Cross Borneo Trek

  • 17 DAYS
  • Challenging

Cross Borneo trek is one of the best ways to experience the untamed beauty of this region. This lush, tropical island is known for its rich biodiversity and abundant natural resources.

The best time to undertake the trip is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. During this time, the weather is relatively predictable, with clear skies and minimal rainfall. Many parts of Borneo can become inaccessible during the monsoon season, so planning is crucial. Ensure that you check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly.

The cross-Borneo trek is a challenging undertaking, and it is recommended that you have prior trekking experience. Before embarking on this journey, ensure that you are in good physical condition and have undergone proper training. Pack vital essentials such as sturdy hiking boots, quick-drying clothing, a raincoat, a first aid kit, and insect repellent.

This adventure trip is an excellent way to challenge yourself while soaking in the beauty of one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. However, this trek requires considerable preparation and physical fitness and is not for everyone. Nonetheless, for those who undertake it, the rewards and sense of accomplishment are unparalleled

Duration      : 17 Days / 16 Nights
Start/Finish  : Pontianak / Balikpapan

Arrival at Pontianak. Transfer to hotel in downtown. Accommodation at hotel Santika Pontianak. REST TIME (There are a lot of things to do while you are there. We can explore the riverbank area of Pontianak by the wooden boat, from where we can observe the old and the new Pontianak from the different perspective. We can do Pontianak sightseeing with this way. Among the highlights of the sightseeing trip is Pontianak harbor, Beting Permai water village, and the huge Kapuas bridge. We can do this for about 2 or 3 hours. All cost for this optional activity will be on your own).

Today, fly by noon flight to Putusibau

After breakfast at hotel in Putussibau towards to the headwaters of the Kapuas by long boat. The long boat is about 1 ½ meter wide and about 8 meter long with capacity for  9 -10 passengers. The long boat without any roofs so it will be hot and also little noisy. Needed all necessary supplies, estimate day, as far upstream as possible. It is recommended to wear your water sport sandals (TeVa) or rubber shoes and bring ear plugs, hat, long sleeve, short pants, extra snacks & drinks and  dry bags.  You will take this journey with our porters as well as our guide’s team. On the way may be the boat will be stop for toilet, cleaning the propeller, refill  gasoline or fix the engine. You will pass some Dayak   Village in the river side  and their unique daily river life as well as some birds such as Eagle, King Fisher, Long Tailed Parakeet etc.  Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight at the riverside at tents or local house (B,L,D).

After breakfast, continue our journey by long boats as far as upstream. On the way we may stop at the Dayak village to see the long house . We will also pass some rapids, slash and burn agriculture (shifting cultivation)  as well as the local people looking for gold, some by traditional way and some by machine along the river side.  In certain places we have to go down to the river to push the boat as the level of the water in the dry season s is too shallow. Here you will experience how amazing the boat man and what we call “the Stone Man”  the boat crew who knows exactly where is the rock and how to get away from the rapids. It’s a great challenge of adventure you will experience. If the rapids too challenging we have to walk along the rock, slash and burns trash barrier  in the river side and the boat will pick us up.  It’s tough here. Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in the river side at tents or temporary house or local house. (B, L, D).

Continue our journey after breakfast. It’s more and more challenging here with rapids. Go down boat, push the boat, walk on the rocks, or slash and burn trash barrier in the river side while the boat passing the rapids will give you more challenging experience. On the way you will see the tropical rain forest of Kalimantan, shifting cultivation, traditional gold mining in the river, temporary huts, till you reach Tanjung Lokan. Tanjung Lokan is small villages located inside Betung Kerihun National Park. If you are a handy craft collector you may find some nice basket, “Mandau”  traditional machete, “Sumpit” blow gun, “Tangguy” traditional farmer hat etc. Lunch on the way, dinner and overnight at the local house. The guide teams will packing the stuffs to bring along the expedition and divided between them so they will have the same weight  to carry (B, L, D). PS : The duration of the long boat journey is depend on what happen in the fields. Normally the journey started after breakfast till in the mid day for lunch. Then the long boat will stop before dark to set the tents and prepare meals. Sometimes we have to continue the journey longer to catch the best places to stay overnight. Here we need your flexibility so you will enjoy the journey more.

