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Banjarmasin Floating Market – Mahakam River & Kutai Reserve (10D/9N)

Tour Code: BTG-BORNEO17

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Banjarmasin Floating Market - Mahakam River & Kutai Reserve (10D/9N)
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Travel into the rain forests of Borneo aboard houseboats and motorized canoes. Mix with the locals in the daily barter of the Bajarmasin floating market. The expedition continues through the Mahakam River and the Kutai Reserve, where you will explore first-hand the incredible endemic fauna of this area so close to the equator as well as the opportunity to meet the Borneo Orangutans and the Dayak tribes. In addition, we will see proboscis monkeys, rare water birds in danger of extension and with a little luck, you will see the famous “fresh water” dolphin.

  • 9 Nights
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Pickup: Banjarmasin, Borneo (BDJ)
Itinerary: Floating Market - Mahakam River & Kutai Reserve


Welcome to Banjarmasin! A riverside city popular for its floating market where the people trades for all sorts of goods from groceries, household equipment, hot meals to aromatic hot coffee in the morning.

Arrival at the Banjarmasin airport on the island of Borneo. Upon arrival at the airport your guide will be waiting for you and transfer to the Hotel to check in. Then we will use the afternoon to go to the canals and use the canoe to visit the city of Banjarmasin, enjoying the middle of the daily life of the merchants and people by the river. Return to the hotel to spend the night.


Accommodation: Swissbel Hotel Banjarmasin – Deluxe room 


At 4.30 in the morning you will rise up, your guide will be waiting for you to take you to the Fruit Market that every day is mounted on one of the channels of Banjarmasin. They will take you to the largest one, one hour away, then you will get on a traditional canoe boat, to enter the floating market, one of the most photogenic markets in Indonesia.

This market works every day, and does not depend on tourism at all, since it is a totally local and traditional market. At the appoint time we will transfer you to Airport to take flight to Balikpapan, a port city nowadays but once a fishing village built by Bugis people. You can find jewelry and gemstones sold at many markets, as well as nice white sandy beaches on the coast area. On arrival, transfer to hotel and rest.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Aston Balikpapan – Superior room


After breakfast at the appoint time our representative will transfer to Loa Janan, about 2 and a half hours driving by car, to board houseboat for exciting adventure on Mahakam river. Meals provided and overnight on houseboat.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner 

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC


Arrive in Melak, then drive to Eheng by Jeep / Minibus passing beautiful highland to reach the old longhouse of Dayak Tunjung. Afterwards visit Kersik Luway and explore the forest.

If we’re lucky, the famous black orchid can be seen. In the afternoon, move to Ombau Asa waterfall, an exciting place for swimming. Return to Melak then board to the houseboat and downstream to Tenggarong.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner 

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC


Arrive at Muara Pahu, cruise upstream the Kedang Pahu River for more than one hour by canoe to Mount Bayan to visit Terbisak Dayak village known of its Longhouse of the Benauq Dayak tribe which is still habituated by about 100 Dayak people living in their community house, and traditions of dry rice fielding and hunting.

Continue downstream by canoe, along the river bank, we can see the exotic nature and wildlife such as otters, leave monkeys, endangered proboscis monkeys and birds. We move to the delta of the Belowan river as a black water peat swamp forest land, with opportunities to spot the fresh water dolphins in the colliding stream of the Kedang Pahu and the Bolowan River. In the afternoon, return to houseboat to continue upstream to Melak.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner   

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC 


Arrive in Melak, then drive to Eheng by Jeep / Minibus passing beautiful highland to reach the old longhouse of Dayak Tunjung. Afterwards visit Kersik Luway and explore the forest. If we’re lucky, the famous black orchid can be seen. In the afternoon, move to Ombau Asa waterfall, an exciting place for swimming. Return to Melak then board to the houseboat and downstream to Tenggarong.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner   

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC 


Arrive at Tenggarong, visit the former palace of Sultan Kutai Kertanegara. Where you will see the Sultan’s impressive collection of heirlooms, ceramics, Dayak’s art and culture items. Afterwards, we go by car of about six hours to Sangatta. Check in at Hotel, for dinner and overnight.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner   

Accommodation: Kutai Permai hotel


Early in the morning by motor canoe upstream Sangatta River into the jungle of Kutai National Park Reserve. Upon Arrival at Prefab Orangutan Research station, we will drop our stuff and directly start a jungle trek into the forest, looking for wildlife and Orangutans.


In the afternoon, return to Prefab Station for Lunch and rest then later do another forest trekking in search for more wild animals and encounter the beauty of the Rainforest flora. Dinner and overnight at Prefab Research station.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner    

Accommodation: Jungle Lodge Kutai NP


After Breakfast, go by motor canoe to the mangrove forest at the Delta of the Sangatta River to spot Longnose Monkeys, Birds, Crocodiles and other wild in the Mangrove Forest. Return to Sangatta for lunch and continue by car for about 1 and half hour to Sangkima side, where you can find an old big hard wooden tree, and diversity of vegetation.

Continue by car to passing Buginese villages along the road. We will have dinner en route to Samarinda and overnight at Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner    

Accommodation: Senyiur Hotel


Breakfast, free at leisure, enjoy the hotel atmosphere until departure transfer to Balikpapan airport for your flight to your next destination. Thank you for exploring with Come2Indonesia. Sampai Jumpa!

