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Mahakam River – Kutai Reserve & Maratua Island (11D/10N)

Tour Code: C2I-BORNEO18

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Mahakam River - Kutai Reserve & Maratua Island (11D/10N)
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The third largest island in the world awaits you to combine three of the best things it has to offer. Dayak tribes, orangutans in freedom and one of the most biodiverse funds in the world. On this 10-night tour along the eastern coast of Borneo, you will have the opportunity to see how the Dayaks coexist, an ancient tribe formerly known as “the headhunters”, you will explore the rainforests aboard a floating house, you will see close to orangutans and many rare water bird species as well as many monkey species.

You will finish this expedition in the Derawan Archipelago, home of large turtles and whale sharks that can reach 9 meters long. Let the adventure begin!

  • 10 Nights
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Pickup: Balikpapan, Borneo (BPN)
Itinerary Mahakam River - Kutai Reserve & Maratua Island


Welcome 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. 


Upon arrival at Sepinggan airport, meet with our guide who will take you to Loajanan, about 2 and half hours driving car, to board the houseboat prepared for you to explore the Mahakam River. Meals and accommodation are provided on board.

Meals: Lunch – Dinner 

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC


After breakfast, we will do a short sightseeing at Muara Muntai Wooden village, then cross Jempang Lake by motor canoe to Mancong. During the cruise you can see the lush rainforest and wildlife at Ohong creek such as monkeys and birds.


Upon arrival at Mancong, you will be welcomed with a traditional ceremony by the Dayaq Benuaq, one of the Oldest Dayak Longhouse of East Kalimantan can be found here. In the late afternoon, cruise by motor canoe to Tanjung Isuy for sightseeing and then continue to the Houseboat for dinner and overnight. Houseboat will cruise up to Muara Pahu.

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, and enjoy the hotel atmosphere, until departure transfer to Balikpapan hotel for overnight.

Meals: Breakfast  

Accommodation: Aston Balikpapan – Superior room 


After breakfast, at the appoint time, our driver will transfer you to catch the flight to Berau, one of the marine paradises in Indonesia with pristine beaches and healthy coral reefs, virgin islands and vast forests.

Arrival in Berau, our driver will transfer you to Berau Harbour to take boat to Maratua Island. You will have the rest of the afternoon free to enjoy. Welcome to paradise!

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Pratasaba Resort – Saroja room

DAY 10: FREE DAY       ▼

Today is free for you to explore the island’s pristine nature through various activities. Snorkeling with stingless jellyfish around Kakaban, following a large school of barracuda, observing Manta Ray or admire resting turtles. Feel free to contact the front desk for recommendations.


Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Pratasaba Resort – Saroja room


After breakfast at the appoint time, you have your transfer to Berau and take flight to Balikpapan. Thank you for traveling with Come2Indonesia. Sampai Jumpa!

Meals: Breakfast


Mahakam River - Kutai Reserve & Maratua Island

Price Includes

  • Flight Ticket Balikpapan – Berau
  • Flight Ticket Berau – Balikpapan
  • Fast Boat Berau – Maratua – Berau
  • 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 at Jungle Lodge Kutai NP
  • 2 Nights at Hotel in Maratua
  • 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 Mahakam River - Kutai Reserve & Maratua Island


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 Balikpapan?

Balikpapan is easily reached from all major cities in Indonesia. Most airlines have flights to Balikpapan, including from Jakarta, Surabaya, and Makassar. Besides Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air, other domestic low-cost carriers to Balikpapan are Sriwijaya Air, Citilink, Indonesia Air Asia. Internationally, SilkAir flies direct to Balikpapan from Singapore.

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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