SPICE ISLANDS: AMBON, BANDA, SERAM
Banda Islands – colonial heart if MolucasRhun Island – once traded for New York
Prisitine beaches & crystal clear water
Endemic flora & fauna species
30+ meters up jungle observation platforms
UNIQUE ADVENTURES IN THE “EAST INDIES” ITINERARY
Moluccas or Maluku Islands – the vast archipelago stretching between Celebes and Papua are the best proof that Indonesia’s best is hidden on its remote, eastern part; far from beaten track of Bali or Java. Pristine beaches, one of the best coral reefs in Asia, magnificent Nature, endemic wildlife, volcanoes, old colonial fortifications, and fascinating culture of tribes living isolated from the outside world are just a few highlights waiting for the travelers ready for adventures. Historical Moluccas are the famous Spice Islands – the place of legendary wealth searched by all greatest explorers of Europe which was one of the initial pushes for the Age of Discovery.
X – IV
MEALS DURING THE TRIP
Welcome to Indonesia! You will arrive to the international airport of Jakarta where our representative will be awaiting you in the arrival hall. Then together you will check-in for another flight to Ambon in Maluccas. There will be still some time to grab a quick dinner on the airport. You will spend this night at the plane.
After arriving to Ambon in the early morning, you’ll be greeted by your local guide and driven to the local harbor. Here you will board the private speedboat which will take you on 6 hours long journey to famous Banda Islands – destination of desperate sea expeditions launched from Europe since 16th century.
The moment of entering the coral bay as it’s sealed off from the right by the magnificent volcano Gunung Api, and seeing a flotilla of small fishing boats setting off to open ocean with the rising sun ahead, is an unforgettable memory indeed. Next check-in and take a few moments to rest before doing some sightseeing in Banda Neira. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a most delicious buffet dinner and overnight hotel stay..
ISLAND TRADED FOR NEW YORK
Finish breakfast and take a boat trip to Rhun Island – the first British overseas colony ever. This tiny piece of land, which used to be the subject of a long and bloody conflict between European colonial powers, was finally transferred to the Dutch after the English came into an agreement that this small island would be swapped for another island called… New York!
We will have a short walk around the island and see the forgotten ruins of old forts and chitchat with the local villagers. Next, we’ll be taken by boat to the no-man island of Nailakka and set up a picnic lunch on its pristine beach and later relax or snorkel on the amazing coral wall around the island. Afterwards return to Banda Neira in late afternoon for dinner and stay overnight in the hotel.
MOUNTAIN OF FIRE
Get ready early this morning and prepare to climb the mighty Gunung Api. It takes about three hours to get to the 666-meter above sea level peak as the final part of the path leads you through thick rainforest and fields of lava rock.
Be rewarded for this effort with a breathtaking view of the entire archipelago; from the top with a panoramic view, it can be seen just how isolated the Banda Islands are. Return from the volcano to have lunch in the local restaurant and relax after climbing. Later in the afternoon, take a boat trip to Pulau Pisang (“Banana Island”) for snorkeling or just relax on the virgin beach with a view of the volcano. Afterwards return to Banda Neira for dinner and an overnight stay.
In the morning, take a boat trip to Banda Besar to see the historical plantations of nutmeg – once the most expensive spice in the world. Walk through old almond trees and grab the opportunity to see how local people make a living while also observing various species of endemic birds. Snorkeling or diving is charged extra here but it also happens to be one of the best coral reefs in Indonesia. Return to Banda Neira for dinner and an overnight in the hotel.
PRISTINE BEACHES AND CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER
Around noon, a boat trip will take you to Ai Island where you can visit the local villages. Lunch is served on the beach and free time can be spent on unspoiled beaches (optional diving can be arranged as well). In the evening a farewell dinner is organized with an overnight stay in the hotel.
BACK TO AMBON
Early in the morning, boarding on your private speedboat and 6-hour long journey back to Ambon begins. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel Swissbell **** or similar where you’ll spend a night.
