Indonesia is rich in amazing, gorgeous destinations—and some of the best of them are blessedly remote. One of these hidden gems is the Banda Sea. Tucked away in the frontier of Maluku, east Indonesia, the Banda Islands enjoys pure tranquility, undisturbed natural beauty, warm local heart, fascinating history, and extraordinarily rich marine life. Its vibrant underwater landscape is plastered with bursting coral gardens and busy fishes. The Banda Sea quickly gain reputation as one of prominent diving destination in Indonesia. Liveaboard trip in Banda Sea is incredibly popular and this is what you need to know about it.
What to See on Banda Sea on Liveaboard Trip
The Banda Sea was once quite big during the colonial time. The ‘Spice Island’, rich with valuable spices to European countries, was particularly attractive to the colonial Dutch and English. The two countries constantly fought on right to colonise the island—the only island where the spice nutmeg can be found. That’s why you’ll find many remnants of colonial budding exist in the island. One of the most famous—and well maintained—is the Fort Belgica. An internal pentagon courtyard facing the serenity of the sea. Around Banda Neira, you will find interesting old town, museum, and street market selling worth to try local cuisine.
Along the journey, you would likely encounter locals drying nutmegs. Take a look and have a chitchat if you like. The locals here are generally not pushy and they will welcome almost anyone with open arms! With liveaboard, you can hop from one island around Banda Sea to another easily. The Banda Islands consist of two main land, Banda Neira & Banda Besar, as well as tinier islands; Run Island, Hatta Island, Ay Island, and Banda Api the volcanic.
What to See Underneath the Banda Sea
The underwater landscape of Banda Sea is what actually attract hundreds of tourists here every year. The Hatta Island, Banda Api, and Ay Island are the best for snorkelling and diving around the region. Vibrant underwater, clear water, and the sheer proximity of breathtaking reef drop at Hatta Island would steal any diver’s heart. Banda Neira is great to see fascinating coral reefs growing on lava flow from 1989 Mount Api eruption. The fishes appears to be healthy and abundant—an amazing sight to see. You can expect to see mandarin fishes, cockatoo wasp fish, frogfish, barramundis, angle fishes, and even blue whale swimming in the distance.
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Diving with the Snakes?
The Run and Ay Islands are both the go-to for easy snorkel. It’s hard to beat the crystal clear waters and lovely wall of coral reefs. Fishes are abundant, where big fishes like hammerheads, napoleons, black snappers, and bump heads are found in deeper water. The Mount Api might be the last dive site you’ll visit if you embark on Banda Sea liveaboard trip. It’s unbeatable for sunrise watch and have one of the most diving environment on Banda.
Twenty years ago, lava flown to the seabed and boost one of the healthiest coral garden ever in the world. But what makes Banda Api’s unbeatable underwater beauty is the—hold your breath—sea serpents. Hundreds of banded and olive sea snakes swim very leisurely on the world of blue. Though they are venomous, the snakes are highly non-aggressive. They can be very curious to divers—so make sure you are not making any sudden moves to scare the snakes which could trigger them to bite you! It’s not everyday you can enjoy a spectacular dive with non-aggressive sea snakes around you. That’s why they become a special attraction among divers.