• Ambon Martha Christina
  • Ambon rujak
  • Ambon Ureng
  • Banda Kora kora
  • Saparua
  • Seram
  • Vakantie Molukken

Round trip 22 days the Moluccas / Ambon, Saparua, Seram and the Banda islands

The Moluccas are back on the map again!
This trip takes you to various villages on the island of Ambon, we visit the island of Saparua, we relax on the beautiful and untouched island of Seram and then we enjoy a week of history, culture and nature on the Banda islands.
We visit places where not many tourists come, but where there is a lot to see. The journey has many historical and cultural aspects. You stay in decent middle class hotels and are well guided by your guides.
Departure from Amsterdam every Friday.

NB: The boats to and from Banda are not always performed according to schedule. Alternatively, there is a two-weekly connection with Banda by Pelni ships. Ask for the schedule in your travel period.
The program may therefore deviate from the published program.

Target prices

€ 2.935 p.p. based on 2 persons in low season
€ 2.620 p.p. based on 4 persons or more in low season



Included and excluded

Included:
•Intercontinental flights and domestic flights with Garuda Indonesia
•Crossings by ferry or speedboat
•Accommodation based on bed and breakfast
•Private car with driver and Dutch or English speaking guide, including fuel, toll and parking fees and the overnight stays and meals of driver and guide

Not included:
•Other, not specified excursions
•Other meals
•Tips and personal expenses
•Travel and cancellation insurances ( mandatory)
•Booking fees and Calamiteitenfonds contribution € 30 per booking
•SGR contribution € 5 per person
•CO2 compensation € 22 per person


NB: In the Moluccas, tourism is not yet in accordance with western standards. The schedules of boat and flight connections are not as reliable as in Europe. It may therefore happen that the travel program is adapted locally. Our agent will do his utmost to prevent inconveniences. Merapi is not liable for any additional costs.

Day 1 Flight Amsterdam-Ambon

Garuda Indonesia flies non-stop from Amsterdam to Jakarta with her new Boeing 777-300 ER. Experience the hospitality of the Indonesian culture on board of Garuda Indonesia, the national flight company of Indonesia. The direct flight to Jakarta takes you in 13 and a half hour from Amsterdam to Jakarta. Departure Amsterdam around noon, arrival Jakarta early in the morning the following day. Your connecting flight leaves about 2 hours later and is a 3,5 hou -flight. Garuda staff is helping you to get you quickly on the Ambon flight.

Day 2 Arrival in Ambon

Upon arrival at the airport, your driver will be waiting for you at the exit with a name sign. He will take you to your hotel. Your room may not be ready yet at an early check-in. But you can already use the other facilities of the hotel of course.

Day 3 Free day at Natsepa

There is nothing on the program today. You can relax at the pool or take a walk to the bay of Natsepa.

Fastboat Ambon-Banda, VIP seat , including porter service Banda and Ambon and transfer from hotel

In the early morning you will be picked up and taken to the port of Tulehu. A porter helps your luggage on board. You sail with the Express Bahari in the VIP class in about 4 hours from Ambon to Banda Neira. Once there, a porter carries your luggage to your hotel. Departure Tuesday and Saturday morning at 09:00.

Banda citytour

You will be picked up by your guide and start with a visit to the fish market. You then visit the restored fort Belgica with a beautiful view over the Bay of Banda and then the remains of Fort Nassau. The Hatta house is decorated as a small museum. During the colonial period, the co-founders of the Republic of Indonesia, Hatta and Sharir were banned from the Netherlands to Banda. Hatta spent his time here teaching the local youth. The VOC or Jan Pieterszoon Coenmuseum shows in all simplicity how Coen raged among the people of the Banda islands. The old church is still used and is in good condition.

Day 5 Banda Besar (Pulau Lontar)

You can go to the island of Pulau Lontar, better known as Banda Besar, in a half hour by longboat. This island is mainly known for the planters who grow their nutmeg and mace here. Among other things, we pay a visit to the former beds of the Van den Broeke family. We continue our walk through Fort Hollandia to the tomb stone of Nona Lantsuese.

Day 6 Pulau Api, the volcano

We go by longboat to the south side of this volcanic island to make the two-hour climb to the top around 03.30 in the morning. At the top you have a beautiful view and you can enjoy the sunrise. After a break we go back down again and then you will be taken to your hotel. NB: for this excursion you need to be agile and in good physical condition!

Day 7 Snorkelling and relaxing

The Banda Islands shelter dozens of beautiful snorkelling and diving locations with colourful coral and many different fish. A wonderful day of snorkelilng and relaxing on a white beach is an absolute must. With fresh fish from the fire, lunch is not to be sneezed at! Diving is also possible, at an additional cost.

