A Journey in Quest of Tropical Sunshine


Since the Dutch era, Maluku islands have been widely known as “The Spice Islands.” The honor is earned by the islands back in the 16th century when nutmeg, mace, cloves and several other valuable spices grew nowhere but on the islands. Maluku monopoly on spices came to an end in the 18th century. But up until now, the spices are still the chief exports of the area along with several forest and mining products.



“For years, tourists come to Maluku islands to partake in its pristine beaches and stunning array of coral reef.”



Maluku islands encompass most of Indonesia’s smallest islands which are located between Sulawesi and Papua. For more than the thousands islands, only fifty percent have been civilized. Meanwhile the rest, especially those in southern part, are kept uninhabited and off the beaten tracks for travelers.


For years, tourists come to Maluku islands to partake in its pristine beaches and stunning array of coral reef. The islands offer limitless possibility of diving and snorkeling as long as you bring your own gear. But if you don’t, consider diving around the islands in central and north Maluku where some reliable diving operators can be found.


Sea and corals indeed are the main attractions to most of visitors, but, in fact, the region has a lot more to offer. Most of the biggest islands of Maluku are covered with evergreen forest with a chance to spot unique wildlife. Meanwhile ancient landmarks spreading around the land offer fascinating history and culture interest.


Check out the information below and discover the highlights of Maluku islands:

North Maluku

“Therefore, it’s no wonder that history becomes one of main interests in North Maluku.”



The islands of Ternate, Tidore, Bacan and Halmahera are the prime areas in North Maluku that once were fought over by Eropeans. The problem was prompted by the discovery of valuable spices that only grew on the islands. Therefore, it’s no wonder that history becomes one of main interests in North Maluku.


These days, visitors can find many historical relics within the region which largely center on Ternate and Tidore. Oranje Fortress is the most impressive fortress among others residing on the former island. The edifice is dated back to more than 400 years ago but the condition is kept authentic. You’ll find a huge cannon as you pass through the main gate. And as you arrive inside, you’ll see more rusty cannons resting above the every corner of the square–shaped building. This place is recommended for history enthusiasts as it has long story of VOC imperialism in Maluku islands.



A Boat Looks Like Floating on Sulamadaha Beach by Abdul Aziz


As in the latter island, there is the Sonyine Malige Sultan’s Memorial Museum. Famous for its valuable antiquities and sultan treasures, the museum displays the sultan’s throne and giant spittoons as well as the royal crown topped with cassowary feathers. Nearby the site are Tohula Fortress and the Royal Citadel with a chance of more historical and architectural interest.



“Diving condition in North Maluku is also great.”



History aside, North Maluku also has a lot to offer for those interested in wildlife. Unexplored jungle within the region features diverse flora and fauna with Halmahera forest as the richest one. The area is a true birdwatcher’s paradise as it houses the highest number of endemic birds of all Maluku islands. The exotic birds include white cockatoo, somber kingfisher and moluccan goshawk which are protected in Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park.


Beaches around North Maluku mostly feature white sand and clear water. The forest extensively reach the coastal area, giving a nuance of isolated to the beaches. Ternate’s Sulamadaha beach is the best one of all in North Maluku. It gains popularity as the water is crystal clear that the sailing boats look like floating. Diving condition in North Maluku is also great. Around Morotai island, you’ll encounter shipwreck of World War II and a number of tortoises in Ternate water area. Those who want to see underwater volcano and extensive reef wall may find diving in Halmahera perfect. Dive farther around the untouched islands to discover more underwater secrets.

Central Maluku

“Under the water surface, Banda is surrounded by some of endangered ancient coral species and largest schools of big fish.”


Diver over Coral Reef, Banda Islands, Moluccas, Indonesia

Diving in Banda Island by Rodger Klein


Central Maluku boasts the most well-established beach-oriented tourism of all Maluku islands. Diving operators and accommodations can be found with relative ease especially in the islands of Ambon and Banda. The region is also equipped with transportation links which even reach its smalls islands.


