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Mahakam River Tour

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Tour Code: BTG-BORNEO21

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Mahakam River Tour
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Moving away from the tours most requested by tourists, this 4-night expedition on the Mahakam River will allow us to live a fascinating adventure aboard houseboats and motorized canoes. With our specialized crew and guide we will enter the mouths of this river that is the home of some Dayaks settlements and thousands of endemic species of monkeys and water birds.

An area of tropical jungle characterized by its peaty black waters. A unique opportunity to see up close the behavior of wild orangutans or to see the “freshwater” dolphins that exist in few areas of the planet. Get away from the world and dive into the wildest eastern Borneo.

  • 4 Nights
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Pickup: Balikpapan, Borneo (BPN)
Itinerary: Mahakam River Tour

DAY 1: BALIKPAPAN ‚Äď SAMARINDA - MAHAKAM ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚Ėľ

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 Balikpapan airport, you will meet our guide who will transfer you to board the houseboat to begin an adventure along the Mahakam River. Meals are going to be provided on board.

Meals: Lunch – Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC

DAY 2:MUARA MUNTAI - MANCONG - TANJUNG ISUY - MUARA PAHU ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚Ėľ

We will do a short sightseeing at Muara Muntai Wooden village, then crossing Jempang Lake by motor canoe to Mancong. During the cruise you could see Rain forest and wildlife at Ohong creek like monkeys and birds.

Upon arrival at Mancong, you will be welcomed with a traditional ceremony by the Dayak Benuaq, one of the Oldest Dayak tribe of East Kalimantan. In the late afternoon, we will go by motor canoe to Tanjung Isuy for sightseeing and return to Houseboat for dinner and overnight. The houseboat will cruise up to Muara Pahu.

Meals: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC

DAY 3:MUARA PAHU, KEDANG PAHU RIVER, MOUNT BAYAN, TERBISAK, UPSTREAM ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚Ėľ

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 РLunch РDinner 

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC

DAY 4:MELAK - EHENG - OMBAU ASA ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚Ėľ

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 РLunch РDinner 

Accommodation: Standard Houseboat AC

DAY 5:TENGGARONG - BALIKPAPAN ¬† ¬† ¬† ‚Ėľ

Arrive at Tenggarong, visiting 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 by car to Balikpapan airport for your onward flight to your next destination. Sampai Jumpa!

Meals: Breakfast  

Accommodation: 

Photos: Mahakam River Tour

Price Includes

  • 5D4N Mahakam River Cruise with private guide
  • English speaking guide
  • 4 Nights at Standard Houseboat Airconditioning
  • 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 ‚ÄúINCLUDES‚ÄĚ
Map Mahakam River Tour

FAQ

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 ‚Äėhigh season‚Äô 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‚Äď3 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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