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Discover Derawan


Marine Life

Land of the Giants: manta, whaleshark, leopard shark

Dive Info

Advanced AND minimum 75 logged dives


Coral garden slopes, jellyfish lake

Scenery & Beach

uncrowded diving area, only few liveaboards and resorts. No connection to the rest of the world for several days


Currents in the channel

Water Temperature

27°C to 30°C

Tarakan, one of the most important cities situated in the Borneo Island, North Kalimantan province. This area has not been discovered yet by many divers, due to difficult access, making the diving exquisite, uncrowded and virgin. 

From here we will sail south to Sangalaki, a small island with white sand beach that is surrounded by an extended reef top and gentle sloping down to nice plateau with coral bommies. Making it perfect for Mantas to feed and green turtles to nest. Even sometimes Leopard Sharks can be seen. 

Sea turtle monitoring and a research station is situated on the island, the rangers will explain us all about Green Turtles on our afternoon visit. Sangalaki is the biggest turtle nursery in Indonesia

Kakaban Island is very different than Sangalaki just being 6 NM apart. Steep walls drop to the deep where up currents bring pelagic fish and sharks to more shallow water. Above, limestone cliffs covered by jungle hugs a massive brackish mangrove lake, where thousands of harmless jellyfish made their habitat. Up to four different species can be found here. 

Very close lies Maratua island, vertical deep coral walls form the atoll. In the channel, dives can be very exciting as big school of Barracuda likes to patrol the area. 

Towards the south of Kalimantan almost at the eastern tip there is a shallow area that attracts plankton blooms and spider boats fishing anchovies are there regularly for a good catch. Opportunistic Whalesharks frequent the boats for an easy snack. 

Derawan Island would be our last visit before heading Tarakan for disembarkation.Amazing coral garden slopes and kindy muck diving below a traditional jetty will put the icing on the cake. 


Destination FAQ

The Derawan Archipelago in Borneo is another Indonesia’s underrated hidden gems offering experienced and novice divers alike a diving destination with interesting underwater life. Derawan ranks just second behind Raja Ampat in terms of coral diversity with over 460 species. While Derawan is best known in the scuba diving arena for its manta rays and whale sharks, there are actually over 870 species of fish that inhabit this region. This diving destination offers us whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, thresher sharks, leopard sharks, dolphins, dugongs, schools of barracudas, and a good dozen of underwater caves to explore.

The Nature Conservancy and a team of international experts also found more than 870 species of fish here, ranging from tiny pygmy seahorses to giant manta rays. Here is Indonesia’s largest nesting site of the rare and endangered giant green turtles and hawksbill turtles, also we have a jellyfish lake with thousands of harmless jellyfish.

Sangalai Island, Maratua, Sambit island, Derewan island

Each island has something different to offer – Kakaban for the amazing Jellyfish Lake, Sangalaki for majestic mantas, Maratura for barracuda and Derawan for unparalleled macro life.

It is the perfect tropical paradise with warm, isolated islands, soft white sand beaches fringed with waving palm trees, pristine seas that change color from green to deep blue

Depending on the time of the day, the current can become quite strong and surprising. The tides, on these shoals, are important and powerful.

Around 29 degrees

Destinations & Itineraries

Discover the hidden gems and breathtaking dive sites that this tropical paradise has to offer. Prepare to be enchanted by the unparalleled beauty of Indonesia's underwater world.



  • Year built 2010
  • Length 32m
  • Width 8m
  • Capacity 16guests / 16 crew
  • Hull Ironwood
  • Body Teak
  • Ratio guests/Dive guide 4/1

The Iliké

The ILIKE was built on Sulawesi in Bira in 2010. It is the area where the local tribe is famous for building the strong and reliable phinisi boats, the traditional ships specifically designed and built for travelling the Indonesian archipelago.

Ilike hosts a total of 16 guests in 8 cabins that are fully air-conditioned with ensuite bathroom with hot water shower, toilet and sink. Indonesian and International meals will be served in the spacious saloon with open kitchen, or in the outdoor sitting area at the stern of the boat, well protected from wind while sailing. The comfortable dive deck in front of the boat is one of the most spacious on Indonesian liveaboards. As a diver you can choose to dive on Air or Nitrox from our membrane Nitrox compressor. Between dives you are invited to catch some sun on our sun deck, where you will also enjoy spectacular sunsets, sipping a cool drink!

The yacht is powered by 2 x 320HP marine engines, allowing us to cruise at an average speed of 9-10 knots across Indonesia. We schedule top diving destinations like Komodo, Alor, Maluku, Banda Sea, Triton Bay, Raja Ampat and Kalimantan. Rich marine life, healthy corals and stunning landscapes may soon become your memories after a stay on board of Ilike. We look forward to welcome you on board!

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