Dive the Famous Spice Islands



Dive the Famous Spice Islands

Once sought by Columbus and Marco Polo, the Banda Islands were the original Spice Islands and the most coveted destination on earth, particularly by the Dutch and Portuguese who colonized the islands and exported the indigenous nutmeg and cloves.

History tells of a violent past under colonial rule. Now, the seas around these tropical paradise islands are coveted for their spectacular diving and snorkelling on some of the world’s richest reefs, unspoiled corals, and large pelagic fish.

Steep drop-offs, impressive hard coral, and some fast currents make this area breathtaking. Schools of jacks are a familiar sight, as are giant tuna, many turtles, Napoleon wrasse, groupers, rays, sharks, and giant lobsters. Excellent visibility is a blessing here, and there are also some special critter sites.

bandasea subsection
Hayley Banda 45
Hayley Banda 46

The Banda Sea is surrounded by islands from the large islands of Buru, Halmahera, Ambon and Seram in the north towards Gorom, Kei and Aru in the east, the islands of Tanimbar, Wetar and Reong, and a series of smaller islands such as Babar and Moa, touching East Timor in the south. 

Ambon Bay is host to some of Indonesia’s best critter diving. The nearby island of Halmahera is still largely unexplored and has recently produced some stunning sites.

Watch the Exploration

Gunung Api is an isolated volcanic peak rising from the heart of the Banda Sea. Surrounded by crystal clear waters this uninhabited island is home to thousands of nesting seabirds. 

Exuding sulphur both above and below the landmark, the water is also home to extraordinary numbers of banded kraits (sea snakes), which have become a special attraction for divers. It’s not unusual to have swarms of these non-aggressive sea snakes around you while diving on Gunung Api.

Komba volcano
Hayley Banda 33
Hayley Banda 50
banda atol (1)
flashlight fish

The 5 tiny atolls of Lucipara in the middle of the Banda Sea are the tops of undersea mountains rising up over a mile from the ocean floor. 

The uninhabited beaches are ideal green turtle nesting sites, while the reef’s breathtaking drop off to ocean waters is ideal for diving and snorkeling. A highlight here is night diving with the rare Photoblepheron bandanensis or more commonly known as the “flash light fish”.

Dry season: May – November
Rainy season: December – April (high rainfall Jan/Feb)
Air temperature: 27 – 32°C
Water temperature: 27 – 30°C
Best time to dive: October – December & March – April
Other interesting info: Most of the climate is determined by monsoon winds. Northern area is more predictable than the south. Refreshing breezes onboard throughout most of the season.

Upcoming Banda Islands Trips

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