Moluccas

The small island of Ambon was the centre of Dutch administration in Maluku, and today bustling Ambon city remains the main city of majority Christian southern Maluku province, even though a new provincial capital has been designated on Seram in 2013. Ambon has a mixed Christian-Muslim population and suffered from horrible communal violence between 1999-2002. Now that peace has returned, its excellent transport connections and facilities once again make it the common gateway to Maluku, and its colonial forts, green hills and pleasant beaches can also make it a worthy destination in its own right.

The island is made up by two “peninsulas”, which are almost separate islands, joined by a narrow isthmus. Leitimur, the smaller, more densly populated half is majority Christian, and is also where Kota Ambon, Maluku’s capital is situated. Leihitu, the larger peninsula is more sparsely populated and has a majority Muslim population. Due to its relative remoteness from Kota Ambon it recieves fewer visitors and has preserved its traditional culture better. While many visitors only ever see the city itself, they are missing the best of Pulau Ambon. (Source: http://www.east-indonesia.info/regions/maluku-travel-information-ambon.html)

When it comes to diving the island of Ambon is slowly but steadily growing in popularity. Its reputation builds on the growing realisation that there is some outstanding muck diving right beside Ambon City as well as many other spectacular diving sites close by.

Small Nusa Tiga island has exciting wall dives and Nusa Laut has an underwater

Ambon

promontory that hosts enormous schools of resident jacks along with larger animals like bumphead parrotfish, eagle rays and small reef sharks. Ambon also has a great wreck dive, the Pertamina Wreck, which is covered in healthy corals.

However, the biggest attractions for most divers are the famous critter dives in the channel that leads to Ambon. The diving is not dissimilar to the Lembeh Straits – there may be slightly fewer critters by number, but there are as many species with everything from rhinopias to seahorses. (Source: http://www.seafocus.com/dive_INDambon.html)

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