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Make sure to visit beautiful Pulau Saparua near Ambon!  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Indonesia > Maluku > Ambon

Ambon Travel Guide

  
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Ambon is an island in the Maluku region of Indonesia. Its main city, the capital city of the Maluku province, is also called Kota Ambon.

The area around Ambon is Indonesia's traveler's highlight. It features some of Southeast Asias nicest beaches, diving and snorkeling, and the most beautiful islands.

View over Ambon city.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Kota Ambon (Ambon town) is built on a hillside overlooking the bay. It has a number of interesting historical and cultural sites, among the remnants of forts built the the Dutch East Indies Company during the heyday of the spice trade. The ruins of the Portuguese fort at Hila are almost entirely hidden beneath the contorted roots of a giant Banyan tree.

Sights on Ambon Island

At the ANZAC War Cemetery near Ambon, services are held every year on April 25, to commemorate the Allied soldiers who died in region during World War II.

The museum Siwa Lima has a fine collection of local arts and crafts. Ambon is at the Maluku end of the annual yacht race between Darwin, Australia and Ambon. The race usually takes place in July and August.

There is good snorkeling and diving on Latuhalat or Liang beach. Just ask your hotel how to get there.

Other places of interest include Namalatu beach, Pintu Kota, Waii eels, Tulehu hotwater springs and Natsepa Beach.

Pulau Seram, Saparua and Molana

Sunset on Pulau Seram, near Ambon.  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Ambon is the gateway city to the Lease Islands and Seram.

We highly recommend you visit Pulau Saparua, which offers what we think is Southeast Asia's best snorkeling on nearby Pulau Molana.

Benteng Duurstede and the beach on Saparua - highly recommended!  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

To get to Pulau Saparua, catch a boat from Ambon. On Saparua, catch an ojek to the main town Kota Saparua. Stay at Penginapan Beonteng Duurstede, right on the beach. It's super value, but very basic and comes with full board meals. From here, organize a daytrip to Pulau Molana.

Banda and Kei Islands

Banda has it all: Fantastic beaches, great snorkeling and diving, stunning views and good food!  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Kota Ambon is also the gateway to the Banda Islands, a traveler's delight and winner of our Southeast Asia's Southeast Asia's most beautiful island list.

Roughly double the distance away are the Kei Islands, which offer Southeast Asia's nicest beach if you are looking for peace and solitude.

You can reach the Banda and Kei islands by boat and by flight.

Getting to Ambon and Around

There are daily flights from Jakarta to Ambon, via Makassar or Surabaya. Alternatively there are boats from various parts of Indonesia. Schedules change frequently, but any travel agent in Jakarta or a major Indonesian city can arrange this.

Bemos and some buses bring you around the island, becaks are good for shorter distances. There are also a lot of ojeks (motorcycke taxis) around the island. Car taxis are also available for hire and can be found mostly in major hotels.

Ora Beach Hotel in northern Seram is only open when the owners feel like it.   <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>

Safety

Flying over Kota Ambon  <span style='white-space:nowrap;'><img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click to enlarge</span>
Ambon has been wracked by ethnic and religious violence starting in 1999. Tensions between the main Muslim and Christian factions have been slowly waning, but there were still scuffles in spring 2004. In 2007 there were minor bomb blasts in March and April. After that, the situation has calmed down, and it is now safe to travel to the region.

Despite what certain Indonesian embassies and websites might tell you, foreigners no longer need special permits to visit Maluku, and the entire region has been completely safe to visit for years.






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