Banda Islands, Maluka Islands, Indonesia

The Banda Islands are a group of ten small volcanic islands in the Banda Sea, about 140km south of Seram island and about 2000km east of Java, and are part of the Indonesian province of Maluku. The main town and administrative centre is Banda Neira, located on the island of the same name. Until the mid 19th century the Banda Islands were the world's only source of the spices nutmeg and mace, produced from the nutmeg tree. The islands are also popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Ambon is usually the starting point for visitors to the Banda Islands. Here there are some beautiful beaches which are excellent for snorkeling. On Banda Neira there is a bustling local market worth visiting and the colonial Dutch architecture is interesting. The other islands such as Banda Besar are characterized by rugged, mountainous interiors with small developments scattered around the shoreline. Trekking up Gunung Api gives amazing panoramic views of the islands surrounding Banda Neira.

Things to see and do

* Scuba diving & snorkeling
* Colonial Dutch architecture
* Banda Neira market
* Ambon beaches

Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – Rupiah (IDR)
Language – Ambonese Malay
Land Area – 180 km²
Population – 15,000 approx
Electricity – 2 angled flat pins and 1 round pin centred below Australian style
Time – GMT plus seven hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 62

Port Location – The port is located on Banda Neira Island.

Transport Links – The Banda Islands are best visited by liveaboard, and there are several different points of access depending on the boat and its itinerary. While some trips that visit the Banda region begin in Raja Ampat and others in Alor and Flores, the most common access is from Ambon.

Flights to Ambon are daily and from the major airports in Indonesia - Jakarta, Bali, and Manado - all travel via Makassar (Ujung Pandang).

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