Day 8 Free day

Nothing has been planned for this day. You can book an excursion to one of the islands at your hotel or guesthouse. When you visit the Banda islands in April or October, you’ve got a big chance to see (the preparations for) the kora-kora matches. The impressive rowing boats are then rowed by about twenty muscular men.

Fastboat Banda-Ambon (Express Bahari 2b), VIP seat, including porter service Banda and Ambon and transfer to hotel

Return from Banda to Ambon by fastboat. The porter will help you on board with your luggage and will you will sail back to Ambon in about 4 hours in the VIP class. Upon arrival in Ambon, a porter is waiting and you will be taken to your hotel. Departure on Wednesday and Sunday at 09:00.

Day 10 Ambon city tour and Pintu kota with guide, including excursions (becak tour, Soya di Atas, museum Siwalima, maritim museum, Amahusu sago production. Lunch at Namalutu beach own cost)

In the morning we make a city tour through Ambon. Then we go to the village of Soya Atas, here we visit the old Raja house; the house of the king / leader of the village. We also visit the church opposite the house. After Soya Atas we continue to the Siwalima Museum in Taman Makmur. In this museum you can see a large maritime, ethnographic, ecological and historical collection. Besides this museum we also visit the Maritime Museum where crocodiles can be seen and a complete whale skeleton. After the museums we continue to the village of Amahusu. Here you can see how the sago production works. From baking to eating, you can also taste the sago that just comes from the traditional oven. For our lunch we make a short stop at Pintu Kota beach. We have lunch on Namalatu beach in Latuhalat. Here you have a free afternoon to relax and swim. End of the afternoon we return to the hotel.

Day 11 Ambon-Saparua

In the morning we drive to Hurnala to board the boat from 09.00 to Haria on the island of Saparua. You will be transferred to the Perdana Hotel in Saparua by minibus. Then we make a tour to the Duurstede Fort and adjacent museum (if open, since 2013 the museum seems to be closed to the public). You can enjoy your lunch on the beach of Duurstede. Then we go for a walk through Saparua.

Day 12 Saparua tour

Today we first take a walk around the busy market. After this we drive to the pottery village Ouw, here we get a demonstration of traditional pottery. After lunch we continue to the village of Mahu. There we walk through the sago forests. Sago is a starch product that comes from the pith of different plant / tree species. You’ll see the whole process. We end the day with two other villages, Itawaka and Noloth. Here you can quietly look around by yourself and discover the culture. Late in the afternoon we return to the hotel in Saparua.

Day 13 Saparua - Ambon

After an early and meagre breakfast you will be taken to the port by minibus. Then we sail back with the fastboat to the Hurnala shipyard in Tulehu and return to the hotel.

Day 14 Hitu peninsula (Hila-Kaitetu)

In the morning we pay a visit to the Australian War Memorial in Tantui. Originally here was the prison camp of the Dutch and Australian soldiers who fought against the Japanese during the Second World War. After visiting this now peaceful and quiet place we continue to Hila - Kaitetu to visit the Fort Amsterdam, the old church from 1780 and the old Wapaue mosque from 1414. We have lunch en route. We have seen the production of sago before, but today we also see how the leaves of the palm are used, for example, for making roofs. For this we go to the village of Rutong. End of the afternoon we return to the hotel.

Day 15 Round trip East Ambon

After breakfast we go to the village of Waai. Here live 'holy ales' and we can see how the inhabitants feed them with raw eggs. It is also possible to touch and even cuddle the slippery ales. After Waai we continue to the Hunimua beach. While we are waiting for lunch, there is plenty of time to swim and relax. Before we return to the hotel in Ambon, we make a stop at the Natsepa beach. Here you can taste the delicious baked bananas, better known as 'pisang goreng'. You can also taste 'rujak', a spicy fruit salad with brown sugar and peanuts.

Day 16 Ambon-Seram

The whole day we are traveling, but there is so much to see along the road and on the water that it is certainly far from boring. From your hotel you will be picked up and taken to the port of Tulehu. Here you get on the boat where you are in the luxury VIP class. After two hours of sailing you arrive in Amahai. From there we continue by car. A beautiful three-hour drive through nature and villages takes us to the village of Soleman. The last part of the route starts here. With a small motor boat you will be transferred to your hotel. The evening is free, you can recover from the long journey.

Day 17 Seram, Samahai river

Today we make a long boat trip to the fishing village of Sawai. We visit several small islands and sail on the Samahai river. On the river you can spot beautiful exotic birds and butterflies. If you are lucky, a freshwater crocodile will show up. End of the afternoon we return to the hotel.

