General

local_dining Full board included.
check Diving included

Best bits:

  • Chance of encounters with Mantas, Reef Sharks and Hammerheads
  • Chance of finding some really interesting critters that Indonesia is famous for
  • Stay at the beautiful Nabucco Island Resort, only 5 mins from the epic site ‘Big Fish Country’
  • Includes 10 dives

The Adventure

On this adventure you will spend 8 days exploring the areas of Maratua Atoll, Sangalaki & Kakaban. You can expect excellent reefs that are teeming with life from the big to the small, this Indonesian adventure is sure to give you memories that will last a lifetime!

During your adventure you will be staying Full Board at the dreamy Nabucco Island Resort, located just off the east coast of Borneo on the eastern side of the Maratua Atoll in Indonesia. This little paradise has been built with care, making sure the buildings where carefully insert as to reduce the impact on the nature of this pristine island. The resort has been well thought out to ensure guests days can be filled with adventure, or simply blissfully peaceful as they relax in the perfect surroundings. Around the island are a few little beaches where visitors can swim and sunbathe during high tide. On this beautiful island there is plenty of wildlife on land for you to try and find too. This includes monitor lizards, flying foxes, kingfishers, coconut crabs, mud skippers! The exotic resort combines the magic of nature and a family atmosphere. You will stay in a Seafront Bungalow; they are located directly on the white sand beach. The bungalows are ensuite, have air conditioning and of course are just steps away from a picture postcard beach with azure blue water.

The diving on this adventure is varied with both pelagic encounters, loads of macro life and stunning corals. With 10 dives included in this adventure you will aim to find Mantas, Sharks, Macro and just about everything in-between! The house reef at this resort is awesome as it is on the outer reef of the eastern side of the Maratua atoll. On most dives you could see turtles, reef sharks, bumphead parrot fish, groupers, eagle rays, leopard sharks, nurse sharks and the possibility of big fish passing by in the blue! Macro lovers will find many different species on the house reef such as nudibranchs, leaf fish, pygmy seahorses and much more. Maratua Atoll has many dive sites beyond the house reef, of particular mention would be ‘Big Fish Country’ which is only a short boat ride from this resort! This site is a channel dive and offers the chance of some really special encounters, the possibilities include Scalloped Hammerheads Sharks, loads of Reef Sharks and big schools of predatory fish. You will also get the chance to visit the legendary dive sites at Sangalaki in search of the nearly resident Mantas and Kakaban to visit the stingless jelly fish lake!

Included:

  • Transfers (including internal flights to & from Balikpapan airport)
  • 7 nights Full Board accommodation
  • 10 dives (including tanks & weights)
  • Boat fees for Sangalaki, Kakaban, South Maratua & Big Fish Country dives
  • Wifi in island center

Availability

This Dive & Stay adventure is possible from the start of February to the end of December each year. Please contact us with your preferred dates and we will be more than happy to help!

Requirements

  • We recommend PADI Advanced Open Water qualification or equivalent to be able to do all dives. Less experienced divers are more than welcome but may have to sit some dives out.
  • There is no minimum number of dives required; however we recommend 30+ dives logged. Less experienced divers are more than welcome but may have to sit some dives out.
  • Diving insurance such as DAN or equivalent

Travelling by yourself? No problem!

Divers are generally a really friendly bunch and usually love a chat, so travelling by yourself shouldn’t put you off going on an epic adventure! If you are travelling alone on this adventure there will be a small single supplement to pay, please ask us for more details.

Non-Divers

This adventure can be enjoyed by non-divers too! The area around this location has a lot to offer non-divers. The resorts are also excellent places to relax and unwind while the divers are out diving!

Non divers also benefit from a reduced rate on this adventure, ask us for details!

Indonesia

IndonesiaIndonesia has unbelievable biodiversity and hosts over 300 different spices of fish and with an immense amount of coral and sponges, you can see why divers hold Indonesia in such high regard! Made up of over 13,000 islands and situated in the heart of the coral triangle Indonesia is a marine paradise. You can dive Read more

Blacktip Reef Shark

Blacktip Reef SharkThe blacktip reef shark gets its name from the prominent black tips on its fins. These sharks are relatively common on tropical Indo-Pacific coral reefs in shallow, coastal waters. At the surface, it’s easy to spot their exposed first dorsal fins. They can grow to be about 7 feet, but a blacktip’s average length is Read more

Grey Reef Shark

Grey Reef SharkThis species is most often seen in near the drop-offs of reefs and can be seen congregating in large numbers in some locations. The grey reef shark has the typical “reef shark” shape, with a broad, round snout and large eyes. This species can be distinguished from similar species by the plain or white-tipped first Read more