Meals: Breakfast 


Photos: Floating Market - Mahakam River & Kutai Reserve

Price Includes

  • Flight Ticket Banjarmasin - Balikpapan
  • 2D1N Banjarmasin Tour with private guide
  • 8D7N Mahakam River & Kutai Park with private guide
  • English speaking guide
  • 4 Nights at Standard Houseboat Airconditioning
  • 1 Night at Hotel Kutai Permai Hotel Sangatta
  • 1 Night at Hotel Senyiur Samarinda
  • 1 Night Hotel transit at Balikpapan
  • Boat for the tour in the river at Floating Market
  • Room All Twin Shared
  • Airport and other transfers as indicated
  • Donations and Entrance fees, permits
  • Meals, Accommodations, and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • A unique experience!

Price Excludes

  • Domestic/international flights
  • Travel Insurance (Highly Recommended)
  • Visa
  • Airport tax
  • Alcohol, soft drinks, personal expenses
  • Extra expenses occurred due to causes beyond our control (force majeure) such as cancellations of flights, natural disasters, diseases, etc.
  • Everything that is not mentioned in “INCLUDES”
Map: Floating Market - Mahakam River & Kutai Reserve


When is the best time of the year to do this tour?

Our favourite time for travel in Indonesia is between April to October, although Indonesia is a great year-round destination, offering memorable experiences for all kinds of adventures. July to August are the peak summer months. In West to Central part of the weather is delightfully warm and it’s a popular time for travellers to visit for holidays, whilst if you wish to travel from October to April, the Eastern part Indonesia, like Banda and Raja Ampat, would be the best option.

If you wish to have a relaxing journey in Indonesia with less crowds, the shoulder months of April to June and September to October are ideal and slightly more economic. If you must travel in ‘high season’ but want to avoid the crowd, worry not, there are numbered of unbeaten track in Indonesia ready to be explored.

What should I bring?

The tropics is a warm and often sweaty place, especially if you have Borneo or Sulawesi included in your travel. Check out our suggestion on What to Wear:

  • Comfortable and light shirt and at least a pair of long sleeves
  • Comfortable walking shoes or trekking shoes if your trip include some trekking
  • Shorts and long pants
  • Couple of pairs of socks
  • Waterproof Jacket/Raincoat

Depends on the type of travel, you may also need these in your What to Bring list:

Underwater Trip:

  • Dive Insurance
  • Dive certificate
  • Certificate of Nitrox (for those who are using Nitrox)
  • Dive equipment except Tanks and Weights. Please consult your travel expert to find out if the equipment is inclusive or not in your booking
  • Swimsuit/Dive suit
  • Adaptor DIN or INT
  • Flashlight
  • Sunscreen SPF +40
  • Waterproof bags

Landtour and Trekking:

  • Small backpack for daily important item
  • Travel Insurance, which covers trekking and sport risk
  • Trekking shoes (check with your travel expert if you need a Goretex or simply a walking shoes)
  • Pullover (as in some area like Mt Bromo and some other places at high altitude, the temperature can get as low as 0 degree)
  • Hats
  • Small flashlight or head flashlight
  • Towel (preferably quick dry microfiber towel)
  • Flight tickets (keep the soft copy in your mobile)
  • Valid passport with Valid Visa (or check if you are eligible for Visa Free Entry)
  • Travel/Dive Insurance
  • Personal medication (include contact lenses)
  • Waterproof bag to put all important documents
  • All documents for your trip: vouchers, tickets, contact numbers
  • Credit card (in some major cities, credit card are widely accepted in restaurants and shops. Small charge might be applied)
  • Cash in Euro or USD (you may change into local currency Rupiah when you arrive here)
  • Camera, Battery and Charger
  • Adaptor (220V is used in Indonesia)
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen and Sunglasses
  • International driving license (if you plan to drive on your own)
  • Mosquito Repellent with DEET
  • Hygienic travel kits (mask, disinfectant or anti-virus spray, etc, etc)

How Do I Get to Banjarmasin?

There are daily flights from many Indonesian cities including from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Balikpapan, Sampit and Pangkalan Bun to Banjarmasin’s airport of Syamsuddin Noor (BDJ)  The airport is 26 km from Banjarmasin, or about half an hour‘s drive from the city.

How Hard is Our Tour?

We have classified our tours in 3 different classes. Always check which one suitable for your condition. If you have any doubt, you may consult to our travel expert.

Easy: Suitable for most people in good health. These trips can include short walk for days with around 2–3 hours in good paths and at low altitudes.

Medium: A reasonable level of fitness or technique is required, as these trips can require sustained endurance levels as the trip may include longer days of approximately 5-6 hours of activity or/and in higher altitudes, or snorkelling in strong current.

Hard: These trips are physically demanding and best suited for people with a high endurance level, good level of fitness and exercise regularly. Days can be long around 7-8 hours of activity, often at high altitudes, in remote regions and sometimes without a support vehicle nearby. Travellers may be required to carry their backpack, trip with trekking overnights without access to normal toilets or accommodations.


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