Day 18 Seram, Air Belanda

This is a quiet day. The program includes snorkelling and a trip to the freshwater source Air Belanda. Snorkelling is a special experience in the surroundings of these islands, discover the colourful underwater world with its exotic corals and fish. Later we go to the freshwater source. The rest of the day is free.

Day 19 Back from Seram to Ambon

On this last day on Seram we return to Ambon. On Ambon, your driver will take you to your hotel in Natsepa.

Day 20 Free day on Ambon

There is nothing on the program today. You can do some shopping in Ambon city or relax at the pool.

Day 21 Departure from Ambon

At the agreed time, your driver will pick you up for your transfer to the airport or the port.

flight Ambon-Amsterdam via Jakarta

Flight with Garuda Indonesia Ambon-Amsterdam with transfer in Jakarta. Departure from Ambon in the afternoon, arrival late afternoon in Jakarta. The connecting flight leaves Jakarta around midnight. Arrival Amsterdam in the morning.

Arrival Amsterdam

In the morning arrival at Schiphol. The end of a beautiful trip...

Maluku Resort&Spa - Natsepa

The resort is located on the bay of Natsepa, a half hour drive from Ambon city and the Pattimura airport. In 2015 the former Baguala Bay was completely renovated and now has clean standard rooms in the building and a number of neat and luxurious cottages and seaview suites. Everything looks shipshape again. All rooms have air conditioning, TV, private bathroom, terrace and free WiFi. The Cottages and Seaview studio suites feature a seating area. The pool looks inviting and the restaurant is good meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Cilu Bintang - Banda Neira

Zoals alle accommodaties op Banda is het nieuwe (2015) Cilu Bintang op Bandaneira kleinschalig. Het hotelletje telt 10 kamers en ligt net buiten het centrumpje van Bandaneira. Abba, uw gastheer, is een vermakelijke gastheer die Banda en de wensen van zijn gasten prima kan combineren. Ibu Dila, zijn vrouw, is waarschijnlijk de beste kokkin van het eiland. Gasten in andere accommodaties komen hier ook graag smullen van het lekkere eten. De tonijn is wereldberoemd bij Bandareizigers... Het Mutiara guesthouse behoort ook toe aan Abba en Dila. Minpuntje is dat alleen de VIP room op de verdieping uitzicht biedt op de Gunung Api. Cilu Bintang heeft 3 kamertypes: Standaard (al prima), Deluxe (iets ruimer, ca 25 m2 en de VIP room. Er is gratis Wifi. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Vita - Banda Neira

Vita Guesthouse is a simple guesthouse. It has a cosy terrace on the bay with a view of the Gunung Api volcano. Alan, the manager, can tell you a lot in English about the Bandanese people and activities in the area. Please note that you do not have hot water at your disposal here. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Bintang Laut - Banda Neira

Bintang Laut is a simple guesthouse. It has a nice terrace on the bay overlooking the volcano. Please note that there is no hot water here. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Maulana hotel Banda Neira

The Maulana hotel is the only 3 * hotel on Banda Neira. It features spacious and clean rooms on the ground floor and the first floor. The somewhat dated hotel is located directly on the Banda sea and has a view of the volcano Api. From the hotel all kinds of excursions can be made. Just in front of the hotel you step directly in a longboat to visit the other islands of Banda. An excellent location for rest, culture, nature, history, snorkelling and diving. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

The Nutmeg tree - Banda neira

This small and cosy guesthouse is located directly on the Bay of Banda. Like at all guesthouses on Banda, the food is delicious! There is a diving centre at the guesthouse. All imaginable excursions can be organized from The Nutmeg tree: . Banda Besar with cultures of nutmeg and cloves . Pulau Api: climb the volcano in the early morning . Snorkelling or diving in the Banda archipelago . Island tour meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Mutiara hotel Ambon

The cosy and clean Mutiara hotel is located in the centre of Ambon city. The small (non-smoking) lounge and bar invite you to socialize. Ambonese artists regularly perform at the restaurant during the weekends. The rooms are only accessible by the stairs. There’s no lift. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Hotel Santika Premiere - Ambon

Het nieuwe (2018) **** Santika Premiere hotel is het enige goede hotel in Ambon stad met een zwembad. Het hotel telt 143 kamers, waarvan wij de Deluxe kamers aanbieden. Alle kamers beschikken over airco, badkamer met warm stromend water, koffie- en theefaciliteiten, minibar, kluisje, föhn, TV en WiFi. Het hotel heeft behalve zwembad een groot restaurant een business centre en lounge/bar. Het hotel ligt op ongeveer 2 kilometer van het stadscentrum. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Perdana homestay

