilometres long rubber plantations along the area of the Baduaq and Tunjung Dayaks. In dessa Eheng you visit the old longhouse. Then you continue to the Ombau Asa waterfall , a very nice place to swim. In the late afternoon back to your houseboat that’ll bring you further upstream to Data Bilang. If the water level is too low for the houseboat we ensure alternative transport upstream.

Day 6 Tenggarong, Balikpapan

In Tenggarong you visit the palace of the sultan of Kutai Kertanegara. You can admire his collection related to the Dayaks. After a short walk you go back to the houseboat and sail to Samarinda. Here you say goodbye to your houseboat and the crew and your driver will drive you to your hotel in Balikpapan.

Day 7 From Balikpapan to Berau, to the Dayaks in Merasa

After breakfast your driver will pick you up for the transfer to the airport for your Garuda flight from 08:50 to Berau. Upon arrival at the airport of Berau, your driver and guide will be waiting for you. You then drive to the village of Merasa in about 2 hours. In the village you will see the traditional local life of the Dayaks and their culture. In the evening dinner in a local restaurant, overnight stay in a local guest house in Merasa.

Day 8 Dayaks and orang utans in the wild

After a simple breakfast you sail up the Lesan river with a motorized canoe. During the 2-hour tour you can enjoy the landscape and the river banks with green lowland and towering dipterocarp trees that herald the entrance to the deep dark Borneo. Slowly you tour through the primary rainforest and reach the island of Bawan, the orangutan island. We make a simple jungle trek and, depending on the weather conditions and passability, you walk to the waterfall, an old Dayak grave and a limestone cave. At the end of the morning you sail back to Merasa and drive to the village of Benua Baru, a Dayak Kayan village. The Dayak Kayan tribe is known for their colourful art and wooden ornaments that reflect life in the rainforest. There are still a few elderly women in this village with long ears with rings and tattoos, which represent the last memorable Dayak Culture. Y continue your trip by car for about four hours to Talisayan, Lunch on the way in a local restaurant, transfer to hotel in Talisayan for overnight stay, dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9 Whale sharks, sea gypsies and mirror lake

After an early breakfast you drive to the port of Talisayan and sail with a local fishing boat to the fishermen where the whale sharks in the morning feast on bycatch. You can spot the whale sharks from the boat or snorkel from the water. Upon returning to the village you visit the Bajau village and get acquainted with the way of life of the Bajau sea gypsies. Then you drive to Labuan Cermin, known as the mirror lake because of its two types of water, with fresh water at the top and salt water at the bottom of the lake, where freshwater and saltwater fish swim in the upper and lower layer of the lake. After lunch you continue by car to Teluk Sulaiman, where you continue your trip on a dirt road through the dense forest to the Teluk Sumbang bay in the most southern part of Berau. Dinner and overnight at the Eco Lodge.

Day 10 Teluk Sumbang, free day

Breakfast in the ecolodge, today a quiet day to enjoy the surroundings. From your Eco Lodge terrace you can enjoy the view over the blue sea, sunbathe on the white palm beach or snorkel above the coral reefs. Lunch and dinner at the eco lodge

Day 11 Kaniungan, mangroves, waterfall and Dayaks

After breakfast you walk or sail through the mangroves (depending on the water level) where you can see the long-nose monkeys in the trees and you visit a Dayak village with traditional Dayak culture. Then you continue to the Bidadari waterfalls. Along the way you will see various monkey species, many bird species and small bears. Return to the resort in the afternoon. Lunchbox en-route. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight stay at Kaniungan

Day 12 Kayaking at the mangrove and jungle trek

After breakfast, you kayak to the mangrove forest to view the proboscis monkeys and other wildlife. After lunch in the eco lodge we go into the jungle to see gibbons, honey bears (also called sun bears) and dragons. Lunch and dinner at the eco lodge

Day 13 Back to Berau

After breakfast you drive back to Berau, a long drive of about 6 hours. Overnight in Berau to sail to Maratua the following day.

