Long white beach and palm trees on the Kei Islands in the Moluccas

Moluccas Route – View Our 21-Day Route – Indonesia

This post was last updated on July 3rd, 2020 at 02:13 pm


The Moluccas are one of the most beautiful regions of Indonesia. Everyone travels to islands like Bali, Java, Lombok, or Sulawesi. And as beautiful as they are, they are also fairly developed. If you really want something different, the Moluccas is definitely an option. We have been there and are happy to share our route through the Moluccas.

 

Our Route Through the Moluccas (21 days)

After previous adventures in Indonesia, we wanted something different. The Moluccas have been on our wish list for a long time and we must say; it was well worth the long wait.

 

It is not a destination for partying or taking all kinds of tours, but those looking for a laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and the most beautiful coral reefs in the world should definitely travel to the Moluccas.

 

Below you can take a look at our 21-day route through the Moluccas. Use it to your advantage!

 

Day 1 ➜ Amsterdam to Bali

Make no mistake. The Moluccas is not a destination that you can easily get to. We traveled a total of 4 days to arrive at our first real destination in the Moluccas. This was Ora Beach Resort on Seram.

 

To get there we first flew from Amsterdam to Bali. That is already a decent journey, but easy to do. We decided to stay overnight in Bali to fly to Ambon the next day.

 

Ambon is the “main island” of the Moluccas and is seen as the gateway to the region.

 

Day 2 ➜ Bali to Ambon

The route through the Moluccas starts in Ambon. This island is the gateway to the Moluccas and often the first thing you see. It is not the most beautiful island compared to the other islands if we’re being honest, but it is certainly not an ugly island.

 

We stayed on Ambon for one night (we came back later) so that we could continue to Seram the next day.

 

Ambon City in the Moluccas
The port of Ambon City

 

OYO 1478 Clean & Comfort Residence

Ambon City is one of the few major cities. Most accommodations are also here, but this city is not very special. We stayed at OYO 1478 Clean & Comfort Residence. This hotel is not that expensive and it’s also one of the better ones in Ambon.

 

Tip – Check the prices for OYO 1478 Clean & Comfort Residence here.

 

Day 3 ➜ Ambon to Seram (Ora Beach Resort)

The third day finally arrived. We traveled from Ambon to Seram. Our first real destination in the Moluccas. Seram is one of the largest islands of the Moluccas, but also the least visited.

 

We love this island. We’ve seen 0 other tourists, there are about 5 hotels all over the island, and the locals are genuinely glad you are there. Although it’s difficult for the locals to communicate because few of them speak English.

 

Ora Beach Resort

We can only recommend one accommodation on the island and that is the Ora Beach Resort. It is one of the most beautiful places we have ever slept in, located in the middle of Sawai Bay. We can write a whole page about it but check the picture below.

 

Ora Beach Resort on Seram in the Moluccas
Ora Beach Resort on Seram

 

View of Sawai Bay from the Eco Beach Resort
View of Sawai Bay from our lodge at the Eco Beach Resort

 

Our Tip – You can book a room at the Ora Beach Resort via Booking.com. You can also contact the Maluku Resort & Spa on Ambon. They also own Ora Beach Resort and can arrange transportation to Seram island.

 

Day 4, 5 and 6 ➜ Seram (Ora Beach Resort)

Ora Beach Resort offers different packages. You can stay from 2 nights to 4 nights. However, you can just app them asking how long you can stay. We stayed here for 4 nights. That’s more than enough.

 

We were the only tourists apart from some locals. At Ora Beach Resort, there is not much to do. You can climb a mountain, but it takes 2 days and is one of the toughest climbs in Indonesia.

 

In the 5 days that we stayed here, we mainly snorkeled, visited other bays, kayaked, swam, and relaxed a lot.

 

Sawai Bay on Seram Island
View of Sawai Bay

 

Wooden jetty over azure water at the Ora Beach Resort in Seram
Ora Beach Resort is one of the best resorts in all of the Moluccas

 

Cost

We paid 21,000,000 IDR. About US$1419. That is for 2 water villas, for 4 people, for 4 nights including a snorkel tour and all meals and water, coffee, and tea. That amounts to about US$88 per person per night.

 

>> Read more about Seram here.

 

Day 6 ➜ Seram to Ambon

Traveling in the Moluccas is not very easy. You depend on boat schedules and they don’t always sail. Certainly not when the weather gets worse. That is why you cannot always travel in one go.

 

We, therefore, had to wait for 2 nights to catch the boat the next day to the Banda islands.

 

That’s not too bad, because Ambon is also a beautiful island. We rented a scooter and were able to see quite a lot of the island. We paid around 150,000 IDR (~ US$10.15) for a scooter.

 

Day 7 ➜ Ambon to Banda Islands

Day 7 we continued our route through the Moluccas to the Banda islands. This is one of the most famous destinations in the Moluccas and is best known for its beautiful underwater world.

 

  • Ambon to Banda Neira Every Tuesday and Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Cost is 412,000 IDR (~ US$28) p.p and it takes 6 hours.
  • Banda Neira to Ambon Every Wednesday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Cost is 412,000 IDR (~ US$28) p.p and it takes 6 hours.

 

Boats in the clear blue water in the Banda Islands
Beautiful blue water at the Banda Islands

 

Booking Tickets

Tickets do not need to be booked in advance. They are sold in the port of Tulehu. The boat is quite large and there is always enough space. The price for an Economy Class ticket is 412,000 IDR (~ US$28) and 650,000 IDR (~ US$44) for VIP.

