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Mahakam River Cruise combines natural and cultural charms in a memorable boating adventure in East Borneo.

Mahakam River is the lifeblood of East Kalimantan (Borneo) region, flowing almost 1,000km long from Borneo highlands to Makassar Strait. Our 6 days Mahakam River Tour itinerary is a perfect way to marvel at the beautiful nature and culture thriving by the river. Floating on a river cruise boat among the rainforest and riverside villages is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you should not miss.

Life around Mahakam River Cruise

Mahakam River is the source of life for East Kalimantan inhabitants, serving as the freshwater source, transportation, fishing place, and distribution route. The Kutai Kingdom, the oldest kingdom in Indonesia from the 4th century, was born and growing around the river. The river has great importance for the Dayak, Kutai, and Banjar, the native groups of Kalimantan.

Mahakam River flows through several important cities, including Samarinda and Tenggarong. There are also smaller villages inhabited by natives, such as Melak, Muara Ohong, Long Tuyoq, Long Apari, Data Bilang, and many more. Some of them receive the coming of tourists as the additional income sources, showcasing traditional performances, souvenirs, and their way of life.

Mahakam River also has a rich biodiversity, with the mixed characteristics of rainforest and peat swamp. The tributaries are inhabited by animals such as monitor lizards, pesut (river dolphins), macaques, snakes, and various types of birds. They make a river cruise trip feels like a wild adventure.

Tour Highlights

Mahakam River Cruise takes you to see the wonderful riverside life in East Kalimantan. The boat provides lodging and meals for several days, giving you a unique experience of living on a river. Several highlights of the tour include:

Traditional Village

The tour takes you to riverside villages where the locals perform traditional dances. You can also see unique cultural objects, such as traditional longhouses, wood carvings, and ancient coffins. Witness the interesting life of the locals and taste some local dishes.


Mahakam River boating takes you to the upstream and wetlands, where you can witness local animals. Hornbills, river dolphins (rarely), snakes, black leaf monkeys, and macaques may appear between the bushes and canopies. Make sure to be alert so you don’t miss anything!

Jungle Trekking

The tour involves short trekking trips through the forest, where you can see unique local plants. Kalimantan is famous for bangkirai tree, a type of tall and hardy mahogany. The tree is the source for resin and timber, which are important natural resources in Kalimantan. You can also see the ironwood trees and rare black orchids.

Museum and Royal Palace

This Borneo river tour takes you to Tenggarong, a riverside city with historical importance. Tenggarong was the center of Kutai Kingdom, and the royal palace was turned into a museum. You can see various exhibitions such as the royal throne, household goods, weapons, pottery, and traditional fabric. There are also dioramas and photographs depicting the development of East Kalimantan Province.

Make sure you bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and extra bottled water to anticipate the tropical heat. Prepare good walking shoes for the trekking trip. Don’t forget to plan your tour with Adventure Indonesia Tour Operator. Joining a memorable Mahakam River Cruise has never been this easy!

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