THE SCARY ISLAND
Good morning! After breakfast our guide will transfer you to the harbor to catch a speedboat to the port of Amahay in Seram Island. Here you will be taken on a wonderfully scenic drive of Seram Island through the impervious inland mountains. “Seram” means “scary” in local dialect – the island was named that due the practice of head hunting which was still alive among local tribes until late 50’s of 20th century.
Accommodation is provided in huts built on piles over azure waters and beautiful coral reef where you can jump in straight from your private terrace. Before diner, have a swim and relax in the clear waters of Seram and snorkel along the coastline where mountains melt into the sea forming an amazing coral covered slope. The beauty of this remote island is astonishing and even became the center of clove production for the fabled Dutch East Indies Company.
The adventure begins. Early in the morning, accompanied by our expert naturalist guide, we will cross the gulf with a small boat to reach the mouth of the Lusiala River. Heading up river, the immense jungle becomes thicker and thicker above our heads (it can get so thick that we might need to use a motor saw to continue onward).
Birds of every kind can be seen everywhere as Seram is famous for having the biggest variety of Equatorial birds in all of Indonesia. Eventually we will reach a point where it will be impossible to continue our journey by boat. Here porters will guide us to our base camp located in the jungle next to a fantastic lagoon where swimming is possible. This incredible two-hour walk through rainforest environment is difficult to describe for its beauty and majestic natural splendor.
The wonders continue with our next stop for a terrace picnic next to a waterfall where thick vegetation stretches skywards for more than 100 meters. Go for it, jump in for a swim and have some fun! In the early afternoon, we’ll arrive at the base camp and set up tents for the next part of our unique experience: having your group lifted 30+ meters up to the top of a towering tree by a pulley. Here, our friends have built wooden platforms that provide a truly great panoramic view above the rainforest.
For sunset the endemic birds of Seram begin to fly around the platform while clouds surround the mountains creating a marvelous effect seen in few places around the world. Even the option of spending the night on the platform above the treetops is available and completely safe. If heights get the better of you, rest assured overnight in tents below.
EYE TO EYE WITH WILDLIFE
At dawn, our local guide organizes a bird watching trip that specializes in finding the rarest species. Platforms are built in prime spots for bird watching and if you keep quiet enough, there’s also a pretty big chance to spot deer or boars. Return to the camp for breakfast and afterwards, continue trekking through the jungle among natural monuments such as the massive Marante, Kelimbin or Ficus trees (which is almost impossible to see their tops because of their incredible height).
Their winged roots are so big that in the past, men living in the forest used them for shelter. A few hours walking in this rainforest and you’ll notice something quite peculiar – the clear ground below your feet. Because the vaults formed by treetops are so thick, sparse light penetrates through leaving little chance for the brushwood underneath to grow. Later visit the forest wildlife restoration center situated next to the Masihulang village.
Workers there try to re-adopt wounded or captured animals back to their natural environment. Recently they had the arduous task of taking care of a 9-meter long python! To end this day, return to Ora Beach in the evening for dinner and sleep.
THE END OF THE ADVENTURE
After breakfast we depart from Ora Beach to Ambon – a 4-hour drive through Seram, and then another three hours by ferry arriving to Ambon late in the afternoon. Once there you will check-in to the Swiss Bell – the best hotel in town – and have an evening dinner in the local restaurant.
In the early morning, prepare for transfer to the airport and check-in for flights to Jakarta or other destinations that await you
BALIEM VALLEY PRICES
- Group 2 pax: 2197 USD/pax
- Group 4 pax: 1774 USD/pax
- Group 6 pax: 1565 USD/pax
- Group 8 pax: 1526 USD/pax
- Group 10 pax: 1480 USD/pax
- Accommodation during the trip
- Internal flights: Jayapura – Wamena – Jayapura
- Meals marked in the itinerary
- Local guides services
- All transfers
- Entrance tickets and attractions marked in the itinerary
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Taxes and airport bills
- Visa to Indonesia
- Flight ticket to and back from Indonesia
- Drinks to the meals
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Do You need any assistance?
We carefully check and prepare all our itineraries and all of them can be modified depending on your needs, budget and interests. Price depends on the season, group size and hotel availability. Contact us for free itinerary adjust.
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