Kota Ternate Travel Guide

Kota Ternate (Ternate City) sits on the southeast side of Ternate Island in the Maluku chain of islands of northeastern Indonesia. It clings to the side of a volcano and makes a good base from which to explore North Maluku.

The city of Ternate is spread across the base of Gamalama Volcano and from parts of it you can appreciate the views of the surrounding volcanic islands. The town itself has a few worthwhile attractions, including several forts, churches and mosques to discern.

Benteng Kalamata in southern Kota Ternate is a renovated 16th century Portuguese fort that used to be called Red Wood Fort. There’s also a huge fort in the center of town, the Benteng Oranye. It sits within the market area and features large bastions. The 18th century Sultan’s Palace is also worth a look.

The main attraction is Mount Api Gamalama itself, an active, medium-sized volcano which last erupted in 1994. Visitors can do a short hike from nearby Air Tege Tege village.

Getting There & Away

You can get to Kota Ternate by plane and boat. Sultan Babullah Airport receives flights from Makassar (South Sulawesi), the nearest major airport with links to Jakarta. You can get here from Jakarta, via Makassar, in 5 hours. Fast and slow boats run to Kota Ternate from all over Indonesia although travel times are generally long due to the remoteness.

Things to Do

Kota Ternate Attractions

Benteng Kalamata

The main fort in town is about a kilometer to the south and was built by the portuguese in 1540.

Benteng Oranye

Another of kota ternate’s many forts is almost hidden by the bustling town center market.

Side trips from Kota Ternate

Mount Gamalama

Kota ternate’s active volcano looms over the town and is good for some short hikes.