Spice Island Exploration: Ambon, Saparua, Seram, Bandanaira
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights; Number of participant: 2, 3-6, 7-10; Type of transport: airplane, fast ferry, speedboat, minivan; Type of accommodation: Hotel (from basic to 3 stars or equal), guest house; Grade of difficulty: Moderate to Challenge
Day 1: Jakarta – Ambon: Early morning flight to Ambon by GA640, depart at 00:45 and arrive in Ambon at 07:35. Check in at hotel for short rest. Briefing about the program and proceed by day excursion around Ambon. Some places might be included in the excursion (BLD):
*Fort Amsterdam at Hila Kaitetu*Hitu village with beautiful landscape view to Seram island*Old mosque and Immanuel old church on Kaitetu*Australian war memorial*Karang Panjang, a nice spot to see the city of Ambon from high point where Ambonese female hero monument; Martha Christina Tiahahu located*Traditional Tanimbarese hand-weaving*Soya village: King’s House*Siwalima Museum*Latuhalat for handicrafts centre
Day 2: Ambon – Saparua: Morning journey by fast ferry for about 60 minutes to Saparua Island. After check in at accommodation start the exploration to visit Dutch Fortress Duurstede. This fortress has very special note on Saparua history because of big battle between Ambonese hero; Pattimura and Dutch troops in 1817. Continue to visit the house of Pattimura and to the village where people make earthen work such for house wares. Saparua used to be very important island during the spice trading era when European traders come for cloves. Until today clove is still one of main plantation products on the island. The rest of the day is to visit local market where you might find local culinary. Return to accommodation to end the day. (BLD)
Day 3: Saparua – Ambon – Seram: By morning fast ferry return to Ambon and then take another fast ferry to Seram Island. This fast ferry journey from Ambon to Seram will take about 2-3 hours. Arrive in Amahai Harbor on Seram the trip continued by car on Trans-Seram road across Manusela National Park. View along the road is combination of coastal rural area and lowland rain forest. When entering the main road on Manusela National Park both sides of the road are covered by forest canopy. On this part stop might be made for a couple of time for taking landscape pictures and also for watching almost endangered bird; Salmon-crested Cockatoo. Other birds might be seen along this journey amongst other parrots, lorikeet, pigeons, and eagles. The destination is accommodation on Sawai Village. This is simple guest house built on stilt like a pier, surrounded by some impressive coral-growth and attended by variety of colorful fish. Arrive at the guest house; get the room and afternoon tea or coffee at guest house veranda while enjoying view to the sea or life underwater that can be seen from the guest house veranda. Hopefully the guest house owner has stock fresh lobster for dinner. (BLD)
Day 4 & 5: Explore Seram Island: Places of interest and activities on Seram: To visit one of two villages of Naulu People. Nualu is indigenous ethnic group on Seram. There are more or less 2,500 of them inhabit the southern and northern part of Seram. This people are living from collecting forest products which is normally for selling and cultivate small scale of farm land for self consuming. From this village continue to Masihulan rehabilitation and release center for endemic birds and some mammals. Lunch will be prepared here and perhaps to try climbing a platform high on a big tree almost 30 meters from where to get a very good view of forest canopy. From Masihulan hike for about 3 km on the path beneath the rain forest back to guest house in Sawai. This is it for today.
To explore marine life near Sawai including to explore small islands formation called Pulau Tujuh. Swimming and snorkeling are possible. Another option is to explore Salawai river ecosystem including for wildlife watching. A number of estuary crocodile inhabits the river and with luck it might be seen especially when it lays by the river bank. Sago palm as one of staple diet for people on the island grow healthy along the river. Hopefully some people are working to collect sago palm when you are there. This day will be ended by swimming and snorkeling on the other side of the island. Return to guest house. End of today (BLD)
Day 6: Sawai – Masohi – Ambon: Drive back to Amahai harbor for fast ferry journey return to Ambon. Arrive in Ambon, free program or perhaps to try local coffee at Kedai Kopi Sibu-Sibu. Kedai kopi means cofe-shop; is very popular amongst people in Ambon where they can spend hours to chat any topics freely. Kedai kopi has become meeting and melting point in the city of Ambon from different places, ethnic and religion. A kedai kopi normally serves local coffee plus some different home-made local cakes and cookies. One of very popular kedai kopi in Ambon is Kedai Kopi Sibu-Sibu with its wall full of poster and pictures of Amboneses who have been success abroad in many different fields amongst other; musician, singer, and soccer player. Night in Ambon. (BLD)
Day 7: Ambon – Banda (Bandanaira): Fly by NBA flight to Banda in the morning. Arrive in Banda, transfer for check in at accommodation in town and proceed by explore the island. (BLD)
Day 8 & 9: Explore Bandanaira: Exploring a medieval heritage including a visit to the 17th century Dutch fort Belgica and Nassau, 18th colonial church and the former place of Dutch governor, Gunung Api (volcano island), sunset in Karaka island. Go on board a longboat for cruising to Lonthoir village. Walking up the 78 stairs to fort Hollandia for a beautifull view then continue to visit nutmeg plantation and factory belong to Van den Broek. Having lunch in pisang island, snorkeling, and enjoy the rest of the day. (BLD)
Day 10: Banda – Ambon: Free program in the morning. Preparation for returning to Ambon. One night stay in Ambon (BLD)
Day 11: Ambon-Next Destinations: Transfer to the airport and fly to the next destinations. Journey ends (B)
* During the trip participants must respect and obey rules, laws and customs valid in the area/location they are visiting.
* This itinerary is subject to change with or without prior notice due to weather condition, flight and ferry schedule change or other causes beyond organizer control (force majeure)