Day 14 From Berau to Maratua

After breakfast your driver will be waiting for you for a three-hour drive to the harbour. From the harbour it is two and a half hour by speedboat to the island of Maratua. The rest of the day is free. Overnight stay at Maratua resort.

Day 15 and 16 Free day on Maratua

Besides relaxing you can of course enjoy the underwater world around Maratua. Snorkelling above or diving along the coral reefs is breathtakingly beautiful. You can also explore the villages near the resort. Overnight stay at Maratua resort.

Free day on Maratua

Day 17 From Maratua via Kakaban to Sangalaki

After breakfast the speedboat picks you up to take you from one bounty island to the other bounty island Sangalaki. On your way you moor at the island Kakaban. This island has a very special brackish water lake full of freshwater jellyfish that don’t sting. You can swim among the jellyfish here. When youleave the island you go past the Dolphin playground, where dozens of dolphins are playing. Then you sail in a short half hour to Sangalaki. You’ll spend the night in the new lodge, but before you go to sleep you have a good chance to see the sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach.

Day 18 From Sangalaki to Derawan

After breakfast it is time to spot the manta rays. Near the island, these big rays swim with a wingspan of up to 4 meters at the surface of the water. Then you leave Sangalaki and sail to Derawan, on the way you have plenty of time to snorkel or to swim. In Derawan you will stay in one of the small lodges, from where you can see the big sea turtles.

Day 19 Free day on Derawan

The last day on Derawan is all yours. Take a walk around the island and enjoy the beautiful stretches of beach. Or let the current carry you along and admire the sea turtles for the last time.

Day 20 Pulang kampung, Back to Berau and flights to Amsterdam

The last day the speed boat will pick you up on time to bring you back to the mainland. There your driver is waiting to take you to the airport of Berau for the Garuda afternoon flight from 17:45 to Balikpapan, Jakarta and Amsterdam.

Day 21 Arrival Amsterdam

In the morning arrival at Schiphol. The end of a beautiful trip...

Mahakam houseboat

During your river cruise on the Mahakam river you will spend some days on your private 'houseboat'. It is a very simple accommodation with reasonable sanitary facilities. The boat has one or more air-conditioned cabins. During the cruise you have your own cook who will, as far as possible, fulfill your eating wishes. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Aston hotel - Balikpapan

The new Aston hotel Balikpapan is located directly on the water, the Strait of Makassar. The 4 * hotel has 155 rooms and features a restaurant, bar, gym, swimming pool and laundry service. The rooms are clean and are all equipped with air conditioning, minibar, kettle, TV and a safe. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Merasa homestay

You stay in one of the local homestays in the village of Merasa. The homestays are extremely basic: usually a mattress on the floor, mosquito net, shared toilet and bathroom (Indonesian style mandi, no shower). meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Aneka hotel Talisayan

Simple local hotel on the coast, in the village of Talisayan. Rooms with air conditioning, private bathroom with hot running water. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Lamin Guntur eco lodge

The eco lodge has a great location, with coral reefs directly in front of the beach and the jungle at the back. The lodge has 6 standard cottages, simple cottages with a terrace downstairs and a bedroom upstairs. Mattresses are on the floor in the bedroom. There is no air conditioning or fan. There are communal bathroom and toilet facilities with cold running water and western toilet. The resort has its own restaurant. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Palmy Exclusive hotel - Berau

Simple 3 * hotel in the centre of Tanjung Redep, Berau. All rooms have air conditioning, hot running water, balcony, TV and coffee and tea making facilities. Nice thing about the hotel is its rooftop terrace with views over the city and river. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Maratua Paradise resort

The cozy Maratua Paradise resort is located directly on the beach in the bay near Maratua. The resort has 18 rooms spread over Beach Chalets and Water Villas. All rooms have air conditioning, fan, minibar and private terrace or veranda above the water. The resort has a diving centre. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Sangalaki resort - Derawan

