Location : Maratua & Gusung Sanggalau, Kabupaten Berau, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.
Maratua Island, located in the Derawan Archipelago, off the north coast of East Kalimantan. Maratua is a large tropical island partially encircling a massive lagoon on one end and fringed with sheer rocky walls and coral reefs along the other end. This giant upside down U-shaped island covers about 384 square kilometers of sandy white beaches and mangrove forests and 3,735 square km of territorial waters which scientists believe contain the third highest level of marine biodiversity in the world after Raja Ampat and the Solomon Islands. (Indonesia.travel)
After the visit to Kakaban Island we moved on to Maratua the boomerang shaped island that always attract turtles to its rich sea grass and friendly nesting sand.
Our first stop was at the main jetty of Kampung Payung-Payung where we had our packed lunch break.
After launching my drone and seeing an airstrip behind the village, I quickly made my way there for a quick look at the airport. According to my local friend Mr Ivan, Susi Air flies every Wednesday from Tarakan with its 9 seater ATR plane, as of now. The quickie visit this time did not do justice to what Maratua had to offer.
My first overnight visit 4 years ago was a lot more fun where we visited the 4 Bajau villages Harapan, Payung Payung, Bohe Silian and Teluk Alulu by motorbikes. You may read more of our first trip from this link https://bombasticborneo.com/2016/05/maratua-island-indonesia-borneo-hidden-paradise-travel-part-2/
From the main jetty we moved on by boat to the nearby Maratua Paradise Resort for our coffee break. Blue sky and sea, a perfect moment to behold.
Next on the itinerary was Sangalaki the last island of the day. We just drifted above the rich corals below for about an hour without any sign of the manta rays coming out to play.
It was just as disappointing as my first visit here. No show. Could have been more fun if we had just landed and spent our time at the Sangalaki Dive Resort. I did know it was going to be a hit or miss thingy. It was really frustrating after failing twice. I always envy those who get it on their first try. So folks we do not have any photos to show yet again.
Our final visit of the day was to watch the sunset at the Gusung Sanggalau sandbar near Derawan. It was crowded when we arrived. The soft white sand was not as great anymore. It was cloudy as the sun was setting. Hmmm……
Next…..Visit to a soft shell crab farm.
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