Insight The Moluccas
INSIGHT THE MOLUCCAS
Rich in colonial history, spices, cultures, birds and coral gardens. Friendly villages for unforgettable meetings with the locals and if you are looking for a destination in Indonesia that is dry and sunny in the months of October through April, central Moluccas makes for a perfect destination.
Learn more about our Insight The Moluccas tours:
Interested in really getting to know the culture and people of Indonesia? Or are you looking for that hidden paradise that can only be reached on foot or by bicycle? Our Insight tours are our signature tours of a few days that will give you a taste of the real spirit of Indonesia.
These tours are only examples, the program will be tailor made to your wishes for an unforgettable travel experience. For more information, please contactus
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Tour itinerary Insight Central Moluccas
Day 1: Arrival Ambon, transfer hotel
Day 2: Ambon city tour by becak, shell concert
Day 3: Ambon, visit Latuhulat en Pintu Kota
Day 4: Ambon, transfer to Leihitu
Day 5: Transfer to Saparua, island tour
Day 6: Saparua, culinary trip
Day 7: Saparua, snorkel trip
Day 8: Transfer to Sawai
Day 9: Sawai, snorkel trip
Day 10: Sawai, forest trip Salawai river
Day 11: Transfer to Masohi, visit Alifuro tribe
Day 12: Transfer to Ambon
Day 13: Transfer airport
EXPLORE AMBON BY BECAK
- During three days you explore the two peninsulas of Ambon two by becak, on foot and by car. You visit the bustling markets and monuments to learn more of Ambon’s rich history. You will also pass a number of view points where you have stunning views over the city and the surrounding area.
- On Leitimor you visit a naturally formed 'gate' consisting of an irregularly shaped rock with a big hole in it. This remarkable rock ends in a steep wall of coral, a beautiful place!
- You will also visit sights on the largest peninsula called Leihitu. Were Christians and Muslims previously spread over the two peninsulas, nowadays the Muslims live on Leihitu and Christians and Catholics on Leitimor.
- At local houses you will be served typical Ambonese meals, including dishes with sweet potatoes, coconut and other tasty vegetable and fish dishes. If the weather permits you eat outside with beautiful views.
- At some locations you can see great long eels in rivers and small canals. A villager lures the long eels out of their hiding places with chunks of fish or egg. It is an impressive sight as the eels back slide over each other in hopes to eat some of the prey. Villagers also come here for their daily washing and cleaning their fish here. They have to be very careful that no eels slide in their baskets!
DANCE PERFORMANCE & SHELLS CONCERT
- Witness a special show of children blowing on a large shell in certain musical tones. In earlier times, these shells were widely used. You can choose to drive to a location where children perform traditional dances, some dancing reminiscent of Dutch folk dancing!
COOKING WITH TRADITIONAL TRIBES
- On Saparua you visit an Ouw village where pots are still baked in a traditional way. You can also visit Fort Duurstede. Together with some local women of Saparua you go to the market and then by public transport to the village of the women to cook typical, traditional meals. At the market the women will teach you how to negotiate before proceeding with the sale.
- On the island of Seram you visit the Alifuro. The Alifuro are the original inhabitants of the mountains of Seram. They are known for their animist beliefs, typical houses and red kerchiefs worn by men, but today the modern influences can be seen widely. To get some better contact with the locals you prepare your lunch together and invite other villagers to have lunch with you.
SNORKELING AT DESERTED ISLANDS
- Sail to deserted islands in Saparua and Seram to enjoy total tranquility and to explore the wonderful underwater world. On the white sandy beaches delicious lunches are served, including fresh fish BBQ.
LOOKING FOR WILDLIFE IN THE FOREST
- You go by longboat into the forest that enjoys a unique location in the Wallacea area where Australian and Asian flora and fauna meet and gradually merge. You have a reasonable chance to see brightly colored birds such as parrots. The forest is also the area of various reptiles and cockatoo species, including the endemic salmon-colored Moluccan cockatoo.
