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  • Writer's pictureCuddlefish Divers

Discovering the Underwater Wonders of Maratua and Sangalaki Islands: A Diver's Dream

If you’re a diving enthusiast seeking an unforgettable underwater adventure, Maratua and Sangalaki Islands should be in your bucket list. Located in the pristine waters of Indonesia’s Derawan Archipelago, these islands offer a blend of vibrant marine life, crystal-clear waters, and stunning coral formations. Let’s dive into what you can expect when exploring these aquatic paradises!

The Allure of Maratua Island


  • Rich Coral Reefs: The coral reefs around Maratua are teeming with life. Expect to see a variety of colours from hard and soft corals, which serve as a backdrop for a variety of fish species. The visibility here is often excellent, reaching up to 30 metres!

  • Big Fish Encounters: One of the main attractions is the chance to encounter larger marine creatures. Schools of barracuda, thresher sharks, and the occasional whale shark make regular appearances. The island’s famous channel dive, “The Big Fish Country,” offers exhilarating currents that attract these larger pelagics

The Magic of Sangalaki Island

  • Manta Ray Mecca: Sangalaki is famous for its manta ray population. These majestic creatures gather in large numbers at cleaning stations around the island. Watching a manta ray ballet as they glide effortlessly through the water is an awe-inspiring experience

  • Diverse Marine Life: Beyond mantas and turtles, Sangalaki’s reefs are brimming with life. From colourful reef fish and moray eels to eagle rays and cuttlefish, there’s always something fascinating to see

The Cons: What to Keep in Mind

While diving at Maratua and Sangalaki is generally a dream come true, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Remote Location: The islands are relatively remote, which can make getting there a bit of a journey. However, the secluded nature is part of their charm, offering unspoiled beauty and tranquillity

  • Strong Currents: Some dive sites, particularly around Maratua, are known for their strong currents. These can be challenging for inexperienced divers, so it’s important to dive within your limits and follow guide instructions

Tips for a Memorable Dive Trip

●       Pack Wisely: Bring necessary dive gear, as rental options might be limited. Also, pack eco-friendly sunscreen to protect the coral reefs.

●       Respect the Environment: Practise responsible diving. Avoid touching corals and marine life, and be mindful of your buoyancy to prevent damaging the fragile ecosystem.

●       Stay Hydrated and Healthy: The tropical climate can be dehydrating. Drink plenty of water and ensure you’re in good health before diving

In summary

Maratua and Sangalaki Islands offer an unparalleled diving experience, combining natural beauty with incredible marine biodiversity. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, these islands promise adventures that will stay with you for a lifetime. So, gear up, dive in, and get ready to explore the underwater wonders of Maratua and Sangalaki. Your next great dive adventure awaits!


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