The top Kalimantan travel destinations | Indonesia Borneo

Derawan Islands on of top Kalimantan travel destinations Credit to Gemma i Jere on flickr

This article gives insights of the top Indonesia Kalimantan travel destinations, 73% of the island, while the rest of it is part of Brunei Darussalam and East Malaysia.

Top Kalimantan travel destinations

1. Derawan Islands, one of the best Kalimantan travel destinations

Derawan islands consist of a group of islands (31 islands) and four of them are the most accessible islands (Derawan, Maratua, Sangalaki and Kakaban island). It is situated in the district of Berau, and is part of East Kalimantan province.

This archipelago is home for the rare and endangered giant green turtles, manta rays and other magnificent underwater flora and fauna.

It is also where you can enjoy the lust tropical jungle trekking and wildernesses, peaceful paradise of Maratua atoll, and it is indeed one of the best Indonesia diving destinations.

Derawan Islands on of top Kalimantan travel destinations Credit to Gemma i Jere on flickr
Derawan Islands on of top Kalimantan travel destinations Credit to Gemma i Jere on flickr

2. Merabu village, the lush forest village in East Kalimantan

Merabu is an isolated village located in between a small river and a fortress of karst pinnacles, populated by the Dayak Lebo villagers, who live peacefully without worrying about outside world hassles.

The spectacular karst complex of the Sangkulirang Peninsula in East Kalimantan is one of the largest untouched areas of watershed in the world, the formation of the karstic outcrops, is totally undiscovered, due to infrastructure and rough terrain.

This magnificent limestone forest is home for rare bads, orangutans, and other wildlife creatures.

Merabu Village - The forest village in East Kalimantan
Merabu Village – The forest village in East Kalimantan

3. Balikpapan, East Kalimantan

Balikpapan is located in East Kalimantan province facing the deep Makassar Straits and it is known for the mining city.

However, Balikpapan is not just an oil city but it is also home for wildlife, like the Wain River Protected Forest featuring its endangered flora and fauna, Orang Utans, and Proboscis monkeys or Bekantan.

It is also where the popular crocodile farm called Teritip located on the east side of the city.

3. Kuala Kapuas, Central Kalimantan

Kuala Kapuas is also known as ‘the City of the Water’ as it is located around Kapuas river, and is about 40 km from Banjarmasin, Central Kalimantan. It offers the clean, pleasant and friendly vibes.

Some of things to do in Kuala Kapuas are; visiting the old gold mining sites of Batu Api and Teweh— traditional gold mining, doing whitewater rafting for the the adventure enthusiast, enjoying the magnificent landscape views, snorkeling and swimming and more.

4. Palangkaraya, the capital of Central Kalimantan

Palangkaraya is the capital of Central Kalimantan, the largest city by the size in Indonesia, which most of the area is still forested, including protected forests, nature conservation areas, and some lakes. And it is also known as the sacred place and now is being prepared to be the next Indonesia capital.

This historical and lush city is situated between Sebangau River and Kahayan River, built in 1957 on wilderness, during the first Indonesian President’s regime, Soekarno, and considered as one of the most well-planned cities in Indonesia.

5. Pangkalan Bun, the pleasant town in Central Kalimantan

Pangkalan Bun is entry point of Tanjung Puting National Park and the best gateway for witnessing Orang Utans. It is located around banks of Arut River.

6. Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan

Tanjung Puting is another most popular tourist destination in Kalimantan, located in Central Kalimantan. Where you can witness rare orang utans, enjoying the beautiful scenery of winding jungle river, exciting trekking within the lust virgin forest and so much more.

7. Putussibau, Kapuas Hulu Regency, West Kalimantan

The fascinating river town located in Kapuas Hulu regency, West Kalimantan. It is the last stop before entering Kalimantan wildlife, therefore, it is the best place to prepare and make sure you have all you need before doing your Borneo wildlife adventures.

8. Singkawang, oriental city in West Kalimantan

Singkawang is a beautiful city in the West Kalimantan, the primary tourist destination in West Kalimantan featuring it is magnificently beautiful land, beach, and oriental atmosphere. It is the second largest city in the province that bordering the State of Sarawak, Malaysia.

It is where you can find hundreds of Chinese temples found around almost every corner of town.

9. Tarakan, North Kalimantan

Tarakan is the capital of the newly formed province North Kalimantan serving a visa-free border-crossing between Indonesia and the Malaysia town of Tawau in Sabah, and it offers rich Historical Wonders.

It was once a major oil producing region during the Dutch colonial period, had great strategic importance during the Pacific War, and was among the first Japanese targets early in the war.

Apart from its historical sites, Tarakan is also one of the best areas for accessing the more remote and few remaining authentic parts of all of Borneo including Malaysia Borneo.

10. Banjarmasin, a charming and biggest town in South Kalimantan

Banjarmasin is one of other popular Kalimantan travel destinations, and is the capital of South Kalimantan. It is the best place to learn more about Kalimantan’s urban culture, located on a delta near the junction of the Barito and Martapura rivers.

Banjarmasin is an important port town in Kalimantan since ancient times, featuring its floating markets.

12. Loksado, the floating market village and adventure land

Settling at the end of the road in the foothills of the Meratus Mountains, Loksado is a lush paradise on the earth located in South Kalimantan. The main village lies inside a large bend in the clear chattering stream which acts as a moat protecting it from the onslaught of the modern world.

You can find a number of trails, and even same some paved connect remote villages with even more remote villages, and therefore Loksado is a perfect destination for the adventure enthusiasts.

It is also home to the wonderful waterfalls, jungle trekking sites, remote Dayak villages, and the traditional floating market.

13. Martapura, the land of diamonds in South Kalimantan

Martapura is the capital of South Kalimantan Province, located about 45 km east of Banjarmasin. It is popular as the Diamond city, producing globally known diamonds and all the precious rocks delved from inside Borneo’s earth.

If you are fancy jewelry and accessories lover visiting Martapura is a must.

14. Pontianak, where the zero point equator located

Pontianak is where the Equator Monument located, the monument was built in 1928 to mark the spot at zero degree on the Equator.  It is worth visiting for a memorable photographs and self pride. Make sure to register yourself before entering the site to get a free certificate proving that you’ve been on the zero point of equator.

15. Sungai Mahakam (Mahakam river)

Sungai Mahakam is the second-largest river in Indonesia. Sign up for the river trip and enjoy the unforgettable river cruise while learning more about the rich natural and cultural, like  Dayak cultures, longhouses and extremely friendly and hospitable local people.

Of course this list may not cover all of Kalimantan travel destinations but surely most and must visit locations have been included.

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