The Derawan Islands are in the province of in East Kalimantan Indonasia. They include “Derawan, Sangalaki, Kakaban, Maratua, Panjang, and Samama Island and submerged reefs and islets. They are located in the Sulawesi Sea, on the coastal shelf of East Kalimantan (2°17’N – 118°13’E).
How to reach Derawan Island? The closest airport is Berau and 2nd nearest airport is Tarakan.
1) From Jakarta(CGK) or Singapore, fly to Balikpapan(BPN) or alternatively Tarakan(TRK).
2) Next day you should take a early morning flight at 5-6am from Jakarta(CGK)-Balikpapan(BPN) with Lion Air/ Sriwijaya/ Garuda Indonasia/ Citylink (2hrs 5mins)
3) Fly the same day from Balikpapan(BPN)-Berau(BEJ) with Kalstar/ Trigana/ Sriwijaya/ Lion air/ Garuda (40mins-1hr). Time difference between Balikpapan(BPN) and Jakarta(CGK) is 1hr. And 1 of the 2 daily flights of Kalstar & Trigana transfer in Samarinda.
By the way, the flights have too many choices. Regardless of where to start to, the transfer station must be in Balikpapan(BPN) is the best we thinks.
**Cheapest transportation: 18hrs (40 hrs in rainy season) Balikpapan – Sangatta – Berau by car!**
4) By Car from Berau-Tanjung Batu(2-2.5 hrs). You can ask your resort for transportation or shared taxi with another guys.
5) At last, Speedboat from Tanjung Batu-Derawan(30-40mins). Also you can ask the resort. Actually, their transportation including car and speedboat.
Finally our tickets, from HKG-CGK-BPN-BEJ-Tanjung Batu-Derawan. Arrived at 3:30pm in Derawan Island.
If you choose arrive in CGK the flight should be at night time. From CGK-BPN the flight also in midnight or next day in early morning is the best! That you have time to transfer your next flight with BPN-BEJ.
When you decide your next transfer flight, do not choose too tight between the time. Flight delays are common. Even if we choose to take 3 hours flight time gap, also need rush to the gate.