For a really exceptional sensation, how about swimming with jellyfish? Yes, you heardit right, jellyfish, the one sea creature that is most likely to give you stings, itches, and all kinds of unpleasant swimming experiences. Well, at Kakaban Island in East Kalimantan, you can , not only swim unharmed with this fascinating creature, but you can actually touch them since the island is one of only two places on earth where you can find stingless jellyfish.

Kakaban Island is a large coral atoll in the Derawan Archipelago in the Regency of Berau, off the east coast of East Kalimantan Province, covering 774 hectares of uninhabited terrain. Its most distinctive feature is a huge land-locked lake, which makes up almost two thirds of the island. This brackish lake is alive with several species of endemic marine life, including millions of stingless jellyfish that only exist in one other place on the planet which is at Palau in Micronesia. The island is shrouded among a tangle of dense mangrove forests, right down to where the water meets the earth. 

“Kakaban” comes from a word in the local dialect meaning “hug,” because of the way the 9-shaped island “hugs” the lake in the center. Kakaban Lake has been declared a government nature reserve, and has been nominated as a World Heritage Zone.

The ecosystem of the lake is very similar to that of the open sea, but with a twist! The trapped sea-water diluted with rain water and ground water creates a unique habitat that has caused the creatures trapped inside to evolve! The lake has warm, brackish water of 11 to 17 meters in depth, and is carpeted in marine green algae. Four species of jellyfish crisscross the waters of Kakaban Lake, but unlike their counterparts beyond the coral wall, the lake-jellies have no natural predators, resulting in the evolution of the species to no longer need their venom as self-defense.

You can get to the Derawan Islands by renting a boat from Berau to Derawan for 2 hours and then through the islands near Kakaban to rent a room and a boat to go to this uninhabited island. And you should ask in advance about the cost of boat rental as well as this unique dive because although there are many operators, the ticket price to dive with jellyfish is quite expensive.

According to