Mahakam River Jungle Cruise
The Great Mahakam River as the third longest on earth, cascade down from the highlands, is a crucial infrastructure channel between the coast and the deep interior. The Mahakam river highway attract tourists who wants to travel into the heart of Borneo jungle regions. The indigenous Dayak settlements along the Mahakam River of East Kalimantan is an ideal way to experience the incredible culture, where village elder shamans practice traditional medicine and mark their status with intricate body tattoos and remarkably heavy ear adornments, we will be warmly welcomed guests in their artful longhouses. East Kalimantan ’s dense jungle hinterland and wide terrain of coastal wetlands have traditionally kept the region isolated from all, except the adventurous travelers. At the upper reaches of the rivers, you can discover the rich traditions of the Dayak tribe Culture. Along Borneo 's Mahakam River you can enjoy a sightful heritage experience of culture and grand diversity of exotic tropical flora and wildlife from black orchids to fresh water dolphins and orangutans, and venture ashore for captivating jungle explorations and unforgettable encounters in our village visits. Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of the Kalimantan Island
MAHAKAM RIVER RAINFOREST TOUR EXPEDITIONTour Package Duration 08 Days / 07 Nights
Day 01: BALIKPAPAN, SAMARINDA, MAHAKAM RIVER (LD)
Upon arrival at Balikpapan airport, meeting service and transfer to Loa Janan, to board houseboat for exciting adventure on Mahakam river. Meals provided and overnight on houseboat.
Day 02: MUARA MUNTAI, MANCONG, TANJUNG ISUY, MUARA PAHU (BLD)
Short sight seeing at Muara Muntai Wooden village, then crossing Jempang Lake by motor canoe to Mancong. During the cruise you could see Rain forest and wildlife at Ohong creek like monkey’s and birds, Upon arrival at Mancong, welcomed with a traditional ceremony by the Dayaq Benuaq, one of the Oldest Dayak Longhouse of East Kalimantan can be found here, Late afternoon by motor canoe to Tanjung Isuy for sightseeing and continue to Houseboat for dinner and overnight. Houseboat will cruise up to Muara Pahu.
Day 03: MUARA PAHU, KEDANG PAHU RIVER, MOUNT BAYAN, TERBISAK, UPSTREAM MAHAKAM (BLD)
Arrive at Muara Pahu, cruise upstream the Kedang Pahu River by canoe for more then one hour by canoe to Mount Bayan to visit Terbisak Dayak village known of it’s Longhouse of the Benauq Dayak tribe which is still habituated by about 100 Dayak people living in their community house, and traditions of dry rise fielding and hunting, continue downstream by canoe, along the river bank, we will enjoy the exotic nature and wildlife as otters, leaf monkeys, endangered roboscis monkeys and birds, before we move to the delta of the Belowan river as a black water peat swamp forest land, with opportunities to spot the fresh water dolphins in the colliding stream of the Kedang Pahu and the Bolowan River. Afternoon, return to houseboat for continue upstream to Melak. Meals and overnight at houseboat
Day 04: MELAK, EHENG, OMBAU ASA, TERING (BLD)
Arrive in Melak then drive to Eheng by Jeep / Minibus passing beautiful highland to reach the old longhouse of Dayak Tunjung. Afterwards visit Kersik Luway and explore the forest, if lucky the famous black orchid can be seen. Afternoon to Ombau Asa waterfall, an exciting place for swimming. Return to houseboat and continue upstream Mahakam River (if water level allows).
Day 05: TERING, RUKUN DAMAI (BLD)
Breakfast, Cruising the mighty Mahakam River which becomes narrow the more we cruise into the head waters to Rukun Damai village as a Dayak Kenyah and Kayan tribal's Settlement with longhouse, art full statutes, and totems, and traditional culture, tattoos, and long ears, surrounded by tropical forest. Lunch, dinner at local restaurant, and overnight at guesthouse at Rukun Damai.
Day 06: RUKUN DAMAI, DATA BILANG (BLD)
Breakfast at Guesthouse, before we get downstream to visit Data Bilang village, which is a dayak tribal village of the Migrated Dayak Kenyah of the isolated Kayan Region, with their color full longhouse and mystic believes of kaharingan as a mix of the Hindu religion and natural spirits.Data Bilang district is also home to the native Dayak Bahau tribe, famous of it's Hudoq mask ceremony for harvest and planting, overnight at Guesthouse Data Bilang.
Day 07: DATA BILANG, DOWNSTREAM (BLD)
After breakfast at guesthouse, short sightseeing at Data Bilang village and surround, before we start our journey by cruising downstream Mahakam River to Tenggarong. Meals provide enroute and overnight on boat.
Day 08: TENGGARONG, BALIKPAPAN (BL)
Arrive at Tenggarong, visiting the former palace of Sultan Kutai Kertanegara. Where you will see the Sultan's impressive collection of heirlooms, ceramics, Dayak's art and culture items. Afterwards by car to Balikpapan airport for your next destination.
Mahakam River Travel FactsMahakam River is a busy traffic resource highway of Kalimantan, which can be reached via the main international airport Balikpapan, or the local domestic airport Samarinda. The River is almost 1.000km long, and the only way to bring you into the deep interior of East Kalimantan. The main attraction of the lower part are the wide swamp forest and Lakes, The artful Dayak Culture and Longhouses, the lower Mahakam River is covered by mangrove, swamp, and lowland rain forest. The Tourism spots are the Villages and river life. The further you get upstream the more adventures it will be, till you reach settlements in the dense jungle after the rapids.
Mahakam River Weather
Day Temperatures 27 °– 32°C
Night Temperatures 20 °– 25°C
Rainfall 4,000mm per year
Wet Months October & June
Dry Months February & August ( but expect daily rain )
Mahakam River Accommodation
Mahakam River has poor accommodation facilities at the villages, The houseboat with Indonesian Styled accommodation as the standard with cold water shower but airconditioned sleeping cabin, will cruise you slowly through the hinterland, enjoying the scenery along the river sliding away
Travel Time & Distance East Kalimantan – Kutai Park
Balikpapan – Samarinda overland 3 hours
Samarinda – Muara Muntai houseboat cruise 14 hours
Muara Muntai – Lakes – Muara Muntai full day
Muara Pahu – Melak houseboat cruise 6 hours
Melak – Tering / Data Bilang houseboat cruise 6-9 hours
How To Get There
Balikpapan Sepinggan international airport with direct Flights to Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Tarakan, Berau, Palu, Makassar, Manado, Singapore
Samarinda Airport with direct flights to Melak, Balikpapan, Berau, Tarakan, Nunukan, Long Apung, Tanjung Selor (ATR – Airvan planes)
Things To Bring
Towel, soap and personal needs
Waterproof bag (for documents and electronics)
Mahakam River Culture & Wildlife
The wildlife is exotic, lots of water birds, along with the endemic proboscis monkeys, and other forest denizens including clouded leopard, leaf monkey, macaque, pangolin anteater, tiny tarsier, lizards, and pythons. The Tribal Cultures on the way are more then 40 tribes, with all their own cultural believes and art, from longhouses, to earlobes and tattoo’s
East Kalimantan Province area is 145,534 square kilometers, with a 3 million population.