Tour itinerary Insight North Moluccas
Day 1: Arrival Ternate, city tour and transfer Tidore
Day 2: Tidore bicycle trip, back to Ternate
Day 3: Transfer to Tobelo with stops
Day 4: Tobelo, trekking to waterfall and lake
Day 5: Transfer to Morotai, snorkeling
Day 6: Flight to Ternate, walk
Day 7: Transfer airport
HIGHLIGHTS NORTH MOLUCCAS
TERNATE CITY AND COUNTRY TOUR
- Ternate island consists of an area of only 65km2. The bulk of the population lives in the city of Ternate. The island still has the charm of which the British natularist Sir Alfred Wallace already spoke highly about in the 19th century. You'll explore the inner city of Ternate and the beautiful environment by walking through plantations, villages and you can enjoy views of Tidore and other islands. Clove is originally from here and you'll see the trees in many places.
OVERNIGHT LOCAL HOME & CYCLING ON TIDORE
- Tidore is known as the twin island of Ternate. As for size, both islands are virtually identical to each other (Tidore is slightly larger). On Tidore you overnight in a local home in a small village. This village is located on a higher altitude, in the afternoon it can be cloudy but in the morning you can enjoy beautiful views and see Ternate. At a short distance from the house you have a viewpoint from where you have a beautiful view of the sunrise. Per bicycle you visit several forts and the Kedaton Sultan Tidore.
TREKKING THROUGH PLANTATIONS AND AMAZING NATURE ON TOBELO
- On Tobelo you go on a nice walk to a waterfall, passing coconut and nutmeg plantations on the way. Tobelo is also the place where you can visit beautiful lakes, surrounded by woods and stunning mountain backdrops. Lunch is served in a local home.
- During the transfer from Tobelo to Morotai you can so some wonderful snorkeling at white sand fringed islands. On one of these islands a delicious BBQ lunch is prepared for you.
Tour itinerary Insight Banda Islands
Day 1: Ambon, boat to Banda
Day 2: City tour
Day 3: Historical spices tour
Day 4: Snorkel trip
Day 5: Climb Gunung Api
Day 6: Back to Ambon
Day 7: Transfer airport
HIGHLIGHTS BANDA ISLANDS
REST IN THE ARCHIPELAGO
- There are only a few places in Indonesia where you can so thoroughly enjoy tranquility, beautiful beaches, walks and above all a magnificent underwater world. The Banda archipelago has a number of volcanic islets of which Naira, Banda Besar (formerly Lontar), Gunung Api, Hatta (formerly Rozengain) Syahrir (formerly Pisang), Ay and Run are the most important.
THE SPICE ISLANDS
- Historically the Banda islands were of invaluable worth as the queen of spices was grown here: nutmeg. The fierce battle that was conducted here by the Dutch to keep the islands and protect them fron the British can still be seen in the remains of several forts. Fort Oranye, Fort Belgica and the former luxurious homes of the so-called perkeniers (nutmeg plantation owners) are some examples of the history that is found here. During the spice tour you are served lunch in one of the perkenier houses.
- Pick a few islands to explore the famous underwater world. Breathtaking!
- A beautiful picture is the Gunung Api, a volcano that dominates the Banda islands by the almost perfect volcano shape. A tough, but relatively short climb brings you to the crater rim at about 600 meters where you can enjoy stunning views over the islands.
