13 Prehistoric Caves Await Cavers in Derawan Islands

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  • TEMPO.CO, Berau - While many tourists are coming to Maratua Island, Derawan Island, for its scenic beaches and underwater wonder, the island has more treasures hidden in its land. For example, dozens of caves have now surfaced in the islands that shares water border with Malaysia and the Philippines, waiting to be explored.

    “Actually, number of caves in Maratua may even reach hundreds, but not all of them has been found,” said Haji Abdul Jabar, Subdistrict Head of Maratua, Berau, East Kalimantan on Tuesday, August 18.

    Maratua is among the largest islands in Derawan Islands, sizing around 384.36 square kilometers. The island was formed from a reef which was elevated to the sea surface by pacific earth plates tens of thousands years back. That is why the island is known as prehistoric island.

    There are 13 caves which have been identified and recorded in Maratua tourism map including Kehe Kabok, Sukur, Hapit Pogah, and Pogah caves in Teluk Harapan village, Silandayan, Penggunting, Angkal-Angkal, and Tangkapa caves in Payung-payung village.

    Because it is originated from reef, caves in Maratua become intrution channel for sea water to infiltrate into the land. Therefore, the caves have clear, salty blue water and is connected to the sea.

    Abdul is hopeful that cavers will be visiting the island to unveil how many more caves that the island has hidden.

    “We are lack of resources,” said Abdul.

    To get to Maratua Island, tourist may take Derawan Island route. Nearest access to Derawan is from Tarakan, North Kalimantan, by speed boat. Other alternative is from Berau, East Kalimantan.