Located just away from the mainland of East Kalimantan in the district of Berau, the Derawan archipelago is one of Indonesia's most stunning sea gardens. Comprising 31 islands, most well known are Derawan, Maratua, Sangalaki and Kakaban. Here is Indonesia's largest nesting site of the rare and endangered giant green turtles and hawksbill turtles, where one can watch these turtles lay their eggs in the sand. Or go dive in the crystal blue sea and swim with manta rays, dugongs or even with the stingless jelly fish. The entire marine conservancy region covers a total area of no less than 1.27 million hectares.
Nearest city to Derawan is Berau, which must be reached through Balikpapan, a busy port, known mainly for its oil refineries and exports. A number of domestic airlines fly to Balikpapan, while Garuda Indonesia and SilkAir fly to Balikpapan direct from Singapore.
Starting 1 August, Garuda has begun operating daily flights from Balikpapan to Berau, which up to now has been served only by smaller aircrafts. Garuda flights leave Balikpapan at 15.00 hrs, arriving Berau at 16.00 hrs. The return flight leaves Berau at 16.40 hrs, arriving Balikpapan at 17.40 hrs. The new flights provide ample opportunity for Balikpapan residents and tourists alike to hop over to Derawan for a wonderful holiday or weekend of diving and snorkeling.
To further promote its Balikpapan flights, Garuda now offers special promotional fares from and to a number of cities in Indonesia, starting 1 August to 31 December 2013 with latest reservation on 31 December.
During this promotional period, one way airfare from Balikpapan to Berau is Rp. 463,000. To Banjarmasin is Rp. 460,300, to Makassar (Ujung Pandang) Rp. 556,000, to Jakarta Rp. 765,000, to Surabaya Rp. 721,000, and Yogyakarta Rp. 787,000.
Garuda now also flies daily Jakarta - Tanjung Pinang on Bintan
In the latest development, Garuda has also opened the airline's Jakarta- Tanjung Pinang route Tanjung Pinang is the capital city of the Riau Islands Province (Keppri) on Bintan Island, where is located the Bintan Island Resort, a swathe of white sand beaches on the northern part of the island, dotted with star-studded hotels facing the blue South China Sea, Bintan also has a number historic attractions and is the hopping off point to the Natuna and Anambas islands. Bintan is also connected by frequent ferries from Singapore.
Starting 3 August, Garuda operates Jakarta- Tanjung Pinang once daily flights vice-versa, using B 737-500 aircrafts with capacity of 96 passengers. Flight GA 286 leaves Jakarta at 05.20 am and arrives Tanjung Pinang at 07.05 am. The return flight leaves Tanjung Pinang airport at 07.45 am and arrives Jakarta at 09.20 am daily, announced Pujobroto, VP Corporate Communications of Garuda.
For detailed information and booking you can log on to www.garuda-indonesia.com
Photo Courtesy Antara/Azhari/vg
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