Tour itinerary Insight Southeast Moluccas
Day 1: Arrival Kei Kecil, transfer hotel
Day 2: Boat trip
Day 3: Island tour Kei Kecil
Day 4: Boat trip
Day 5: Flight to Dobo, city tour
Day 6: Visit pearl farm & walk
Day 7: Boat to fishermen village, walk forest; looking for birds of paradise
Day 8: Exploring forest & surroundings
Day 9: Forest walk; looking for birds of paradise and back to Dobo
Day 10: To Kei Besar by flight and boat; to village, welcome dance
Day 11: Exploring surroundings; transfer other village, snorkeling
Day 12: Transfer village, welcome ceremony & traditional cooking
Day 13: Exploring village, back to Kei Kecil
Day 14: To Saumlaki via Ambon, city tour & traditional cooking
Day 15: Visit traditional village with ancient stone structures, ceremony & walk
Day 16: Visit traditional village, spiritual ceremony & cooking with hot stones
Day 17: To beach community, ‘beach party’
Day 18: Fishing, snorkeling and BBQ lunch; back to Saumlaki
Day 19: Transfer airport
HIGHLIGHTS SOUTHEAST MOLUCCAS
ISLANDS OFF THE BEATEN PATHS
- Rarely visited of the Moluccan provinces is the archipelago of the Southeast Moluccas. Attractive of the Kei, Aru- and Tanimbar Islands is that each island group and even each island has its own atmosphere. It has not been until years after the war between Christians and Muslims in the 2000s that tourism started to flourish. However there are still only a few tourist facilities and you should consider simple accommodation and a flexible attitude when travelling these islands. But you will be visiting unspoilt areas and that makes traveling to these islands a wonderful adventure!
INDONESIA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
- On the Kei islands you can find gorgeous white sandy beaches. The kilometers long palm-fringed white beaches are the perfect examples of romantic ‘bounty beaches’.
- Explore the small islands of the Kei islands to observe the wonderful nature above and under water. You visit a 'Mini Raja Ampat' in a beautiful lagoon where you can snorkel and spot blacktip sharks, octopuses and crabs. Snorkeling on another island in a saltwater lake where you can see huge turtles and visit a beach in the middle of the sea where pelicans take their rest en route to Australia.
BIRDS OF PARADISE
- Due to its location in the Wallacea area where Australian and Asian flora and fauna meet and gradually merge into each other, there is a special variety of fauna found on the Kei and Aru islands. This is particularly evident in the many birds on the Kei islands, including parrots and three endemic species.
- The relatively wet and forested Aru islands offer the visitor a fauna that is very similar to that of West Papua, located about 120 km away. Birds of paradise, parrots, lories, turtles, manatees, an extremely varied marine world, but also kangaroos, tree kangaroos, crocodiles and butterflies with special colors can be found here. In Aru you go looking for the greater bird of paradise, a spectacular appearance! The males have developed extraordinary looks and subtle dance moves to compete for the attention of the ladies. It is a controlled show with strict choreography that they repeat every day from May to October when the east wind blows.
STAY COMFORTABLY IN THE FOREST
- A walk of about 1,5 hours takes you to a small paradise in the tropical forest. You'll spend a few nights here to observe the daily and nightly activities of wildlife around you. You will sleep comfortably in a cottage middle of the jungle and wake up to the beautiful calls of the colorful birds.
TRADITIONAL COOKING & MEALS
- Not only in appearance do the inhabitants of the Southeast-Moluccas resemble the Papua people, there are also similarities in their traditions. Cooking with hot stones is typical of the tribes in central highlands of West Papua, but this is also done on the Tanimbar islands. Several times meals are prepared for you by digging a pit in which the ingredients are put and then covered by hot stones to cook. Or fresh sago is extracted and cookied in leafs along with bananas or fish. It is no problem to help cooking every now and then! Enjoy local food in people's homes with typical ingredients from the Southeast Moluccas and learn how they are prepared in the traditional way.
(WELCOME) CEREMONIES & DANCES
- In the Southeast Moluccas traditions and ancestor worship play a huge rol in everyday life. Especially Kei Besar and the Tanimbar islands have a rich cultural heritage. To enter some sites, a ritual carried out by the head of the adat (on Tanimbar called Tuan Tanah) needs to be carried out first. On Kei Besar usually the water of coconuts is used during the rituals, on Tanimbar sopi (gin) is indispensable.
- Traditional attire is shown by local dances, on Tanimbar these are made of self-woven ikat fabrics. Another ceremony you will attend is Badendeng, where groups of people solve problems or discuss everyday matters by singing and dancing in a relaxed and funny way.