Sangalaki resort is located a on the bounty island of Sangalaki, only a half hour boat ride from Derawan. The reasonably new (2012) resort looks surprisingly good. It counts 14 neat cottages with AC, hot and cold water and all with sea views. The clean and spacious restaurant serves good food and the staff is always ready to help you. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Sari Lodge - Derawan

The very simple Sari lodge consists of twenty cottages, built above the sea. The facilities are extremely simple. The small rooms have air conditioning, cold running water, a small terrace with limited views and coffee and tea. Very simple breakfast. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires



Balikpapan is a port city on the Indonesian part of Borneo, Kalimantan, with over 700,000 inhabitants. It is the largest city in East Kalimantan province, larger than the provincial capital Samarinda.

Balikpapan is located on Makassar Strait and is an important center of petroleum extraction and timber trade. Oil extraction started before the First World War and to the north of Balikpapan one can still see the yes-men made in the Netherlands at work.

The city has an international airport and several ports, one of which serves petroleum exports.
The city doesn't have much to offer in terms of sights. Until recently Balikpapan was only used for cruises on the Mahakam River, but since Samarinda has a new airport this is no longer necessary.



Samarinda is a medium-sized town at the mouth of the Mahakam River. It is the capital of East Kalimantan. It is the departure point of the boats for the cruise on the Mahakam River.
Samarinda airport has flights with various cities in Java and Kalimantan.



Merasa is a Dayak village about 2 hours drive from Tanjung Redeb. The village has a number of local guesthouses with very simple facilities.

From the village you will sail by motorized canoe in two hours to the primary rainforest and the river island of Bawan. As often in the jungles of Kalimantan you come face to face with the orangutans



The absolute highlight in Talisayan is swimming with the whale sharks. All year round, except around the full moon, fish from 5 to 10 meters come to the bagans, floating fishing platforms, to feast on the scraps of sprat.

A colorful Bajo (sea gypsies) village is located near Talisayan. A little further you will find the Labuan Cermin mirror lake with salt water on the surface and fresh water in the depth.

Teluk Sumbang

Teluk Sumbang

The small fishing village of Teluk Sumbang on the east coast of Kalimantan is the base for trips to the Bidadari waterfalls, the island of Kaniungan and various traditional Dayak villages.

With the jungle at the back and pearly white beaches and colorful coral in front of you, it is a good place to be.


Berau (Tanjung Redeb)

Berau is the area in East Kalimantan, which also includes the Derawan archipelago. The capital Tanjung Redeb has an airport with several daily flights to Balikpapan and daily to Samarinda and Jakarta.
Berau is both the base for the Mystic Kalimantan tour of the east coast and to the Derawan archipelago. The city itself has little to offer.



Maratua is a small island in the Derawan archipelago. The island of Maratua has three small villages. Since 2016, a small airport has been used for a weekly charter flight to Balikpapan.

Around Maratua it is of course fantastic snorkeling and diving. Within 20 minutes of sailing you will find about 20 dive sites, each with its specific character.




The uninhabited bounty island of Sangalaki is more than half an hour by boat from Tanjung Redeb. It is also called the turtle island, because the sea turtles come here to lay their eggs on the beach. There is also a turtle sanctuary, where the baby turtles come to strength for a few days before they can take to the open sea.

Directly in front of the island is Manta Point. You can spot the majestic manta rays while diving, snorkeling or from your boat.
The Sangalaki dive resort is the only accommodation on the island and in relation to the other islands at the price.



The closest to the mainland (an hour by boat) is the island of Derawan. There is a village with about a thousand inhabitants. You see a lot of large, green sea turtles around the island.
Derawan is frequented by local tourists during the weekends. It can therefore be noisy on a Saturday evening.
It is recommended to walk a bit against the current on the island and then let yourself drift among the turtles for half an hour.


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