Location : Pulau Sangalaki, Kabupaten Berau, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.
A pristine little island which is slightly smaller than Sipadan but matching fame has a very unique tag to its name, ‘Playground of the Manta Rays’. These gentle giant rays and turtles are the main attraction of Sangalaki.
For those of you who like diving, the beauty and diversity of flora and fauna around Sangalaki Island will attract you to come again and again. It is one of the best locations for diving and snorkeling in the world, along with Raja Ampat in Papua province.
Pandan Laut / Sea Pandan
Biawak / monitor lizard hunting for baby turtles
Shallow waters here provide good breeding grounds for fish
Sangalaki‘s underwater scenery facinates everyone who sees it. Manta Alfredi ‘Pari Hantu’(which only exists in Derawan), Barracudas, Stingrays, giant squids, and starfish are only part of the underwater paradise of Sangalaki. Since Manta Alfredi is a very rare animal, many tourists come to Sangalakito see this very unique animal. This tropical animal looks like a stingray, but both its whiskers work as wings. Sangalaki is also known as an island where turtles lay eggs. You could see this unique process during breeding season close-up.
Sea turtle hatchery
Many fresh tracks of turtles coming to nest
Sangalaki Island isthe easiest place to see manta rays during the day and sea turtle at night. But like everything else timing is everything. However, luck was not with us on that day we were doing this beautiful island, the mantas were playing elsewhere and the fresh tracks on the sand meant giant turtles had been here the night before to lay their eggs. If only we had stayed the night here at Sangalaki Dive Lodge we probably could have seen both. The corals here cover a bigger land area than the island itself. If you have the time, my advice is spend one night each at Maratua, Sangalaki and Derawan. Enjoy the photos.