After breakfast, start the trek across up Land Ladang “slash and burn, long fellow dry rice field  through the forest. The first 2 hours we will high up the hill then another about 2 ½ hours passing the jungle and  dry  small river. After lunch on the way close to the river side, the trek will be high up and down  again crossing the dry small river, and Nyinyit Cave (the local people collect the swallow nest that cost so expensive and very good to support their life inside the cave).  Before dark we set the tent in the river side of Sei Bulit for dinner and overnight. The guides team will cook for you. Ultimate/rubber shoes is recommended.  (B, L, D)

After breakfast, crossing the river, up and down passing the jungle, crossing small rivers, and cave. You may see exotic flora and fauna of Borneo.  After lunch on the way in the river side, then crossing jungle, up and down passing the dry river, cave and temporary huts that the local people using it while they do shifting cultivation or hunting deer, wild pig, birds, and even sometimes clouded leopard. Before dark, set the tent close to Bungan River for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D).

Now you need to prepare for the challenging trek. The trek is also varied but tougher. After breakfast  crossing the big river about ½ - 1 meter deep. We will have lots of deal with water, walk on the cliff of the river side and rock. After lunch on the way in the river side, continue the trek up and down the cliff of the river. Overnight and dinner in the river side of Bungan Lea River. (B, L, D).

This is the longest and the toughest trek. After breakfast, crossing up and down  passing the rivers, cliff of the rivers and the river side. After lunch continue the trek  then started to trek almost the same like before lunch. The trek is so challenging and need more of adventure spirit and energy.  Set a campsite close to the river for dinner and overnight. (B, L,D)

This is what the traveler will feel so different crossing the border of West & Esat Kalimantan! After breakfast, walked about two hours up and down river till reach the foot of Muller Range. It started from the altitude of 500 M ASL  till reach the border of West and East Kalimantan at 1000 M ASL. The path is not so difficult only high up hill passing the jungle. It takes about 1 – 1 ½  hours depend on your ability. No need to rush as the jungle view is fantastic. After reaching the ”TUGU PERBATASAN” (BORDER MONUMENT), you need to put one of some your belonging you wear for this expedition such as shocks, cloth or else in the stick around the border for offering to the spirit.  After lunch on the way, the trek is easier down the hill until you reach the campsite in the river side. Dinner and overnight at the Muller Range. (B, L, D)

After breakfast the trek is almost the same before and after lunch passing the rivers – jungle – and rivers. On the way the Dayak will show you how to survive the jungle, collecting the rattan, hunting, catching the fish, set a trap and you may involve with them. Lunch on the way, overnight at tent in the river side of Muara Cuting. (B, L, D)

This is the shortest trek. You will trek about only 3 hours to reach Saite so you will have lots of time for relaxing, swimming, take a break or else after hard trek. The trek passing the jungle and river. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the river side. Overnight at Saite. (B, L, D)

After breakfast then trek crossing the river and jungle to reach the mouth of the Mahakam River for 3 hours walk. You will pass slash and burn agriculture before reaching the river side.  Upon arrival, the long boat or locally call Cess then take you to Tiong Ohang Village for about 6 – 7 hours journey. Lunch on the way.  You will pass some temporary hut as well as slash and burn agriculture and jungle. Dinner at the local simple food stall and overnight at the local simple house at Tiong Ohang. This is the first village you encounter after long days in the jungles. You may also find more handy craft from Kalimantan with the best quality. (B, L, D)

After breakfast at the local restaurant, continue the journey by public long boat for 8 – 10 hours. On the way stop at the local restaurant for lunch. You will  pass some big rapids, so you need to walk on the rock but it’s not so difficult and the boat will pick you up. The views along the rivers so fantastic and you can walk around to see the long house and their unique daily life. Dinner and overnight at the local simple house. (B, L,D)

The boat will start normally at 10.00 but could be change without prior notice.  Am. Both sail one day before or this day you will arrive at the same day as the boat has to stay overnight. But better leave earlier if the water is not reliable. The house boat is public traditional wooden boat with two deck, the first  deck for carry the stuffs and economy class with capacity more about 100 passengers and the second deck is for executive with capacity 75 passengers. The economy room is more open both sides and no mattress while the others served mattress, luggage room below the bed but all is open no private room and no AC.  There is Indonesia style toilet and simple restaurant that provide Indonesian meals, tea, coffee, and snacks in the first deck. The boat will stop sometimes for passengers and loading the stuffs.  During the sailing trip you will explore and learn the local way of life “riverside civilization” which is much different from what we have normally in the dry land area. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and overnight on the houseboat (B, L, D)

Arrival at the house boat harbor at about 10.00 Am  – 12.00 Pm depend on the schedule. Upon arrival transfer by car to your hotel in Samarinda that takes about 20 – 30 minutes away. The rest of the day is free for your own activity. (B)

Breakfast at hotel then transfer to the appropriate time drive to Balikapapan Airport to catch your flight to the next destination. It takes about 3 hours from Samarinda to Balikpapan Airport  (120 km ) depend on the traffic. Tours End. (B)


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