Updated: 16 April 2020
Want to know how to get to Borneo?
Please note: travel restrictions due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) may impact your ability to travel to Indonesia and Borneo during 2020. Please contact individual airlines and operators to learn more about their policies.
Visiting Borneo isn’t very different from getting anywhere in Indonesia but it is smaller and less westernised than some of the larger ports like Jakarta and Singapore. That means smaller airports and less regular flights, but don’t let that put you off! You can get to Central Kalimantan in just a few hours from anywhere in Indonesia, and from anywhere in Borneo if you’re already on the island. Here’s our definitive guide to getting to our pick up point and the trekking experience of your lifetime.
Orangutan Trekking Tours is located in Central Kalimantan, Borneo. This location puts us within a stone’s throw of Tanjung Puting National Park, which is the best place in Indonesia to see the orangutans in their natural habitat and in rehabilitation at Camp Leakey. This article will show you how getting to Borneo can be done easily, from anywhere in the world!
The OTT Meeting Point
Pangkalan Bun (PKN) is the meeting point where we pick up most of our trekkers. It’s a small airfield that’s just a short drive away from where you will board the klotok in Kumai to begin your tour through Tanjung Puting National Park.
Image: Getting to PKN from surrounding airports
How to get to Pangkalan Bun by air?
The easiest way to get to PKN is by air, and two airlines run there directly. Nam Air and Trigana fly directly from Surabaya (SUB) and Jakarta (CGK) which are both international airports. Flights leave daily and will take about one hour, costing approximately IDR 1,069,000 or US$78.
Nam Air will take you to Pangkalan Bun directly from Jakarta with their daily morning flights. Semerang is the closest Javanese city to Pangkalun Bun and has the shortest, cheapest flights.
Unfortunately for Bali-goers, there is no direct flight from Denpasar but you can easily fly to Jakarta or Surabaya and get a connecting flight.
The same applies for travellers in Singapore.
Ferry from Semerang to Kumai
You can get to Kumai from Semerang by ferry. It’s less common and quite slow – but you will save money. If you do prefer travelling this way, you can find more information here. Our trek leaders will be able to meet you at the port in Kumai and go from there.
Getting to Borneo from Kalimantan
If you’re travelling from within Borneo, you have lots of options. There are frequent flights from Sampit, Banjarmasin and Ketapang. Check the Trigana and Kalstar websites for daily flights from each port.
If you’re in Malaysian Borneo and need to cross over, you can get a bus from Kuching to Pangkalun Bun. The bus takes about 9 hours and leaves at 10am each day. Try to book an Executive Class with your chosen company – the air conditioning will be a saviour on the long haul trip.
Visa information for Borneo
If you’re going to be in Borneo for less than 90 days, you will receive a temporary Visa at the airport. Different requirements for visitors from different countries are here.
What to do when you arrive
Now that you’ve made it here, embrace it! Borneo is a wild ride and it’s worth staying on for a while. While Kalimantan’s biggest drawcard is Tanjung Puting, you are within a travelling distance to everything Borneo has to offer: a vibrant culture of cuisine, religion, natural wonders and national holidays. If you would like to read more about why you should factor the rest of Borneo into your trip, read our blog: Discover Borneo On Your Indonesian Holiday
Image: Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
So what are you waiting for?
Borneo, just like any country less travelled, isn’t quite as easy to get to as its Javanese neighbours, but it’s definitely worth it. The reason our treks can take you into Borneo’s natural and wild environment is that it hasn’t been overrun by tourists, hotels and development.
If you would like assistance getting to Borneo, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our lovely customer service team. We would love to have you and can make sure you get here from anywhere in the world. Happy travels and hopefully we’ll see you soon.