The Moluccas and Ambon in Indonesia

The Moluccas archipelago is located in the northeastern part of Indonesia. In the past, it was generally called the spice islands. In Indonesian they are called Malukua. The archipelago has around 1000 islands and the island of Ambon is located here. It is perhaps the most famous island for diving. At least in this particular part of Indonesia. In general, the islands offer very good diving. There can sometimes be strong currents so you should have some experience diving in current water. This is so that you can get the most out of your diving trip here.

Geography and history

The Moluccas are counted as eastern Indonesia and lie east of the big island Sulawesi as well as west of it Indonesian part of New Guinea. Most of the islands here are mountainous and many of them are of volcanic origin. Many volcanoes are also considered active. This has meant that the islands have a rich flora. The rainforest that formerly covered the islands here has unfortunately been cut down on a large scale in recent years in favor of plantations and livestock. Because the soil is so fertile, ever larger areas are cultivated.

Previously, the Moluccas were annexed by both Portugal and the Netherlands. It was the access to various exotic spices that was the main reason why they occupied and wanted to control the islands. It happened in an often very brutal way. Large parts of the population here were used as labor and many were killed. Production and export of spices was large here and it was important for other countries to control. Nutmeg and cloves are probably the most famous, but there are many more spices here.

Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin

The islands have a very rich animal life and several endemic species live here both in the sea and on land. It was here in the Moluccas that alfred wallace made their discoveries and got their thoughts on the origin of species. Thoughts that he later sent to Charles Darwin. Darwin told Wallace not to publish his thoughts but then himself, with the support of Wallace, published "his" theories. Darwin also became famous later. Alfred Wallace is still a very big and respected name in the Moluccas. You can actually sometimes still see his name on house walls out in the street.
There is a not entirely clear but still defined line on the maps that cuts between the Indonesian islands and which today is precisely called Wallace line. A distinct transition of different animal and plant species takes place right here.

The Moluccas used to be a single province, but it is now divided into two. North Moluccas which is essentially Muslim as well as the the southern part, the Moluccas, which is essentially Christian. Ambon is the main island in the southern part, but the island of Seram is the largest. In the northern part, Ternate is the main island, but the island of Halmahera is the largest.

Diving in the Moluccas and Ambon in Indonesia

The diving in the area is generally very good but not yet fully explored. Resorts and liveaboarders have started to dive more and more here in recent years, and people today explore and dive around these fantastic islands. Here you can find unique epaulette sharks - bamboo sharks or walking sharks that can only be found here. Reef sharks, hammerhead sharks and several smaller species of shark. Also manta rays and other large fish and often shoals of barracuda and tuna. Perhaps it is the macro life that is most amazing and many completely unique species are found here. An example is the psychedelic frogfish that you can only find here around Ambon.

To get here to Mouckerna and Ambon in Indonesia, you have to fly via one of the international airports, Jakarta, Bali or Manado-Därefet then onward by domestic flight. We will of course help you to this fantastic paradise. Experiencing the Moluccas and Ambon in Indonesia should be on every diver's bucket list and above all before more people discover this fantastic part of Indonesia.

Travel information Moluccas

  • Time zone: GMT +9
  • Currency: Rupiah
  • Language: Indonesian is the most common language.
  • Water: Avoid drinking tap water and ice made from tap water. Buy bottled water instead
  • Visa: As a Swedish citizen, you get a visa at the border and it is valid for up to 30 days.
  • Health: Contact your nearest vaccination clinic for advice
  • Pressure Chamber: Available in Denpasar and Manado
  • Country code: +62
  • Electricity: 220 volts. Most electrical sockets correspond to our sockets in the Nordics.
  • Weather: The climate is warm and tropical, the temperature varies between 25-34 degrees depending on the season. The rainy season usually lasts between December to March in the northern parts as for the rest of Indonesia, while the southern and central parts have their rainy season deviating with May to August/September being windy and rainy, when short showers usually occur most often in the afternoon and evenings.
  • Current Water temperature and average sea temperature per month, Halmahera
  • Current Water temperature and average sea temperature per month, Ambon
  • Tip: About 10% of the bill is usual.
  • Clothing recommendations: Casual clothing is suitable in all situations. Covering clothing is mandatory when visiting temples and is recommended as protection from the sun.