The secluded wonder of Derawan Islands in the province of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, was recently named among National Geographic Traveler's Annual Best of the World list for 2014, released on 21st November 2013. Not only did it make the list, but Derawan Islands emerged as the Readers' Choice outranking 66 other received nominees.
The list that features 20 destinations plus a bonus readers' choice destination to visit in 2014, reflects what's authentic, culturally rich, sustainable and superlative in the world of travel today. "Our annual Best of the World list doesn't reflect hot spots drawn from celebrity sightings or travel statistics; it reflects the expertise and experience of National Geographic Travel's huge network of global travel experts. If you want to explore places worth visiting now, this is a great place to start" said Keith Bellows, editor in chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine as quoted from press.nationalgeographic.com.
This year, for the first time ever, National Geographic invited well-traveled online readers and followers to participate in creating the Best Trips list. The participants were asked via Twitter, Facebook, and Intelligent Travel blogs to nominate one place using the same criteria used-sustainable, culturally minded, authentic, superlative, and timely. From this process, one of Indonesia's own secluded paradise took the top spot; and it is Derawan Islands.
Considered as the third best dive destination in the world, the Derawan Islands are located off the coast of East Kalimantan's mainland in the district of Berau. The Derawan archipelago comprises 31 islands, most well known among these are the islands of 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 daily watch turtles lay their eggs in the sand or you can swim to sea with the turtles.
Here are as many as 460 different species of corals, ranking this area second only to the Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua. 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. On some days, groups of up to 50 manta rays have been seen feeding together in Derawan's waters.
As a special feature of Derawan Islands, in Kakaban, one can find a lake that is filled with the world's largest and most diverse Collection of jellyfish, including four unique species of stingless jellyfish which swims upside down.
The Best of the World list for 2014 are featured in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of Traveler magazine, and online at travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2014/.
Copyright © 2014 Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia. All Rights Reserved