Sungai Balantikan Travel Guide

Sungai Balantikan is a remote river in the Central Kalimantan region of Indonesian Borneo. It is a pristine river environment ideal for intrepid adventurers in search of true Dayak culture and exotic wildlife.

The Sungai Balantikan is accessed off the larger Sungai Lamandau, a more-frequented waterway for excursions into the heart of Central Kalimantan. There are countless Dayak villages scattered randomly along its banks. Foreigners who arrive unannounced by boat are often invited into the village for a few drinks of local tuak, the traditional rice wine of the area.

Visitors head to the Balantikan River for one main reason: to experience authentic Dayak culture. Although it’s remote territory, there are tour companies in Kumai that can arrange speedboat or traditional klotok boats to carry you up the river. This excursion is almost exclusively done by multiday tour, which is a wise choice given the wildness of the area.

Some of the village stops along the Balantikan River include the immensely interesting Dayak communities of Kaya, Naugamatu and Petarikan. Typical cruises run for around four days and end up at the town of Bayat, another interesting riverside hideaway.

Getting There & Away

Most travelers access Balantikan River through the town of Kumai if coming from Java by boat, or through Pangkalan Bun if arriving by air or land. Flights make the 2-hour trip from Jakarta most days, and other regional cities also offer quick though sporadic air service. From Java, you can take the 20-hour ferry ride from Semarang to Kumai. From Kumai, there are tour companies that will arrange the river excursion.