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14 Top Things to Do in Tarakan, North Kalimantan Indonesia

by Hindarko Luh Setyawanto

Tarakan, which is the largest city in North Kalimantan, is located on Tarakan Island, a small island east of Kalimantan Island. The city is divided into 4 districts namely West Tarakan, East Tarakan, North Tarakan and Central Tarakan. The first impression of this city for most visitors is hot, free of traffic and friendly people.

The plane is the main mode of transportation to get to Tarakan. Juwata International Airport in Tarakan serves return flights to Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Balikpapan, Samarinda, and several towns in Kalimantan. As for the international route is only to Tawau in Malaysia. In addition to the airport, Tarakan also has Tengkayu I Seaport and Malundung Seaport. Tengkayu I is only for speedboats with route Tarakan – Tanjung Selor while Malundung is for PELNI ships.

Tarakan is well known as an oil and gas producer. So no wonder mining becomes the main support of the economy of Tarakan city. Yet this city also has abundant tourism potential ranging from natural beauty, historic buildings to cultural events. So guys, let’s see the top things to do in Tarakan North Kalimantan Indonesia.

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1. Visiting Amal Beach
The first of top things to do in Tarakan is visiting Amal Beach. This beach is a tourist attraction that must be visited. The beach is not far from the city center, only about 30 minutes away. Amal Beach has a vast expanse of sand with moderate waves. The uniqueness is the presence of beach snails that clearly visible crawl in the sand.

The beach is mostly visited during the afternoon. Visitors can go for a stroll along the coastline. Kids will love to play sand and swim in the beach. And of course visitors should not miss the beautiful sunset on Amal Beach. Once satisfied to play around, visitors can enjoy seafood at the food stalls around the beach. Worth a try Kerang Kapah menu which is a special cuisine on this beach. Amal Beach is located in Amal, East Tarakan. The admission price is Rp 5.000. It opens 24 hours.

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2. Visiting Tanah Kuning Beach
The next thing to do is visiting Tanah Kuning Beach. To go to Tanah Kuning Beach, visitors can board a speedboat that departs from Tengkayu Port I. The length of the trip is about 90 minutes. Tanah Kuning Beach has a stretch of white sand that attracts the eye. The coastline has a length of about 2 km with a width of about 75 meters.

The beach is clean and the waves are small so this place is suitable as a family vacation spot. Because of its location facing east, Tanah Kuning Beach is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of sunrise. For visitors who want to spend the night, there are inns with affordable prices around the beach. Tanah Kuning Beach is located in Tanah Kuning Village, East Tanjung Palas, Bulungan Regency. It’s free entry.

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3. Visiting Conservation Area of Mangrove and Bekantan
Conservation Area of Mangrove and Bekantan has an area of about 22 hectares and is located near the city center. Nevertheless the wilderness atmosphere is felt here. The atmosphere is shady, comfortable, cool, and full of birds chirping. No wonder the conservation area becomes a favorite place of Tarakan residents.

By walking along a wooden bridge, visitors can see various types of mangroves and also Bekantans that relax in the trees. Bekantan is a rare species that can only be found in Kalimantan. It has a characteristic long and large nose that distinguishes it from other types of monkeys. Besides Bekantan there are 21 other types of animals in this conservation area ranging from eagles, long-tailed monkeys, crabs, snakes to spiders. Conservation Area of Mangrove and Bekantan is located in Karang Rejo, West Tarakan. The admission price is Rp 5.000. Opening hours is 8 am – 5 pm.

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4. Visiting Karungan Waterfall
In addition to the beautiful Amal Beach, Tarakan has Karungan Waterfall. The waterfall is close to downtown, only about 30 minutes drive. Although Karungan Waterfall is not as high as waterfalls elsewhere, this place is always crowded on weekends.

Around the waterfall there are many plants grown to improve the welfare of the surrounding population such as mango, durian, rambutan and cloves. Visitors do not need to worry about hunger here because there are many food stalls around the waterfall. Currently the municipal government of Tarakan is revitalizing the region to attract more visitors. Karungan Waterfall is located in Karungan, Mamburungan, East Tarakan. It’s free entry.

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5. Visiting Juwata Crocodile Breeding
Juwata Crocodile Breeding has been around since 1991 with an area of about 5 hectares. There are 4 types of crocodiles in this place, namely Crocodylus Porosus, Crocodylus Siamlisus, Tamistoma Shceillius, and Crocodylus Novaegueneae.

These crocodiles are used to make various products. Crocodile skin is processed into shoes, purses, wallets, and belts. Crocodile teeth are processed into souvenirs. And crocodile meat is processed for consumption. This breeding place is a tourist attraction that must be visited. Juwata Crocodile Breeding is located in Karang Harapan, West Tarakan.

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6. Visiting Ladang Park
Ladang Park is the most popular place in Tarakan for young people. This oval-shaped park is situated near the city center so it is easily reached. The atmosphere of green and beautiful makes visitors comfortable to linger here. The existing sculptures make the park instagramable. In fact, the events are often held here. And the nice thing is Ladang Park has been equipped with wifi facilities.

The park will be crowded in the afternoon until the evening. While relaxing visitors can enjoy the food sold around the park. There are fried rice, fried noodles, toast, soda drink, fruit juice, etc. Ladang Park is located in Pamusian, Central Tarakan. The admission price is Rp 2.000. Opening hour is 5 am – 10 pm.