Manta Ray

Manta RayManta, proportionally, the largest brain of any fish, and we truly believe that you can see evidence of this when you look into their eyes during a close up ‘moment’ with these creatures. There are two species of Manta which differ in appearance and preferred habitat, they are the Giant Oceanic Manta and Reef Manta. Read more

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Scalloped Hammerhead SharkNamed after their iconic hammer-shaped upper body, hammerhead sharks are one of the most famous shark species in the world. Hammerheads can grow to reach the impressive length of four metres. The eyes are found on either side of the shark’s head, giving it an impressive view of its surroundings, which is useful for spotting Read more

Whitetip Reef Shark

Whitetip Reef SharkWhitetip reef sharks are a commonly spotted shark whilst diving reefs. They usually are not bothered by the presence of scuba divers so you can tend to get quite close as they rest on the bottom or in their caves. This allows for excellent photographic opportunities. They are most active at night and in some Read more

Other notable marine life in Maratua Atoll

Other notable marine life in Maratua AtollEagle Ray Eagle Rays are generally found in shallow coastal waters on reefs or in bays. Divers can see schools of eagle rays on reefs and wall dives swimming past in the blue or over the reef. Eagle rays generally swim very fast, although they look so relaxed and elegant. Turtles The Turtles are generally Read more

Itinerary & Sites

Day 1

Upon arrival at Balikpapan Airport (BPN), which is technically called Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan International Airport you will then head to check in for your short internal flight to Maratua (included) which departs at 14:30. Once at Maratua airport you will be met by a representative of the resort in arrivals and you will then have a short 30 min boat ride to the resort. You will then have time to get checked into your beach bungalow and explore your paradise island before dinner that evening. It’s a great idea to go and introduce yourself to the dive team who will be more than happy to discuss your diving options for your adventure.

Day 2 – 7

You will spend your time at Nabucco Island Resort exploring the wonders that Maratua Atoll has to offer. As the house reef is on the outer reef it takes as only a couple of minutes to reach the different dive sites including ‘Big Fish Country’.

On some days you may also visit the awesome sites in North Maratua Atoll, South Maratua Atoll, Sangalaki and Kakaban islands for a two tank or three tank dive trips. The boat fees for these trips are included and the dives will count as part of your included 10 dive package.

The plan for the following days diving will be made with the dive centre the afternoon/evening before.

Day 8

On day 8 you will be collected after lunch and transferred back to Maratua airport for your short internal flight (included) to Balikpapan, this flight arrives back at Balikpapan at 17:15.

Some of our favourite dive sites in this area include

North Maratua sites:

Big Fish Country

The famous channel with very strong currents opposite of Nabucco. Diving is only possible during incoming current. A reef hook is a must as the channel entry will be crossed. Huge schools of barracudas, white and black tip reef sharks as well as eagle rays are the big attraction here. This is not an easy dive site, but definitely worth the effort! Before diving here you should have gained some experience with currents.

Small Fish Country

Just next to BFC you can enjoy this well intact and colourful coral reef. Plenty of fusiliers and a great variety of reef fish live here. Passing bumphead parrotfish, tuna or eagle rays provide surprising encounters.

East Wall

Located between Nunukan and Nabucco this beautiful steep wall is worth a trip. Nurse sharks, leopard sharks, grey reef sharks or stingrays are quite common here.

Leos`s Point

South of BFC this sloping reef with sandy plateau on 27-30m is known for good sightings of big stingrays or leopard sharks. Next to colourful reef fish you can also find many different macro creatures.

Leo’s Wall

Leo’s Wall starts on a slope and ends on a beautiful wall with overhangs. In the shallows you will find lobster, banded sea snakes or octopus. There is usually no strong current, so it is a good dive site to search for macro creatures.

South Maratua sites:

Bantukan

Untouched colourful coral reef west of Nunukan. Many fish schools, sting rays and eagle rays can often be seen. As a nice change to the usual walls you dive here on a gentle slope from 5-15m depth with a sandy plateau at the bottom that shows plenty of coral blocks in between.

Ujung Karang Tinggi

This reef also starts with a gentle slope and continues with a steep wall. The huge variety of soft and hard corals is outstanding and gives many macro creatures good opportunities to hide. Often bumbhead parrotfish, trevallies or tunas are passing by.

Kakaban/Sangalaki sites:

Kakaban/Baraccuda Point

Spectacular dive site with strong currents where encounters with eagle rays, white and black tip reef sharks are not uncommon. A reef hook is a must as on the slope sometimes the current can push downwards. Towards the end of the dive a colourful steep wall with fantastic soft corals can be enjoyed. We recommend this dive site to advanced divers with experience in currents.

Kakaban Wall

A beautifully overgrown steep wall just next to the jetty of the famous jelly fish lake with a lot of macro creatures. The wall shows some holes and craters that invite you for exploring. Here is usually not much current to be expected.

