Written by Missy Johnston

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Gunung Api Volcano

These beautiful islands in the Banda Sea are rarely heard of these days, and yet are a lovely yacht charter destination with miles of pristine beaches and coral gardens for swimming, shelling, snorkeling and diving. Indeed, the Banda Islands were far more well known in the 15th Century than now, for it was in the 1400’s that the Nutmeg was discovered growing on these islands, which quickly established these “Spice Islands” on the worldwide map. Soon a hotly contested location for the trading wealth that could be derived from harvesting the local cloves, nutmegs, and mace, in the 1600’s the Dutch took control of the Banda Islands, and the East Dutch Indies Company was born. This trading company amassed a fortune for the Dutch owners from the trade worldwide of these highly sought after spices. And from the wealth derived from this spice trade, the Dutch entered in their Renaissance Era with the new merchant wealthy sponsoring such artists as Rembrandt. During this era, the trade of nutmegs for flavoring created the Dutch merchant wealth that supported the trade of tulip bulbs for beauty. Located north of Australia and east of Bali, as a part of the extensive area of Indonesia, chartering in the Banda Islands is a visit to a unique tropical location with a history that once impacted the world.

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Up Close Shot of Nutmeg

Some call the Banda Islands “Indonesia’s Best Kept Secret”, as this group of 10 volcanic islands are set off much to themselves and only reachable by yacht, ferry or the local domestic airlines in Indonesia. International air is not available into the Banda Islands, so a flight into Denpassar is necessary with an onward flight into Ambon in the Banda Islands.
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Scuba Diving in Indonesia- Urchins and Eel
There you will cruise through crystal clear waters surrounding this group of islands still dotted with Dutch colonial architecture and the remains of nutmeg plantations. The scenery is stunning, with the largest natural focus the volcano of Gunung Api (Fire Mountain) with a wonderful interior lagoon. The scenery on land, across the water and under the water is spectacular and includes long white beaches, miles of crystal clear waters, and the underwater Maluka Sea Gardens.

Hard to get to, and very hard to leave, these islands are well worth the time and effort for a yacht charter to a small beautiful remote area with a once large worldwide impact


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