 

Our Tip – Keep your eyes open because you will see whales and dolphins along the way!

 

Day 8, 9 and 10 ➜ Banda Neira

We have been to Banda Neira for 3 days. If you want to shorten your route through the Moluccas you can plan fewer days on the Banda islands. Banda Neira, the main island, is not very big and you can see everything in 1 day.

 

However, we decided to take it easy and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere on the Banda islands, because it is super relaxed.

 

There are not many tourists (yet), but it has changed in recent years. More and more people are looking for alternatives to Bali or Lombok and end up here.

 

Banda Neira is one of the best places in Indonesia for diving and snorkeling.

 

Fort Belgica in Banda Neira
Fort Belgica in Banda Neira

 

The Different Banda islands

The Banda Islands are very popular among divers, but there is also plenty to do if you do not want or cannot dive. There are multiple islands in this region and if you have never been there it can be difficult to decide which one is best.

 

That is why we share our tips about the islands.

 

  • Banda Neira
  • Pulau Hatta
  • Banda Besar
  • Pulau Pisang (Syahrir)
  • Pulau Ai and Run

 

We went to Banda Neira. In those three days, we saw the main sights, rented a scooter to explore the entire island, and did a super cool snorkel tour. And believe us; the underwater world here is really beautiful!

 

TIP – View our tips on the Banda islands here.

 

Day 11, 12 and 13 ➜ Pulau Hatta

Near Banda Neira, you will find the small tropical island of Pulau Hatta. It is about an hour by boat and you can only get here with the public boat that sails every morning (except Friday) or your own private boat.

 

Until recently, there was nowhere to spend the night on the island. Today there are a number of guesthouses.

 

Kampung Lama is the “village”, but most accommodations are located on the beautiful white sandy beach, where you will also find the clearest water and colored coral reefs.

 

Snorkeling and Diving

Pulau Hatta is known for its underwater world. You can dive and snorkel very well here. We have done nothing here for 3 days besides lying on our beach chair and exploring the underwater world. Make sure you have your own snorkel gear.

 

We walked around the island for half a day. That is quite spicy but you’ll see some beautiful places.

 

Accommodation on Pulau Hatta cannot be found online. You can arrange a trip to Pulau Hatta on Banda Neira.

 

Yellow and red coral reefs during a scuba diving trip in the Banda Islands
The Banda Islands are a great destination for diving

 

Day 14 ➜ Pulau Hatta to Banda Neira

On day 14 we decided to go back to Banda Neira because we wanted to climb the Gunung Api the next day. Don’t plan your trip too “tight” on the Banda islands. Boats do not sail according to schedule and the public ferry is often rented out to diving schools.

 

Always plan an extra day to avoid missing the ferry from Banda Neira back to Ambon.

 

Day 15 ➜ Banda Neira (Gunung Api)

On day 15 we had a great idea to climb the Gunung Api. We have climbed quite a few volcanoes in the meantime. Think of the Batur or Bromo in Indonesia or the Acatenango in Guatemala. All of which are volcanoes a few kilometers high.

 

The Gunung Api is only 666 meters high. Piece of cake right? Don’t be fooled because this is a tough climb!

 

The trip up is tough, but easy to do. It takes about two to three hours. Do the climb in the morning (start at 6:00 a.m. at the latest) as it gets really hot in the afternoon.

 

The way back is tough. There is a path, but you’ll have to climb a lot. In addition, the path is dotted with loose stones and leaves. Going up is fine, but back down it is quite tough.

 

Our Tip – View our tips on climbing Gunung Api here.

 

Gunung Api volcano rising from the sea in the Banda islands
Gunung Api volcano rising from the sea

 

Stars in the night sky over Gunung Api volcano in the Banda Islands
At night you can see many beautiful stars in the sky

 

Day 16 ➜ Banda Neira to Ambon

You have to plan your route through the Moluccas well. The boat from Banda Neira to Ambon and vice versa does not sail every day. These are the sailing times;

 

  • Ambon to Banda Neira Every Tuesday and Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Cost is 412,000 IDR (~ US$28) p.p and it takes 6 hours.
  • Banda Neira to Ambon Every Wednesday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Cost is 412,000 IDR (~ US$28) p.p and it takes 6 hours.

 

We sailed back to Ambon on a Sunday to catch the plane from Ambon to the Kei islands.

 

Day 17, 18 and 19 ➜ Ambon to Kei islands

After 1 night on Ambon, we flew to the Kei Islands on day 17. From Ambon, you can fly to Kei Kecil (Langgur) in 1.5 hours. The Kei Islands are a perfect ending to this route through the Moluccas.

 

The islands are known for their snow-white beaches, beautiful lagoons, and perfect diving opportunities.

 

It is a great place to catch some sun, sea, and beach in recent days. There is not much to do on the Kei islands, but with such beautiful beaches on the doorstep, it is not necessary to do anything.

 

Sandbank with blue water on each side at Kei island and Kei Kecil
Kei Kecil in the Kei Islands

 

Day 20 ➜ Kei islands to Ambon

On day 20 we flew back to Ambon from the Kei islands. A day later we continued our route to Bali to fly from Bali to Sumba. One of the most beautiful and unique islands in Indonesia we have ever been to.

 

You can of course adjust this route through the Moluccas as you want. Do you have any questions about our route? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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