Bandanaira Travel Guide

  • View of Benteng Belgica, Bandaneira
    View of Benteng Belgica, Bandaneira
    by Daihappydai
  • Collecting nutmeg on Banda Besar
    Collecting nutmeg on Banda Besar
    by Daihappydai
  • Bandanaira
    by lotharscheer

Bandanaira Things to Do

  • Going to Banda Hatta

    At the moment (February 2015) getting to Bandanaira is difficult, only 1 boat from Pelni, the Tidar, runs every 14 days from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bau Bau, Ambon to Banda and on to Kei Islands, Dobo, Kaimana and Fak Fak in western Papua.There is a second Pelni boat (the Kelimutu one of the oldest from Pelni), but that was on a lengthy overhaul,...

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  • Great views on Banda Besar

    Take a trip over to Lonthoir on Banda Besar for a chance to see a very relaxed village and some great views. Up the steep main street and then a turn right, you will find 'Kuching' well, a cat-shaped well with crystal clear water fit to drink. Further east you reach Benteng Hollandia. The old fort walls and archways, covered in moss, make a great...

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  • Meeting the locals on Pulau Ai

    Pulau Ai is a one hour trip on a public boat from Bandaneira and it is here I had the chance to chat to some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Take a stroll down Jalan Pelabuhan and you're sure to be met with many 'Selamat Pagi' or 'Selamat Siang'. Many of the locals like to practice their English and in return they are more than willing...

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  • Roaming the plantations of Pulau Ai

    If you have the opportunity to stay on Pulau Ai for a couple of days, take the time to walk through the plantations on the hills south of the village. Start by walking west along Jalan Pelabuhan. When you walls of Welvaren Plantation House, turn left. You can follow tracks up into the hills and do a circuit that finishes near the jetty. This...

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  • Island History - Fort Belgica

    There is a small entry few to the fort and you can walk around at your leisure, but for a better understanding of the history, it is worth paying a little more to one of the local people to act as a guide for you. Fort Belgica has been restored somewhat and the white-washed walls are clearly not original, but it is well worth the climb for some...

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  • Visit the Chinese Temple

    Just had lunch and needing to fill in some time before more snorkelling - pay a visit to the 300 year old Chinese Temple on Jalan Pelabuhan. The temple may look closed, but gates are usually open, just push and enter. If you are unsure, just say 'boleh' to one of the local shopkeepers near the temple and they will likely say 'ya' and show you in....

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  • Playing football at the cemetery

    If the weather is not the best for snorkelling, take the time to explore a little of Bandaneira with a visit to the cemeteries. Both the Chinese and old Dutch cemeteries highlight some of the history of the island - they are easy to find, a pleasant ten to fifteen minute walk from the centre of Bandaneira. All available space in both cemeteries are...

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  • Snorkelling at Pulau Hatta

    While there is limited accommodation on Pulau Hatta, it is easy to arrange a day trip to go snorkelling and explore the amazing coral-laden reefs. Trips can be arranged through guesthouses with a day trip costing around 500,000 rupiah which can be shared amongst fellow travellers. The cost includes lunch and several snorkelling stops. The current...

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  • Visit a nutmeg plantation

    While snorkelling or diving are the usual highlights of a trip to the Banda Islands, there are plenty of other things to do and sights to see. You can't go to the Spice Islands and miss the opportunity of seeing a nutmeg plantation - after all, they were the reason for all the 'madness' of Dutch control for a few centuries!. The best places are...

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Bandanaira Hotels

Bandanaira Restaurants

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    by Daihappydai Written Feb 26, 2011

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    There were very few restaurants open in Bandaneira when I visited in January 2011 - but it didn't matter at all. Delfika, Mutiara and Vita guesthouses all prepare meals if you tell them in advance. I was staying in Vita but one day a group of us decided we would eat at Delfika, another night at Mutiara and a few at Vita - all were terrific - with prices between 50,000 and 60,000 rupiah. Its a great opportunity to eat with friends from your guesthouse and to meet travellers staying in other guesthouses. It gives you a perfect chance to arrange a shared boat for snorkelling adventures for the following day.Just notify the guesthouse by midday and you can be sure of a great evening meal. At Mutiara, they are even willing to let you watch and learn how to cook the local favorites.

