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Maratua Island

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Maratua is beautiful Island with a small lake and a bay facing the Sulawesi sea. There are four village : Teluk Harapan, Teluk Alulu, Bohebelian, and Payung-payung. This island is inhabited island to 4 villages of 2,704 people. This area is very suitable for canoe races, speedboat racing, water skiing, and scuba diving. Maratua Island is also called as Sandalwood Island. alt

Maratua Island is a large island with a lagoon, just like Kakaban Island. The island circles part of the lagoon, the rest is fringing reef filled with a wealth of marine life. The lagoon fills and drains through a single channel creating very strong tidal flows. The reef is covered with soft and stony coral, but the channel is the main attraction.

Prolific pelagic and reef fish including barracuda, snapper, dogtooth tuna, spanish mackerel, jacks, surgeonfish, scalloped hammerhead, nurse, grey reef and white tip reef sharks, manta rays and eagle rays. 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.

There are many dive sites around Maratua, but here are the list of notable dive sites available.

Cave/ Goa Haji Mangku

 

altJetty Dive: Entering the water near the Maratua house reef, this shallow dive has a great deal to offer, especially at sunset. Around the corals (amongst which you can find the rare elephant ear) about 60ft offshore you will find enormous schools of mandarin fish; the patient diver can even watch them mate. You can also see crocodile fish, colourful picture dragonet, cuttlefish, harlequin shrimp, gorgeous nudibranches, blue ringed octopus, giant clam and much, much more. Many guests return to this dive daily and find new treasures each time.

The Channel: Probably the most exciting dive site around Maratua, the wonders of the Channel never pall. The currents can be very extreme and so it is not always possible to dive here, but, in addition to the wealth of corals, the fish are abundant. Varieties of shark include the hammerhead, grey shark and white-tip shark, as well as tuna, barracuda (in huge schools), Manta and Eagle rays and snapper.

Turtle Bay: Further out on the reef you are sure to see some giant turtles. Most are Green Turtles, although you can usually spot Hawkbill Turtles as well. They are very gentle, and will let you approach them quite closely. At a depth of only 10m you will find an abundance of marine specimens to study including moray eels, mantis shrimp, lobster and nudibranch cleverly disguised amongst the multi-coloured coral.

Bigfish Country: Thresher sharks are regular visitors here, and you will probably also spot more turtles. You may also see parrotfish, hawkfish, black-spotted stingray and eagle rays, sailfin snapper and grouper, as well as the more common nurse shark and jack. Keep an eye out for the fascinating pygmy seahorse amongst the coral sponges and giant sea fans.alt

Eel Garden: This is a long stretch of reef gently stretching to a sandy bottom. Eels are abundant here, and, depending on the current, you can also see spanish mackerel, trevally, and barracuda along with many varieties of hard and soft coral.

Leo Wall: A vertical wall, with many overhangs and gullies is home to an incredible variety of corals and fish. Black coral traltees and sea fans grow in profusion along the wall, while many reef fish hide in the caves and crevices such as sweetlips, snappers and angelfish. Looking out to sea you can hope to observe fusiliers, sharks, and turtles.

Cabbage Garden: A protected area with very little current which is suitable for less experienced divers. As well as the profusion of cabbage corals from which it gets its name there are many other reef fish here. It is also a popular hangout for turtles.

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