Perdana is a cosy and simple guesthouse with 20 rooms. You stay here in the new part. The rooms are equipped with AC. The bathrooms have a western toilet and mandi basin (no shower). The rooms have a nice terrace overlooking the courtyard. Do take into account a very scanty breakfast and not really attentive staff. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Mahu lodge - Saparua

The small-scale Mahu lodge is located on the north side of Saparua, directly on the sea. You can only do a splash from the jetty. Almost all rooms have been renovated since 2011 and have a shower with cold water, air conditioning and a private terrace. There is also a small diving centre at the hotel. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Maluku Resort&Spa - Natsepa

The resort is located on the bay of Natsepa, a half hour drive from Ambon city and the Pattimura airport. In 2015 the former Baguala Bay was completely renovated and now has clean standard rooms in the building and a number of neat and luxurious cottages and seaview suites. Everything looks shipshape again. All rooms have air conditioning, TV, private bathroom, terrace and free WiFi. The Cottages and Seaview studio suites feature a seating area. The pool looks inviting and the restaurant is good meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Ora Beach Resort

Ora Beach Resort is a cosy family resort. It is located directly on the beach and on the edge of the Mansuela reserve. The location is ideal for snorkelling. Please note that you do not have hot water at your disposal here. Staff is not always very attentive. Stay is based on full board. meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Lisar Bahari - Seram

In the north of Seram, in the village of Sawai, Lisar Bahari guesthouse is located directly on the sea. The cottages are built above the water. The accommodation is extremely simple. There is no bed linen, toilet paper or towel available. The shower only provides cold water. But ... the atmosphere is great and the view is stunning! meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Maluku Resort&Spa - Natsepa

The resort is located on the bay of Natsepa, a half hour drive from Ambon city and the Pattimura airport. In 2015 the former Baguala Bay was completely renovated and now has clean standard rooms in the building and a number of neat and luxurious cottages and seaview suites. Everything looks shipshape again. All rooms have air conditioning, TV, private bathroom, terrace and free WiFi. The Cottages and Seaview studio suites feature a seating area. The pool looks inviting and the restaurant is good meer info more info Informations supplémentaires

Ambon

Ambon

Ambon, the capital of the South Moluccas island group, is located on the island of Ambon of the same name.
The pleasantly busy city of Ambon is ideal for a tour by becak (bicycle taxi). The colorful market, the Merdeka square with the World Peace monument and the statue of the freedom fighter Pattimura are nice sights.
A little further away is the statue of Martha Christina, Pattimura's female ally. If you have a car available, also drive to the village of Soya di atas and take a drink of water. It seems that it makes you a lot younger. The Siwalima museum is also worth a visit and is on the route to Pintu Kota, the iconic gate of Ambon.

Ambon town has great appeal to young people from the surrounding villages and islands, making the population very young. They mainly come to look for work. The main employer in Ambon City is the government and a civil servant job is highly sought after as it provides security, status and benefits (such as being able to help family members). But for Moluccans who have lived or were born in Ambon for a long time, the village of origin (of the family) remains very important for identity. At important village events or on public holidays, many Ambonese return to their families' village.


In terms of accommodations, you can choose from city hotels, such as the new Santika with swimming pool and the cozy family hotel Mutiara. If you want to be outside the city, the Maluku Spa Resort in Natsepa, more than half an hour's drive from the center, is the best choice.

Ambon city is by far the most important hub of the province and plays an important role for the whole of East Indonesia. Across the Bay of Ambon (Teluk Ambon) is Pattimura airport with scheduled flights to Makassar, Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Ternate and Papua. In addition, a number of Pelni passenger ships call at the city.

Ambon out of town

On the northern peninsula of Hitu is the reasonably preserved Fort Amsterdam. A short distance away you will also find the oldest mosque and church of Ambon.
In the east of the island lies the village of Waai with the famous sacred eels. Nearby are the hot springs of Tulehu and the lovely white beach of Liang.

Public transport on the island itself consists of the Angkotan Kota, small buses that serve many destinations on the island from the Mardika Terminal near the center of the city.

Favoriete restaurant

Ambon city has very nice fish restaurants. Me myself would recommend Rumah Makan Ratu Gurih, busy on the weekends, but during the week you can eat the tastiest ikan goreng or ikan bakar (deep fried or grilled fish).
Be sure to have a coffee at Rumah Kopi Sibu Sibu and get amazed over the nice pictures and interior.

