Maluku is blessed with incredible sea gardens, idyllic, tropical beaches and rugged, forest-coated volcanic mountains. These are the famous ‘spice islands’ which drew Indian, Chinese, Arab and eventually European traders in search of cloves and nutmeg. In 1511, the Portuguese built their first fort in the area on the island of Ternate, and cornered the clove trade. The Dutch, who arrived in 1599, mounted the first serious threat to Pourtuguese control of Maluku’s treasures. Armed conflicts broke out, taking a heavy toll from the island populations as well as the rival European powers. When the Dutch finally emerged as victors they enforced their trade monopoly with an iron fist. Whole villages were razed to the ground and thousands of islanders died, especially on the island of Banda. The British briefly occupied Maluku during the Napoleonic Wars, but Dutch rule was restored in 1814 and it wasn’t until 1863 that the compulsory cultivation of spices was abolished in the province. Now fish and other sea products are Maluku’s major sources of revenue, but nickel, oil, manganese and various kinds of timber also contribute to the province’s wealth. 



The main gateway into Maluku is through the provincial capital Ambon, which is served by regular flights to most parts of the archipelago. Air and sea transportation connect the islands with 79 seaports and 25 airports. Roads on many of the islands provide access to the more remote places of interest.


People & Culture

Due to its history, the people here are very mixed. Malay, Indian, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese, Bugis, Javanese are found anywhere. Tribal communities of Ua-ulu choose not to garb themselves in traditional outfirts. Ua-ulu men can be distinguished with red headscarves that they wear. And as for their head hunting habit? It all belongs to folklore and legend.





Numerous dishes of sea food can be found here. Try grilled or baked fish and enjoy the spectacular view that several eateries provide.

Nasi ikan (rice and fish meal) is also worth a try.

For those interested in concocting their own dishes, you can buy the fresh ingredients in nearby supermarkets and mini markets/


Tourism Office


Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Prov. Maluku
Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Batu Merah, Kota Ambon
Phone. (62-911) 312300
Fax. (62-911) 352471




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