Situated in eastern Indonesia, North Maluku Province is a remote spot of over 350 islands. It is, for the most part, little visited by tourists yet has many beautiful islands and beaches.
North Maluku Province is one of the least populous provinces in Indonesia, with under a million people living throughout the region. It split from Maluku in 1999 to become North Maluku, with the northern part featuring the island of Halmahera (the largest island) and Ternate, the provincial capital.
Ternate Island is the main center in North Maluku Province, having the largest city (Kota Ternate) and population. It is a magnificent island with perfect tropical beaches of white sand and a capital underneath an active volcano, Mount Gamalama. This island is the most popular in the region with tourists, who come for the beaches, diving and trekking. There are also many reminders of the tenures of the Portuguese and Dutch here.
Halmahera Island is the largest island in North Maluku Province and features high mountains, dense forests and a coral reef coast. Morotai Island, a striking and remote island to the north of Halmahera, saw action in WWII and also boasts striking coral reefs.
Additionally North Maluku Province also has many uninhabited islands including Dodola Island and Maitara Island. Both can be visited on daytrips from Tidore and Ternate islands. In fact North Maluku Province has 353 islands, which make up just 15 percent of the total area of the region.
The best time to visit the province is May through to September, in the dry season, but April sees Legu Gam, a celebration of the birthday of the Sultan of Ternate with traditional performances.
Ternate (Sultan Babullah Airport) is the main travel hub in North Maluku Province, with flights from Jakarta via Makassar on South Sulawesi. Ternate Island is just west of the main Halmahera Island. For South Maluku Province, flights land at Ambon. Boat travel to North Maluku Province is only for those with time on their hands.