Natsepa

Natsepa

Natsepa is a small place on the bay of Natsepa. There is not much to do in the village, except enjoy the Rujak Natsepa, a dish with young fruit and a peanut sauce that sharpens all your taste buds.
Natsepa beach is often on a lower shore and is therefore not inviting to go for a swim.

Banda Neira

Banda islands

The Banda Islands (Indonesian: Kepulauan Banda) are a group of ten small volcanic islands in the Banda Sea and belong to the Indonesian archipelago of the Moluccas and the province of South Moluccas.
The population is approximately 15,000. Its capital is Banda Neira, on the island of the same name.

Banda is not always easy to reach. There are three weekly flights to and from Ambon, often with small 12-person planes. However, flights are often canceled at the last minute.
From September to mid-December and February to the end of April a fast boat sails twice a week to and from Ambon. The trip takes about four hours.
Then there are the Pelni passenger ships that sail an average of three times every two weeks throughout the year between Ambon and Banda.

Sights to visit

The Banda Neira island tour is done on foot: You visit the fort Belgica, the Hatta house (Co-founder of the Republik Indonesia Mohammed Hatta was exiled by the Netherlands to Banda in colonial times. He started a school here, among other things.), The Banda museum with many relics and images from the VOC era and the old church with cemetery

Banda Besar: By longboat you sail in half an hour to the island of Banda Besar. Here you will find Fort Hollandia, the gravestone of Nona Lantsuese and the nutmeg plantation of the van den Broeke family.

Gunung Api is the island with the volcano. You will sail by longboat to the south side of this volcano island to make the two-hour climb to the top at around 5:30 am. At the top you have a beautiful view and you can enjoy the sunrise.

Snorkeling and Diving: The Banda Islands are home to dozens of beautiful snorkeling and diving locations, with colorful coral and many different fish. A wonderful day of snorkeling and relaxing on a white beach is an absolute must. Lunch is not to be missed with fresh fish from the fire!

Around October, divers may encounter large schools of hammerhead sharks at Pulau Hatta. During that month there are also several liveaboards offering dive cruises between Ambon and Banda.

History

Until the mid-18th century, the Banda Islands were the only known place in the world where the spices nutmeg and mace were grown. The Dutch conquered the islands in the 17th century to control the production of nutmeg and mace. At that time, nutmeg was very profitable in Europe. It was part of plague quack remedies, and a monopoly was very lucrative.

The local population was massacred by the Dutch in 1621 under the leadership of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, and replaced by slaves from Madagascar and Indians. Fort Belgica on Banda Neira, one of the fortresses built by the VOC, is the largest European fort in Indonesia.

Another fun fact: At the time, 'The Netherlands owned almost the entire Banda archipelago. Only the island of Pulau Run belonged to England. In 1667, the Netherlands exchanged the island with the English against the colony of New Amsterdam, now New York ...

Violent religious strife broke out in 1999, which dealt a serious blow to tourism. One of the last perkeniers on Banda was Wim van den Broeke, who lived on the island of Lonthor, also known as Banda Besar. Both Prince Bernhard and former minister Pronk visited him. The van den Broeke family owned five nutmeg plantations, of which Groot Waling on Lonthar is the oldest. A large part of the van den Broeke family died during the religious disputes.

Favourite restaurant

No doubt, the best tuna fish comes from Ibu Dila at the Cilu Bintang Estate. The Tuna Rujak style is to die for!

Saparua

Saparua

Saparua is the largest of the Lease Islands. In terms of area, it is comparable to Texel and there are just under 50,000 islanders. As on many Moluccan islands, sago palm is the most important staple food. There are many places to see the sago production and processing.

The VOC fort Benteng Duurstede is one of the bigger sights. The museum has a nice collection of old war equipment.
Saparua has about twenty villages. The ferry from Ambon arrives in Haria. The VOC fort Benteng Duurstede is located near the "capital" Saparua. It is one of the bigger sights. The museum has a nice collection of old war equipment.

The pretty village of Ouw is located on a hill. It has a lot of stairs you have to take to see the old church. Proas are being built on the beach. There is also a pottery workshop in the village.

You spend the night in the Perdana guesthouse in the village of Saparua. Take into account uninterested staff and a meager breakfast with soggy sandwiches and cold coffee. More attractive is the Rumah RP guesthouse in the village of Ihamahu. You can also take a cooking course here. Divers have a choice of the simple Mahu lodge, with not the best diving center, or the luxurious Cape Paperu.

Mahu

Mahu - Saparua

Mahu is a small fishing village on the island of Saparua, a half hour drive from Saparua town.

Sawai

Sawai

Sawai is een klein vissersdorpje, waar de meeste woningen op palen boven het water zijn gebouwd.
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