Maratua island is one of the outer islands in Indonesia that located in Sulawesi Ocean and it bordered with Malaysia. Maratua island is administratively located on Berau regency, East Kalimantan.
Maratua is a small and long island, and it has sharply curve at the edge and it located at the south side of Tarakan city.
The atoll of Maratua in the Derawan Archipelago off the East Kalimantan of Borneo, is a tropical atoll partially encircling a massive lagoon on one end and fringed with sheer rocky walls and coral reefs along the other end. A series of raised coral islands make up the northern half of the atoll; the southern end is defined by a continuous ring of submerged reefs. This giant upside down U-shaped atoll covers about 384 square kilometers of sandy white beaches and mangrove forests and 3,735 square kilometers of territorial waters which contain the third highest level of marine biodiversity in the world after Raja Ampat and the Solomon Islands. The reef is covered with soft and stony coral, with the channel being the main attraction. The islands of Maratua, Sangalaki, Kakaban and Derawan — making up the Derawan Archipelago — have a reputation for offering some rather unique experiences. Prolific pelagic and reef fish including thresher shark, barracuda, snapper, dogtooth tuna, spanish mackerel, jacks, surgeonfish, scalloped hammerhead, nurse, grey reef and white tip reef sharks, manta rays and eagle rays can be found in this area. The reefs are also home to an incredible variety of soft and hard corals, some of which are very rare, and many crustaceans of all sizes such as the giant clam. The total area of the atoll is huge and, with only a small population of fisherman living in five villages scattered around the atoll, the marine environment here is still in amazing condition.
Maratua Island is also part of Derawan Islands. By the strategic location and the richness of its marine, Maratua island is now popular by the Travelers from many countries. The tourists who give visit to this island are mostly spending their time by doing swimming, snorkeling and diving. Hence, this Maratua island is popular by its name of Paradise island.
How to Get to Maratua
Extra Divers, who operate Nunukan, Nabucco and Bakungan islands, run regular speedboat transfers from Berau to Maratua, Nunukan, Bakungan and Nabucco. These connect to the Garuda Indonesia Balikpapan flights arriving on Saturday and Wednesday at 14.10pm and departing on Tuesday and Friday at 11.35am, and cost around 130 euros return: non-guests are welcome to join. This is currently the easiest way to get to Maratua, although Maratua Paradise Resort also offers boat transfers for its guests.
As of February 2016, there was talk of Maratua’s controversial and much-delayed domestic airport opening to flights in June or July 2016. Several opening dates have been formally announced in earlier years, but all works are now complete, so it seems all that is required is government funds and an airline to open a route.
As and when Maratua airport opens, it will become the primary point of entry to the Derawan islands and may also produce the kind of unconstrained development that makes Kuta (Bali) and Gili T so crowded.Ambitious plans are afoot for projects running from casinos to luxury hotels: whether these make it past the white elephant stage remains to be seen.