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7. Visiting Orchid Botanical Garden
Orchid Botanical Garden was opened in 2005 with an area of about 5 hectares. Here there are 1,200 species of cultivated orchids, 300 species of natural orchids, and various types of cactus. Not to be missed, visitors can see various types of native orchids from Kalimantan in this garden.

In addition to admiring the beauty, visitors can also buy orchids that grow here. The price varies depending on the type of orchid. In addition to tourism, Orchid Botanical Garden is used for conservation, research and education. To be proud of, in 2011 the garden was once visited by Vice President Budiono. Orchid Botanical Garden is located at Gunung Amal Street, near Amal Beach. It’s free entry. Opening hour is 8 am – 5 pm.

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8. Visiting Bunker of the Dutch Army
In the days of colonialism, Tarakan produced oil for Dutch interests. Due to the importance of Tarakan, in 1936 – 1939 the Dutch built many bunkers here for defense. Bunker was made of solid concrete with a position partially buried in the ground. When World War II began, Tarakan became the starting point of the Japanese army to dominate Indonesia. There was a great battle between the Dutch and the Japanese. The Japanese managed to occupy Tarakan in just 3 days.

In 1945, towards the end of the war, allied forces invaded Tarakan and defeated the Japanese. Many soldiers were killed from both sides. Now visitors can see many relics of war in Tarakan. One of these bunkers is next to Juwata Airport.

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9. Visiting Monument 99 Park
Monument 99 Park is one of the instagramable spots in Tarakan. The park is near the entrance of Juwata International Airport. Passengers who are in transit or waiting for the plane to depart can walk in this park to relax muscles or banish boredom.

Monument 99 Park is a green open space that was built as a place of public recreation. In the morning and afternoon the park is crowded by people who exercise using the existing jogging track. Children also take advantage of this park as a playground. In addition, this park is a favorite of young people to spend time. Monument 99 Park is located at Mulawarman Street, West Tarakan. It’s free entry.

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More Attractions in Tarakan

Indeed, here are more things to do in Tarakan North Kalimantan Indonesia:

10. Visiting Wana Wisata Persemaian
Wana Wisata Nursery, which is under the forestry service, is a place for plant nurseries to preserve biodiversity. Plants from different regions of Indonesia are cultivated here. In addition to research and education, Wana Wisata Persemaian is used as a place of recreation.

This place is not far from the city center so it is suitable for family vacation spot. Children will love to play in the children playground here. Visitors can also do outbound or camping. Organization of nature lovers and Scouts often hold activities here. Wana Wisata Persemaian is located in Karang Harapan, West Tarakan.

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11. Visiting Round House Museum
Round House Museum was once an Australian army barracks when they occupied Tarakan after defeating Japanese army. After Indonesia became independent, the house was converted into a museum that stores the relics of World War II. Here visitors can see a variety of weapons, bullets, samurai swords, army uniforms, aircraft propellers, ancient money, maps, antique cars.

But the most interesting is the collection of photographs depicting the state of Tarakan during World War II. Although the pictures are black and white, visitors can still feel the ambience of the greatest war in human history. Round House Museum is located at Danau Jempang Street, Central Tarakan. It’s free entry.

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12. Visiting Baloy Adat Tidung
Baloy Adat Tidung is a traditional house of the Tidung tribe. Tidung Tribe is a native tribe of Kalimantan who inhabit the northern part of Kalimantan. In 1076 the Tidung tribe established the Tidung Kingdom which was based in Tarakan. Baloy Adat Tidung is made from ulin wood of high quality and has a form of house stage. The house faces north and has four main rooms. Inside the house there is a throne belonging to the Chief of Custom of Dayak Tidung.

The house is often used as a meeting place of indigenous people. In addition to seeing Tidung culture, visitors can also try to wear traditional clothes of Tidung tribe. Baloy Adat Tidung is located in Pamusian, Central Tarakan. The admission price is Rp 3.000. Opening hours is 9 am – 5 pm.

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13. Watching Iraw Tengkayu Festival
Iraw Tengkayu is a hereditary culture of the Tidung tribe that describes their expression of gratitude as fishermen over the abundance of blessings. Currently Iraw Tengkayu tradition is combined with Tarakan anniversary celebration and become a festival held every two years in December. This means the Iraw Tengkayu Festival will be held in December 2017.

The Iraw Tengkayu Festival is filled with various events such as the Tarakan cultural carnival, the exhibition of Tarakan products, bazaars, music and dance performances, running competitions, sea food parties and fireworks parties.

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14. Visiting Baitul Izzah Islamic Center
Baitul Izzah Islamic Center is the largest mosque in North Kalimantan and is the pride of the people of Tarakan. The mosque was inaugurated in 2012 and is able to accommodate 25 thousand pilgrims. The mosque looks very majestic with eye-catching color.

Baitul Izzah Islamic Center is currently the main place for religious events held in Tarakan. The municipal government of Tarakan plans to add a multipurpose room in this mosque that has a capacity of three thousand people. Baitul Izzah Islamic Center is located at Sesayap Street, East Tarakan.

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Well guys, now you know the top things to do in Tarakan North Kalimantan Indonesia. No doubt Tarakan has the best Places To Visit in Indonesia with its beautiful nature and historic buildings. Let’s visit Tarakan North Kalimantan Indonesia..!

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