Banda Neira: An Awesome Island Hopping Trip As A Birthday Gift From Myself

Who doesn’t want to go to Banda Islands with their historical sites and beautiful beaches? Also, the underwater spots have become the famous targets of the divers. 

Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) or the Dutch East India Company made Banda as the only source of valuable spices until the mid-19th century with nutmeg as the leading comodity. Until now we still can find the nutmeg trees around the islands and large farms of them at Desa Lonthoir. Don’t miss the chance to taste nutmeg coffee of Desa Lonthoir (to be read: lontor), nutmeg syrup and jam of Banda Neira. They are tasty, no wonder I had an additional carton box of them to be hand-carried.

Ah! I forgot to mention about why in the first place I joined this trip. Well actually I was too absorbed in heart turbulance that made my days become blue after Sumba trip was postponed due to my travelmate was having a sudden assignment to Flores. Then I got a hint to join a survey trip of Berangan Trip to Banda Neira. This was kind of fate. The process was so smooth too. Just a week before my birthday, I got the flight tickets (still) with reasonable fare.

Some captions of below instagram images explain almost all things I did in Banda Neira. I already sorted out some images because this post might look like a photo album instead of a trip story.

How To Get There?

There is a small airport in Banda Neira with certain public flight schedule operated by Susi Air with no daily flight, and you need to have advance reservation as well. But the fare is much nicer than the express boat (Express Bahari, Idr 500,000 for economy class, 5 hours from port to port), too bad the space is limited to only 10-12 passengers so most of people use the express boat to reach Banda Neira from Port of Tulehu in Ambon. From Pattimura airport to Tulehu, take taxi with fare around Idr 250,000-300,000 and the trip is around 45 minutes.

Me, on the very first day in Neira, at their front gate, the seaport. We arrived after a three-hour boat trip from Tulehu. The trip going there was counted as normal compared to the trip going home that took more than 6 hours due to one of the machines stopped working

Where To Stay in Banda Neira?

We got Vita Guesthouse with relaxing sea view for a 3-night stay in Banda Neira. They also have their own boat pier so we just needed to go down the wooden stairs if we needed to have a boat trip. The room rate of Vita Guesthouse is Idr 300,000-400,000 per night. Please leave a comment for their contact details.

Vita Guesthouse: Try their nasi kuning for breakfast and bring your hammock like I did

Vita Guesthouse: Try their nasi kuning for breakfast and bring your hammock like I did

There’re several more guesthouses in Banda Neira, but I don’t have the contact details.
  • Mutiara Guesthouse
  • Hotel Maulana
  • Mawar Guesthouse
  • Bintang Laut Guesthouse
  • Hotel Delfika (with cafe inside, selling yummy pancakes and nutmeg jam)
If you are the type that love to mingle with locals, there are people that would let you stay with them with low charges. A friend from Holland loved to stay on Pulau Hatta (Pulau = island), where you can find a homestay to stay. There are some homestays too on Pulau Run, Pulau Ay and Lonthoir village.

What To Do In Banda Neira?

Banda Neira has at least 2 dive centres. Several local people can be hired to help you to rent the boat for island hopping and guide you around the islands.
Not only diving, snorkeling and historical tour, you can also try to hike Banda Api volcano, 4000 meters from sea floor. The underwater around the lava flow is famous among the divers. I have some instagram pictures of the volcano but I didn’t have chance to take underwater photos because that morning I didn’t join the hiking team.

Ko Har, a friend of mine, has a blissful moment at the volcano peak after hiking

Ko Har, a friend of mine, had a blissful moment at the volcano peak after hiking

I got all details mentioned on my instagram’s pictures. Not too detailed, but they tell where and how while I did the island hopping. And a lil bit of advice, it would be convenient if you don’t go strolling around the old buildings at night. Why? I have explained in some instagram pictures below.

Are you ready for the spooky parts of Banda Neira trip that I mentioned earlier? This photo was taken in front of former official residence of the Deputy Governor General of VOC when the sky had gone dark. Well it’s not suggested to visit Istana Mini after 6 pm actually, if you would consider the spooky stories behind the beauty of Banda Neira that you may find on google. Do you see the black spot on the bottom part of the photo? I was so surprised of seeing that black spot and trying to switch from manual to auto shot and did some adjustments but that black part didn’t disappear. Believe it or not, I started to feel scared at that moment and recited ayatul Kyursi 3 times, then left to other part of Istana Mini. I felt a lil bit safe when I finally joined other guys but actually it didn’t stop, I still have another spooky photos after this one. #istanamini #bandaneira #spookymoment #spookypicture #spooky #moluccas #Maluku #indonesia #historicalsite #historicalbuilding #nikond40x

A photo posted by Lilita (@lilitanurdiana) on

At least now you have some ideas about how enticing Banda Neira is. Still hesitate to have an adventure to Banda Neira and the islands?

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