Sangalaki/Manta Point

THE place to have an encounter with manta rays. The easy slope in front of Sangalaki is the feeding place for these elegant creatures. Next to the manta rays you find a sandy area on 5-15m with many coral blocks to discover macro creatures. Fusiliers, nudibranchs, scorpionfish or sepia can be seen here.

Dive site map

As divers we know that safety comes first, we also know dives can be affected due to factors outside of our control, such as poor weather and sea conditions. All effort will be made for all diving activities to take place, however if weather, sea conditions or any other circumstances out of Adventure Dive Travel or our suppliers control can mean some diving activities have to be cancelled. If dives are missed we will attempt if possible to reschedule the dive within the remaining time on your trip, however this is not always possible and therefore it is not guaranteed.

Dive Info

The diving on this adventure is varied with both pelagic encounters, loads of macro life and stunning corals. With 10 dives included in this adventure you will aim to find Mantas, Sharks, Macro and just about everything in-between! The house reef at this resort is awesome as it is on the outer reef of the eastern side of the Maratua atoll. On most dives you could see turtles, reef sharks, bumphead parrot fish, groupers, eagle rays, leopard sharks, nurse sharks and the possibility of big fish passing by in the blue! Macro lovers will find many different species on the house reef such as nudibranchs, leaf fish, pygmy seahorses and much more. Maratua Atoll has many dive sites beyond the house reef, of particular mention would be ‘Big Fish Country’ which is only a short boat ride from this resort! This site is a channel dive and offers the chance of some really special encounters, the possibilities include Scalloped Hammerheads Sharks, loads of Reef Sharks and big schools of predatory fish. You will also get the chance to visit the legendary dive sites at Sangalaki in search of the nearly resident Mantas and Kakaban to visit the stingless jelly fish lake!

Dive centre & daily diving

The dive centre is situated on the jetty in front of the island. It is equipped with a reception area, wet room and several rinsing tanks for the equipment.

The centre offers 3 dives a day, usually single dives where you will come back after each dive, occasionally half day trips (2 dives) and daytrips (3 dives), plus early morning, twilight & night dives on request. More than 20 local dive sites at Maratua atoll are reached in 5 – 20 minutes from the island. To reach Kakaban/Sangalaki (daytrip) the boat ride is about 45/60mins.

Nabucco is located in the middle of the coral triangle where the largest marine diversity and one of the biggest turtle populations worldwide is found. Due to the remote location there are almost no other dive boats around. The dive sites around the Maratua atoll are remarkable for their intact hard and soft corals, steep and sloping walls as well as the channel, and of course marine life! Only 5 minutes from Nabucco is the famous dive site Big Fish Country. This dive site is a current dive which can only be done with incoming tide and an AOW certification with at least around 50 dives and the necessary experience is obligatory for this dive. Here various types of sharks (grey, white tip, black tip reef sharks), eagle rays and sometimes hammerhead, tunas, jacks and the resident huge school of barracudas can be seen regularly. Big Fish Country is a dive site which is best done a few times as every time is impressive in a different way. The tides and the moon affect this area quite a bit, so even the same dive site can be very different when it comes to animals during low tide or high tide, little or stronger current

On some days you may also visit the awesome sites in South Maratua Atoll, Sangalaki and Kakaban islands for a two tank or three tank dive trips. The boat fees for these trips are included and the dives will count as part of your included 10 dive package.

The dive centre offers 12L aluminium tanks with DIN valves (INT adapters available).

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Boats

The dive spots around the house reef are approached with small modern boats, the rides take about 1-10 minutes.

There are 3 modern dive boats made of fiberglass. Each boat is powered by 2 engines between 70 and 150 HP Yamaha/Suzuki. The boats transport you to the dive sites safely and quickly. On every boat you will find oxygen, a first aid kit, and mobile phone or radio.

Nitrox

Nitrox upgrade is available at a cost of 6 euros per tank (payable at resort).

Water temperature:

28 - 29 ℃ year-round

Rental equipment

Rental equipment is available at an additional cost, please let us know what you will require and we will arrange this for you.

Dive Insurance

Please note, it is mandatory that you have a dive specific insurance. We strongly recommend that passengers have valid Divers Alert Network insurance (or equivalent) to provide coverage in the event of an accident. This location is a very remote area and the cost involved in evacuating a diver is very high. The D.A.N. policy is a vital protection to have. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with obtaining dive insurance (at least one week prior to the trip).

Accommodation

During your adventure you will be staying Full Board at the dreamy Nabucco Island Resort, located just off the east coast of Borneo on the eastern side of the Maratua Atoll in Indonesia. This little paradise has been built with care, making sure the buildings where carefully insert as to reduce the impact on the nature of this pristine island. The resort has been well thought out to ensure guests days can be filled with adventure, or simply blissfully peaceful as they relax in the perfect surroundings. Around the island are a few little beaches where visitors can swim and sunbathe during high tide. The exotic resort combines the magic of nature and a family atmosphere.