Banda island is the chief travel destination for marine life seekers in Central Maluku. Under the water surface, Banda is surrounded by some of ancient coral species and largest schools of big fish. The condition of its coral reef is excellent as they are largely undamaged. You can even spot dolphins and whales while boarding on a boat as the visibility reaches 40 meters. Judging from its charm, Banda is definitely the most wanted for divers and snorkelers.



“Consisting of three cliffs with different myths, Trio Hatu offers uncommon diving experience.”



Active travelers must consider coming to Ceram island. The island features very challenging trekking trails as the land is mostly made up of mountains. Meanwhile multiday hiking is best offered by the middle part of the area where Mount Binaya, Maluku’s highest peak, resides.


Ora Beach

Floating Cottages on Ora Beach by Amaria Fenninlambert


Besides the volcano, Ora beach also draws many travelers to visiting Ceram. What so fun from the site is its unique snorkeling zones which are easily accessed known as Trio Hatu. Consisting of three cliffs with different myths, Trio Hatu offers uncommon diving experience. Hatu Gurita is believed to be the nest of giant octopus while Hatu Pia is said to be home to sago-producing Simang-Simang birds. And in the third cliff named Hatu Supun, some people reportedly hear adzan from a mosque that once was built close to the cliff. So mystical, right!


The availability of complete tourist facilities makes Ambon island the main gateway to Central Maluku. But, it’s very unfortunate that travelers only make Ambon as transit point before moving on to Banda or Ceram. This may happen because many don’t know that the island actually features rich historical interests. Here in Ambon, you can learn the history of colonial era in Maluku from old buildings such as Amsterdam fortress, Ferangi fortress and commonwealth burial complex. In Siwalima museum, you’ll find more collection of colonial memorabilia and local artifacts.

South Maluku

“The sand of the beach is as soft as flour that it was listed as beach with the world’s softest sand by National Geographic magazine.”



While the southwestern islands of South Maluku basically have no tourist facilities, the beauty of Kei islands in southeast part lures tourists to spend two days or so in the area. Though the islands are the most accessible part of southern Maluku, the area is still considered as off the beaten tracks. Given the condition, Kei islands will the best setting for those looking for silent beaches while mingling with hospitable locals rather than fellow travelers.


The chief destination in Kei islands is Small Kei island which is connected to nearby island of Dullah by a bridge. Small Kei is fringed with pristine beaches with very clean and soft sand. To get the best experience of feeling the soft sand, we suggest you to come to Pasir Panjang beach. The sand of the beach is as soft as flour that it was listed as beach with the world’s softest sand by National Geographic magazine.


Pasir Pajang Beach

Lonely Pasir Panjag Beach by F. Ohlsson


Beach with uncommon view will be found in Warbal island. Known as Ngurtafur beach, the attraction stretches into the sea as far as two kilometers. Standing in the middle of the sandy path, you’ll feel like being trapped between two separate beaches. The uniqueness offered by this beach make it surely a fine place for those longing for extraordinary beach view.


If you are willing to make an effort to visit the remote island of Tanimbar Kei, you can enjoy a preserved culture of indigenous Kei ethnic group. The island is still inhabited by traditional people who live in thatched houses. This site will perfectly stoke your curiosity about the ancient traditions and arts possessed by one of indigenous people of Maluku islands.


As mostly off the beaten tracks, the islands of Maluku surely boast endless potential secrets to be discovered. Journey across the islands and be the first to enjoy its hidden attractions.

Oranje Fort

Dated back to 16th century, Oranje is one of the oldest Dutch fortresses in Maluku that is rich in history.

What is Oranje Fort

Sulamadaha Beach

Sulamadaha beach gains its popularity due to its crystal clear water that is so refreshing. People usually call this spot ``Glass Beach.``

What is Sulamadaha Beach

Siwalima Museum

Siwalima is the biggest and most complete museum in Maluku. It preserves not only cultural and historical Sultanate artifacts but also maritime history of Ambonese.

What is Siwalima Museum

Ora Beach

This is the place where doing nothing feels so good. You can just lounge lazily or choose to see yourself its iconic Trio Hatu snorkeling spot.

What is Ora Beach

Available Tour Packages

Xplorea Indonesia

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      East Java, Indonesia

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