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Getting To Sangalaki Dive Lodge

Travelling To Borneo

You’ll need to have a valid visa for entering Indonesia. A visa on arrival is available at Balikpapan for 1 week or for 30 days. If coming via Tawau, a visa can be obtained same day from the Indonesian Consulate and for upto 2 months.

Travelling To Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is home to the oldest tropical rainforest and oldest coral reefs in the world. 65 million years of evolution uninterrupted by ice ages has populated Borneo's etc

Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is home to the oldest tropical rainforest and oldest coral reefs in the world. 65 million years of evolution uninterrupted by ice ages has populated Borneo's forests and seas with the world's most diverse ecosystem. Kalimantan is the Indonesian portion of Borneo which occupies the southern 2/3 of the island. It begins at about 4 degrees North Latitude, and extends to about 4 degrees South Latitude with the Equator splitting it neatly in half.

Sangalaki is located in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan... You can either enter the Indonesian side of Borneo via Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and then travel into the Indonesian side by flight or ferry from Tawau to Tarakan, or fly to Balikpapan in the Indonesian side of Borneo from either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

Travelling through Indonesia:
International travellers to Sangalaki, the best route would be to fly into Singapore direct to Balikpapan. From Balikpapan, you then take a one hour flight to Berau (Tanjung Redeb) where the Sangalaki Dive Lodge boat will take you on a two hour journey to Sangalaki, one hour down the Berau River to the sea, and then one hour out to the island. You can also reach Balikpapan from Jakarta or Bali if you are travelling within Indonesia. If you have the option of flying on Singapore Airlines from your home country, you may get a cheaper ticket to Balikpapan because SilkAir is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, so you are travelling all the way on the "same carrier".

For Singapore Airline users, the efficient way of travelling is taking Singapore-Balikpapan SilkAir flight MI 847. For those travelling via Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia flight now offer direct flight on certain days to Balikpapan. Domestic flight within Indonesia can also be used via Jakarta and Bali. Further flight information can be made available on request through any major travel agents.

Flights are available everyday from Singapore to Balikpapan. It is possible, on four of those days (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays), to make it all the way to Sangalaki without staying overnight anywhere along the way. Many flights from North America and Europe arrive in Singapore in the very early morning hours. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, there is a SilkAir from Singapore to Balikpapan (MI 847). While, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, there is an AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur to Balikpapan (AK 982). Both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur can connect with Balikpapan-Berau. A connecting KalStar Airlines commuter flight departs Balikpapan and arrives in Berau. Since the KalStar commuter flight can only be purchased locally, we have an agent in Balikpapan who meets our guests when they arrive, gives them the onward tickets, and assists in check in for the flight. Our staff meet you in Berau when at the airport and transfer you to our boat, which transports you, down the Berau River to the sea, and out to Sangalaki in time for an afternoon dive.

Staying overnight along the way in Indonesia:
On the other days that SilkAir flies, Monday,Friday, Saturday & Sundays it is necessary to overnight in Balikpapan because the flight (MI/GA 849) leaves Singapore and arrives in Balikpapan, too late for a connecting commuter hop to Berau. Balikpapan is a large city with nice hotels. If you are staying overnight, our agent in Balikpapan will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to a hotel for the night. The next day they will transfer you back to the airport for the continuation of your trip to Berau.

Our agent in Balikpapan can also arrange for land tours for you if you wish to see a little of Borneo on you way in or out. Currently they have mangrove boat tours on which you may be able to see fresh water dolphins, jungle tours to see wild Orangutans and the Black Orchid that is endemic to East Kalimantan, and multi day river tours on the scenic Mahakam River. Contact us for specifics if you are interested in one of these tours.

Staying overnight on the way home:

With flights from Berau to Balikpapan & Tawau after midday most days (check with your travel agent) you can leave Sangalaki after breakfast.

Travelling through Indonesia:
For international travellers, you would usually go to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Manila. All have direct flights to Kota Kinabalu (KK) in Borneo, but KL and Singapore are probably used the most. From KK you take a flight eastward across Borneo to Tawau. You enter East Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo at Tarakan. It's a 3 hour ferry boat ride from Tawau. The ferry is large, comfortable and runs 6 days a week (exception of public holidays in Indonesia). There is no weight limit for baggage on the ferry, so divers carrying a lot of gear or heavy photo and video systems appreciate the spacious accommodations and lack of excess baggage charges. Sangalaki is 87 Nautical Miles South East of Tarakan and for groups of 8 or more, a ferry can be organized; the trip takes about 3-4 hours by boat. Otherwise, it’s a 35 minute flight from Tarakan-Berau and we’ll meet you and transfer to the Island.

Staying overnight on the way in Indonesia:
If you are travelling through Indonesia, there's no way to avoid an overnight somewhere. Most people spend a night in Kota Kinabalu before continuing on to Tawau. If you are flying through the direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau(brief stopover) to Tarakan, on the Monday or Friday(morning) MAS flight, we can generally transport you to Sangalaki, by using a connecting flight from Tarakan to Berau and coming down the river with our boat on the same day. The trip down the river cuts over an hour of boat travel time.

If you are taking the ferry, you will arrive too late in the day for us to transport you all the way to Sangalaki before dark by any of our normal means. We generally overnight in Tarakan, usually at the Tarakan Plaza Hotel and Makmur Hotel. Early the following morning, you will need to take a flight to Berau (45 minutes) and from there we will transfer guests to Sangalaki Dive Lodge by speedboat (2-3 hours). Otherwise, we fly our guests from Tarakan to Berau and bring them down river and out to the island as we would guests arriving from Balikpapan. The exact method of transport and the route we use depends on many factors.

Staying overnight on the way home:
When travelling through Indonesia, it is necessary to overnight in Tarakan before taking either a flight or ferry to Tawau. We have three methods of transport from Sangalaki to Tarakan. One way is to take our boat to Berau and fly to Tarakan. For large groups, we can sometimes arrange a direct transfer with our chartered boat between Sangalaki and Tarakan. Most guests overnight in the Tarakan Plaza hotel and then take either the ferry to Tawau the following day. The ferry runs 6 days a week, except Sundays and Publics Holidays.

2017 Sangalaki Dive Lodge, Berau, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.