On this beautiful island there is plenty of wildlife on land for you to try and find too. This includes monitor lizards, flying foxes, kingfishers, coconut crabs, mud skippers!

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Bungalows

You will stay in a Seafront Bungalow; they are located directly on the white sand beach. The bungalows are ensuite, have air conditioning and of course are just steps away from a picture postcard beach with azure blue water.

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Restaurant & Bar

Meals are served in the airy and roomy restaurant. It is constructed on stilts directly over the sea. While enjoying delicious meals, your eyes can feast on fantastic views of Maratua Atoll with its turquoise lagoon and surrounding sandbanks, the marine life swimming past or a monitor lizard taking a sunbath.

The day starts with a tasty breakfast including coffee/tea, fresh fruit juice, fresh fruit plate, homemade bread, and your choice of eggs/fried rice/fried noodles/pancake/cornflakes etc, which will be served à la carte. For lunch you will be served 3-course meal. In the evening, the night sky over the Celebes Sea is the perfect ambience to enjoy the freshly prepared 4-course dinner (homemade bread, salad, soup, main course, dessert)

Machine coffee, soft drinks incl. homemade ice-tea and fresh juice, as well as alcoholic drinks including cold beer, cocktails and wines are on offer in our restaurant/bar at very good prices. Drinking water is available for 2.50 EUR/bottle with free refills at the restaurant and dive centre and during meals drinking water is also included.

Payments at the resort

Any additional payable services (drinks etc) will need to be paid in cash at the resort, credit and debit cards are not accepted. Cash payments can be made in both $ (USD) or Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).

What's Included

This adventure includes:

  • Transfers (including internal flights to & from Balikpapan airport)
  • 7 nights Full Board accommodation
  • 10 dives (including tanks & weights)
  • Boat fees for Sangalaki, Kakaban, South Maratua & Big Fish Country dives
  • Wifi in lounge area

Not included but needed:

Dive Insurance

Please note, it is mandatory that you have a dive specific insurance. We strongly recommend that passengers have valid Divers Alert Network insurance (or equivalent) to provide coverage in the event of an accident. This location is a very remote area and the cost involved in evacuating a diver is very high. The D.A.N. policy is a vital protection to have. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with obtaining dive insurance (at least one week prior to the trip).

Travel Insurance

This is important and highly recommended but not mandatory. Travel insurance ensures you won’t have any stress or worries if something goes wrong whether it’s a cancelled flight or a medical emergency.

Payments at the resort

Any additional payable services (drinks etc) will need to be paid in cash at the resort, credit and debit cards are not accepted. Cash payments can be made in both $ (USD) or Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).

As divers we know that safety comes first, we also know dives can be affected due to factors outside of our control, such as poor weather and sea conditions. All effort will be made for all diving activities to take place, however if weather, sea conditions or any other circumstances out of Adventure Dive Travel or our suppliers control can mean some diving activities have to be cancelled. If dives are missed we will attempt if possible to reschedule the dive within the remaining time on your trip, however this is not always possible and therefore it is not guaranteed.

Travel Info

Great news! We can arrange your flights too! Please ask for quote at time of booking and we will happily handle the arrangements.

As a responsible and reputable business, any flights you book with us will be ATOL protected so your money is safe, it’s always worth booking with the professionals.

If we are not arranging your flights, then please wait for us to confirm your booking before booking your own flights.

Your adventure begins and finishes at at Balikpapan Airport (BPN), which is technically called Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Sepinggan International Airport, in Indonesia.

You can fly to BPN airport from the UK and other major European international airports easily, with many airlines offering daily flights with connections in major international airports and then another shorter connection in either Bali or Jakarta ready for a short internal flight to BPN. Your inbound flight will need to arrive at BPN before midday as your internal flight (included) is at 14:30. It may be worth considering arriving a day early and spending a night in Balikpapan so you are well rested and ready in plenty of time for your internal flight (we can arrange this for you, please ask for a quote).

Upon arrival at Balikpapan Airport (BPN), you will then head to check in for your short internal flight to Maratua (included) which departs at 14:30. Once at Maratua airport you will be met by a representative of the resort in arrivals and you will then have a short 30 min boat ride to the resort.

On day your final day you will be collected after lunch and transferred back to Maratua airport for your short internal flight (included) to Balikpapan, this flight arrives back at Balikpapan (BPN) at 17:15, so flights home need to depart late enough for you to have time to check back in for your international flight.

*We try to update flight guides as soon as possible but airlines can change their routings at any time, this is a guide only which is correct at the time of publishing.