Banda Islands are a part of Maluku province of Indonesia, and it’s known as one of the most sought-after destination for its incredible marine life. Banda diving and snorkeling is certainly one of the most wanted activities when it comes to this cluster of volcanic islands. This archipelago is quite isolated and difficult to reach, not quite unlike Raja Ampat of Papua, and thanks to its remote location, the majority of these areas remain pristine and the marine wildlife largely untouched.
These gorgeous volcanic islands used to be the only source of mace and nutmeg in the world. And it definitely plays a role in the spice trade centuries back. These days, the Banda Islands (known as Kepulauan Banda in Bahasa Indonesia) are among some of the most sought-after diving sites in the world. Banda Neira is the administrative capital of the island where you’re likely going to arrive first on this tiny archipelago.
Banda sea diving and snorkeling is clearly among the top reasons why travelers visit the Spice Islands. Scuba diving resorts line the coast of these islands and liveaboards frequently made their stop here. Banda diving is known for its dense school of fishes.
Aside from the dense school of tropical fishes that delightfully swarm divers and snorkelers, Banda diving is known for its incredible biodiversity. The sheer range of marine life that you could experience in a single dive in Banda Islands thanks to its untouched underwater ecosystem.
Some say Banda island’s biodiversity can rival that of Raja Ampat, a part of the great Coral Triangle, and that it itself is and weighty claim. Banda Neira diving has been said to be one of the most incredible diving experiences by seasoned divers alike. One of the best ways to access the many dive sites of this archipelago is by sailing on a liveaboard. Resort diving is a good option, however, liveaboard gives you the limitless possibilities of reaching parts of oceans that would take a considerable amount of time if you travel from land using small boats.
Some of the most well-known Banda diving sites:
- Diving Keraka Island. The currents in Keraka Island is relatively mild and rarely gets strong; which makes this dive site perfect not just for seasoned divers but also for snorkelers as well. It’s heaven for underwater photographers as well thanks to the good level of visibility.
- Karang Hatta. “Karang” is “reef” in Bahasa Indonesia and this Banda diving spot is located in the South East of an island of the same name, “Pulau Hatta”. This is where you should dive if you’d like to see the big pelagic fishes such as sharks. Turtles are frequently spotted as well.
- Banda Besar. This island, like its namesake, is the biggest island among the cluster of islands in Banda archipelago. It’s home to colorful coral sites. Divers whose primary interest is to witness stretches upon stretches of coral lives would find this Banda diving spot absolute delight.
How to get to Banda Islands Indonesia?
These remote islands are particularly difficult to get into. There’s no direct international flight to these islands. But thanks to that degree of isolation, these islands are well-protected. You’ll be able to catch connecting flights from Denpasar (Bali), Jakarta, or Surabaya to Maluku. Going on a liveaboard Banda sail is among one of the most convenient ways of reaching the archipelago.
Also read: Dangers in Diving Beginners Should Know