Mahakam river is the biggest river in East Kalimantan province. This 920 km long river flows from its upper stream in Kutai Barat to its lower stream in Kutai Kartanegara and Samarinda.
Mahakam is very important for most inhabitants in the province as some areas are only accessible by river. Transportation of goods also relies on this transportation means. This river empties itself in Tenggarong, Belayan and Lawa rivers.
When traveling along the river, you will find various social activities performed by local community living along the river sides e.g., transportation of goods and natural resources for inter-island and export purposes, fishing and sales of fishes. In Samarinda, Mahakam riversides are used as rest areas by local community, particularly from afternoon till night. In the afternoon, traders sell various types of foods and drinks along the riversides. Residents usually watch sunset while enjoying roasted corns, breads etc. More people come during at night. Kumala island is situated in the middle of the river. It is a leading tourist object in Kutai Kartanegara district. You could enjoy sky tower, bumper cars, tourist cars etc.
Mahakam river flows through three regions namely Kutai Kartanegara and Kutai Barat districts, and Samarinda city. Most of its upper stream areas are only accessible by ketinting or motor boat, or long distance water taxi (ship). Some of its lower streams can also be accessed through land transportation. You can use motor vehicle to travel along the river passing through Samarinda city. You can also walk along the river sides to enjoy its scenery downtown.
From Sepinggan airport in Balikpapan, which is the entry point to East Kalimantan, we can take land or air transportation to Samarinda. Some airliners provide local route of Balikpapan-Samarinda. You can also take a taxi to Samarinda for a 2.5-3 hours drive.
If you use land transportation, you will be amazed by the beauty of Mahakam river in area called Samarinda Seberang. You can see busy sides of the river in Samarinda city center.