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Banda Marine Life, the Paradise of Diving Spot in Central Maluku

Banda is a group of 10 small islands with total area around 44 km2 and located at the south of Ambon. There is no doubt that the marine park around the islands have incredible panorama. The islands are surrounded by beautiful marine life that rich of coral reef and fish. This condition makes this area becomes one of the best diving spots in Asia. 

The view of marine parks and the diversity of flora and fauna are also the main attraction in Banda. Even, Banda Marine Park ever been nominated as world heritage for the paradise of underwater in Indonesia. This is caused Banda Naira is so popular for marine tourism in the world. The common activities here is snorkeling and diving.
Divers from around the world have been admitting that Banda Naira as one of the best spots in the globe. The diving vision is around 40 meters and it has very good view of underwater. In addition, the natural biota of underwater cannot be found in other places. One of peculiar fauna that become endemic fish in Banda Naira is Mandarin Fish.
At the evening, divers will be able to see thousand of Mandarin Fish that move freely to feed or breeding. If you dive deeper, you can find barracuda, hammer shark, napoleon, and stingray. According to UNESCO, the extraordinary panorama of Banda Sea was influenced by the eruption of Banda Volcano. The eruption made the growth of coral reefs became the faster in the world. It took only 10 years to make coral reef grows very well to support the ecosystem of Banda Sea.

Banda Marine Park is located among Gunung Api Island, Neira Island, Hatta Island, Sjahrir Island and Ai Island. Precisely, it lies at North Maluku Regency, Central Maluku Province. To reach the island, you can take a ferry from Ambon for a night. If you start your journey from Jakarta, you can take a flight to Ambon Airport. From Ambon, you will continue the trip to a small airport, i.e. Banda-Neira Airport which is only available twice a week that are provided by Nusantara Airways Buanna (NBA).
The plane only has 18 seats and you need to pay IDR320,000 or US$32 per person. The other alternative way to Banda Marine Park by Pelni Ship that depart from Ambon to Banda Islands once in two weeks by paying IDR70,000 or US$7 per person. It will take around eight hours. As you arrive at Banda-Neira that is become the biggest Island in Banda, it will be easier to continue your trip to other islands. Usually, the boat will depart to the islands at early morning. 

The facilities to snorkel, dive, strolls, guest houses and cottages are adequate, clean and comfortable. You are suggested to take travel agent to help you arrange your journey to Banda Islands. In the island, you will find souvenir shops, such as miniature of ships.

Water activities are the most favorable for visitors as they come to Banda Marine Park. The diversity of marine life is various. You look like seeing marine parks above the boat. Besides that, you can dive, fishing tuna, whales, dolphins, and watching Arombai Manggurebe.
Banda Marine Park has 350 species of marine biota, including an ancient shells that almost extinct. The best time to visit Banda Marine Park is March to May and September to November. If you want to feel something different, you can go together with fishermen to try fishing equipment that is used to fish tuna and cakalang fish. 
If you love to dive, you can go to many diving spots in Banda Islands, i.e. Sonegat. This is the closest spot to dive because it can be reached for about five minutes from the beach. The location of Sonegat is between Banda-Neira and Gunung Api. Keraka Island is the next destination to dive.
Keraka Island or Kepiting Island or Crab Island is described like the carpet of white sand that stretches from the north beach. This view looks so beautiful and suitable to picnic. At the south of the beach, there are many walls 18 meters in height. At the east of the beach, the depth of water is around 10 meters. In this spot, you can find coral fish and group of barracuda.
Sjahrir Island and The Kapal Stone also one of destination to dive in Banda Island. This spot is well-known as Pisang Island and Batu Kapal that takes around 20 minutes from Banda-Neira by boat. The perfect time to dive in these spot is in the morning and evening. The next diving spot is Lontar Island. This spot is kind of outer gate of the islands.
Batu Belanda also can be visited if you want to face different atmosphere. In this diving spot, you can find variety of barrel, tube sponge, group of snappers, wrasses, angelfish, blue-girdled, and small caves. Next, you can go to Ai Island. The island offer you the best diving spot in Banda Island. Whether at the north beach, south beach or at the west of Ai Island, you will see if this area surrounded by perfect cliffs wall which is looks so beautiful.
The last spot you can visit to dive in Banda Island is Hatta Island. The island located around 25 km from Banda-Neira Island. There is underwater coral at the south of Hatta Island. There, you can find the parade of unicorn fish, rainbow runners, white-tip sharks, and jack fish. Banda Marine Park becomes an alternative place to visit as you come to Maluku. If you love diving, Banda offers you the best spots in the world.

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