Maluku Province Travel Guide

Popular with those who enjoy water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving, Maluku Province was known as the Spice Islands during the Dutch era, being the only place on earth where nutmeg, mace, cloves and a number of other valuable spices were grown.

There are plenty of beautiful spots to choose from in Maluku Province, which features dozens of tiny islands and beaches where it is easy to simply relax and soak up the sun. North Maluku is divided into Halmahera, where visitors will find the largest islands, while Ternate features a number of tiny islands with large fragrant spice gardens.

South Maluku offers yet more picturesque islands, and taking a boat tour of this region is a great way to discover the area’s natural beauty. Many of the islands are uninhabited although it is possible to camp on the sands overnight, which for many is the real highlight of exploring Maluku Province.

Those who like eating out with find plenty of choice in Maluku. Here, traditional Balinese cuisine is flavored by Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish influences. Those on a tight budget will find plenty of tasty treats at the night markets, which are also good places to pick up a bargain or two. Of course, fresh seafood is easy to find in Maluku Province, and it comes prepared in number of different taste bud tingling ways.

Among the highlights of the province are the Taminbar Islands, a great spot for scuba diving and snorkeling and it is possible to explore the islands by hiring a boat for a day. Ambon Island is the main island in Maluku Province and has a large number of interesting attractions such as crumbling Dutch forts and beautiful beaches.

Take a boat trip to explore the former penal colony of Buru, where author Pramoedya Ananta Toer was imprisoned. The large and lovely island of Halmahera is virtually deserted, making it a great place to explore for a few hours.

Known as the gateway to Ambon, Maluku Province is a good place to explore by boat. Passenger ferries can be found at the ports of most of the coastal towns and cities, while private boats can easily be hired for a few hours.

Access to Maluku Province is from Surabaya, which has its own airport with daily flights from Jakarta (2 hours). There is also a ferry service that calls in at Surabaya’s port on a loop which starts at Jakarta, and also stops at towns and cities such as Bitung and Sorong. ****