    Favorite Dish: There is fresh fish in abundance but perhaps my favorites were the nutmeg flavored soups and the eggplant. Mutiara served an amazing salad - I was disappointed I didn't get a chance to write down the ingredients for the dressing.

    Dinner at Delfika Guesthouse, Bandaneira Dinner at Mutiara Guesthouse, Bandaneira Dinner at Vita Guesthouse, Bandaneira Afternoon tea at Vira Guesthouse, Bandaneira
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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Bandanaira Transportation

  • To Bandanaira

    At the moment (February 2015) getting to Bandanaira is difficult, only 1 boat from Pelni, the Tidar, runs every 14 days from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bau Bau, Ambon to Banda and on to Kei Islands, Dobo, Kaimana and Fak Fak in western Papua.There is a second Pelni boat (the Kelimutu one of the oldest from Pelni), but that was on a lengthy overhaul,...

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  • Catching a ferry to Bandaneira

    Pelni ferries travel from Ambon to Banda, Banda to Tual (in the Kei Islands), Tual to Banda, and Banda to Ambon. There are a number of classes on the ferries 'ekonomi', 'kelas tiga', 'kelas dua' and 'kelas satu' depending on the ferry. If travelling on a budget, the ferry is much cheaper than the plane and takes about 8 hours for the Ambon-Banda...

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  • Travelling between the Banda Islands

    It is easy to catch a public boat to take you to several of the Banda Islands from Bandaneira. Boats for Lonthoir and other places on Banda Besar leave frequently. There are at least two boats per day to Pulau Ai, and it is easy to get across to Pulau Gunung Api at most times of day. Note that the boats to Pulau Ai leave in the morning, so if you...

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Bandanaira Shopping

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    by aj03 Written Jan 30, 2009

    What to buy: Nutmeg candied. It is dried nutmeg fruit's flesh with sugar. taste of sweet and bitterness. Really nice and excotic taste. The more valuable seed is sold for cosmetic, pharmacy etc.

    What to pay: Rp10,000 ($1) for three small plastic bag of nutmeg candied

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Bandanaira Off The Beaten Path

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    by Daihappydai Written Feb 26, 2011

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    A short walk from central Bandaneira past Hotel Maulana and adjacent to the turtle conservation farm, there is a steep line of stairs that will take you to the top of a hill, the highest point on Bandaneira, where you will find a cave opening. The cave is in fact a tunnel that was cut through the hill to western side of Bandaneira to transport goods during the World War 2. It is now called 'crying mountain' as the Japanese herded large numbers of the local population into the mountain and executed them. You will need a torch to explore inside the tunnel - slippery when wet!

    Entrance to 'crying mountain', Bandaneira Entrance to 'crying mountain', Bandaneira
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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Bandanaira Sports & Outdoors

  • Snorkelling the Lava Flow of Gunung Api

    Gunung Api, right opposite Bandanaira, erupted in 1988. The lava flow is now home to some amazing coral gardens and an abundance of fish. I was amazed that there has been such incredible growth in such a short period of time. Ask a boat driver to take you around to the north east tip, opposite tiny Pulau Karaka, then drift back around towards...

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  • Snorkeling on Pulau Ai, Banda Islands

    There are some great places to snorkel off Pulau Ai and all within walking distance of Ai village. There is some fair snorkeling in calm waters in front of the homestays south of the jetty. There is very good snorkeling off Long Beach on the north east tip of the island although there is a fair bit of wading to reach the drop off and the water can...

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  • Best Diving with poor Guide

    Banda has two dives seasons. Once centered around April the other in October. Some prefer November as the best month ever. I dove on January, but still enjoy 30-40 meters visibility. Some of diving sites offfered almost clear crystal water visibility. For nice and close diving sites, go to Sjahrir Island, 20 minutes by boat from Maulana hotel...

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