Once the spice capital of the world, Maluku experienced extreme wealth in the 16th century as spices such as cloves and nutmeg grew exclusively and in abundance. Still known as one of the top spice producers in the world, Maluku covers a vast area in the east of Indonesia. While not commonly frequented by tourists just yet, those who do make the journey can discover picturesque islands, quality reefs teeming with marine life, quiet stretches of beaches and lands filled with pungent aromas of spices and crops amongst the fascinating history.
The ‘Spice Islands’ of Ternate and Tidore offer contrasting atmospheres in North Maluku. Ternate is a bustling island city and port beneath a very active volcano, and was once the centre of the lucrative spice trade. Tidore is the sister volcanic island where you can enjoy its sleepy, peaceful character with colourful homes and locals alike. Halmahera is a off-the-beaten track location to end them all. While there are almost no resorts or places to stay, here you can discover untouched natural beauty beneath its waters. Incredible unblemished coral lies just off shore, and you’ll also find glorious diving spots, fishing villages and indigenous communities going about their lives in the forest of the north.
The idyllic tropical atoll of Morotai is home to dozens of tiny islands where nature and history are intertwined. You can spend time exploring the WWII sites, take a nature walk or enjoy snorkelling and diving in the surrounding waters to admire the marine biodiversity of the area.
To the south you’ll find the tropical gems of Seram and Buru. Here, white-sanded beaches, trekking opportunities and unparalleled scenery are waiting to be uncovered. Head to Seram for rugged, mountainous landscapes with endemic birdlife residing in the thick forests. Buru lies to the east of Ambon, the largest island in Maluku, where indigenous tribal culture is still very much alive, and you can unearth its colonial past or take a trek to a remote mountain lake.