Banda Neira was once the global center of the trade in nutmeg and mace, as the Bandas Islands were the only source of these valuable spices until the mid-19th century. The modern town was established by members of the Dutch East India Company as the capital of the Governorate of the Banda Islands. The Dutch forced out or exterminated most of the native Bandanese in order to exploit this lucrative resource.
Banda Neira or Banda Naira is one of ten volcanic islands in the Banda Archipelago in the Maluku province, in eastern Indonesia. The Banda Islands, probably better known as the fabled Spice Islands of ancient times, are covered with towering, aromatic, tropical-evergreens.The Myristica Trees, indigenous to the Banda Islands, are the source of two rare and lucrative spices: nutmeg and mace – once found exclusively on the Banda Islands. A sparkling, sapphire sea surrounds these already incredible islands, brimming with exquisite corals and abundant ocean life, making the Banda Islands not only a historically significant destination, but also an internationally recognized diving spot.
Stepping onto the shores of Banda Neira is like taking a stroll through history—a trip back in time into a town that has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Remnants of a once great trading centre are visible across the island. The majestic Dutch Fort, Belgica, sits in its lofty position atop the high hill overlooking Neira’s Bay, commanding the attention and recognition of all who pass. Ancient cannons lie scattered across the island, serving as reminders of the days when the Banda’s production of one of the world’s most sought-after commodities was one that was worth fighting to rule. Huge colonial palaces from times of the Dutch, Portuguese and British rule still leave their mark on Neira, built by those who had been catapulted into riches after successfully completing the arduous journey across oceans and seas for a spice once worth their weight in gold.
The Banda Islands have been a regional trading post for thousands of years, but were first settled by European sailors in the early 16th century. Upon discovery of the island’s high production of these spices, the Bandas were instantly transformed into an international centre of trade, luring merchants from opposite ends of the globe for a chance at fortune. The spices are well-known for their preservative qualities, and were once believed to have multiple medicinal qualities, including being a cure for the bubonic plague.
Neira is the only one of the Banda islands with enough flat space to allow a small town, and therefore supports the only settlement of significant size on any of the Banda Islands, and sustains more than half of the archipelago’s 15,000 population. Neira is one of only three inhabited islands in the cluster.
Pulau Run, or Run Island is one of the smaller Banda islands, measuring only about 3 x 1 km, yet it is sometimes considered to be Indonesia’s “most valuable real estate.” Multiple European powers had battled for control of the islands for many years until the signging of the Treaty of Breda in 1667. The British traded the tiny island of Run with the Dutch for an equally tiny island on the other side of the world, thus giving the Dutch full monopoly of the Banda islands which they maintained for almost two hundred years. The island across the globe traded to the British still goes by its Dutch name: Manhattan, in New York, USA
Ambon-Banda Naira Special Tours 7 Days 6 Nights
Day 1: Arrival Ambon (L,D)
ideally arrive on Monday to meet the current Banda flight schedule** After arriving at Patimura Airport-Ambon, our English speaking Guide will welcomed the guests , go for city tour , have lunch on a local restaurant then transfer to hotel,have rest.Dinner will be served at the hotel or at a local restaurant ( Lunch & dinner provided).
Day 2: Ambon City Tour (B,L,D)
After having breakfast at the hotel, the guests will visit Siwalima Museum (culture and marine museums),then visit Pintu Kota beach in Latuhalat for sightseeing,follow with having lunch at a restaurant in the city.After that, the guest will visit Liang beach ( white sandy beaches), with stopping by at Waai Village to see "Sacred eel" at the river.then back to the hotel.In the evening,dinner will be served at a restaurant for the guests.-rest
Day 3: Ambon - Banda Island / Wednesday (B,L,D)
Check out hotel in the early morning, then the guest will be transferred to the airport to catch morning flight to Banda Islands by NBA Airlines at 06.30. Upon arrival in Banda Neira (the main island in Banda Islands), the guest will check in at a nice local guesthouse. Afterwards follow with visit to the Museum, Mini Palace (former VOC), the Old Church and the traditional market of Banda.
Day 4: Banda Besar (B,L,D)
After breakfast, the guest is guided into Banda Besar (Lonthor Island) to observe the nutmeg field. Then visit Hollandia Fort and the “Old Sacred Well”. Follow with the visit into Karaka Island-Karang Baru for full day snorkeling (please bring your own gear). Lunch will be provided on the island.
Day 5: Ay Island (B,L,D)
Breakfast at hotel. Today the guest will have a full day program by visiting Ay Island, to see the historical places on the island. Lunch on the island and return to Banda Neira by afternoon.
Optional program: the above program can be alter with Banda Volcano hiking.
Day 6: Banda Island - Ambon (B,L,D)
After breakfast, the guest will be leaving the beautiful Banda Islands for catching flight into Ambon by NBA Airlines at 09.55.proceed to the hotel, have little rest then have lunch.after that, go shopping for souvenir then back to the hotel.free at leisure. Dinner will be served at a local resto or at the hotel.
Day 7: Ambon - Airport (B)
After breakfast,. free at leisure until time for transfer to the airport.
Rate : USD 1.750/person/twin share, minimum 2 person
- Round trip airfare (Ambon-Banda Naira) including all airport taxes, and all land transportation
- All hotels and camping fees in villages
- All food and beverages
- English speaking guide
- All ceremonial fees and travel permits
We can help arrange the booking and payment of domestic airline tickets to and from Ambon
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Excess baggage fees for overweight luggage
- Tipping, meals and beverages not indicated at the itinerary
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance
- Personal health insurance
- Any fees for photography
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