The Banda islands are an archipelago in South Maluku , Indonesia. It is also known as “ Spice islands” of anchient times. There are seven main islands ; consisting of Banda Neira, Banda Besar, Pulau Ai, Pulau Run, Pulau Pisang and Pulau Hatta , and numerous smaller islets that create the great diving points. Banda islands are located about 132 kilometers southeast of Ambon. With multi-colored reefs, warm seas and exotic marine life, the Banda’s are a heaven for divers who explore the most remote and unspoiled dive sites in the world. The Banda islands are one of the most popular destinations for divers. The diving spots are varied from the shallow lagoon between Banda Neira and Gunung Api, to the vertical walls of Hatta island. The remoteness of the islands in the wide open Banda sea and the low levels of human population, have meant less fishing pressures, and a vibrant, natural and healthy reef system. The results of this are fishes in incredible numbers, huge seafans and sponges, and some monumental hard corals You can see napoleon wrasse, giant groupers, dogtooth tuna, mobula rays, whales , dolphins and much more.
Banda Neira :
It is the capital of the Banda islands and the one of the ten volcanic islands in the Banda Archipelago. You can muck dive with flying gurnards, sea moths, mandarin fish and nudibranches
The seascape is plenty of various kinds of unspoiled hard and soft corals reef. You can see snapper, bumphead, blunthead parrotfish, turtles and sharks
Batu Kepal :
It is a pinnacle. The shallow at the peak on the west of the main rock is 8 meters depth. It is easily seen from surface. It is connected to the next deeper rock to the north. Between the shallow and deeper sites, there is a valley going down to 50 Meters depth. You can see the biggest red tooth trigger fish and large moray eels. A channel with some boulders is at the east of the Batu Kepal. At the wall of this channel is very colorful and rich in fish and invertebrate species. The visibility is 40-50 meters.
Lava Flow :
It is located in the north of Gunung Api (one of ten volcanic islands in the Banda Archipelago) where volcano forms a small round island built by lava flows. rising 5 km from the sea floor until 282 meters above water. After the volcano erupted in 1988, the bottom of this dive site was covered by lava. Corals started to quickly grow on the cold lava. There is a flourishing , vast carpet of staghorn coral, plate corals and table corals now growing where the lava once flowed.
Hatta Island :
25 km from Banda Neira. Skaru Atoll, is the name of a coral, few hundred yards south of the island, there is some colony of unicorn fish, Fusiliers, jacks fish and rainbow runners, white-tip sharks measuring almost two meters, napoleon wrasse, dogtoothed tuna, and turtles.
Manuk island :
The reefs are very healthy with cabbage corals, and sponges .
Pohon Miring :
It is wall dive with gentle currents. There are larger fish such as tuna, bumphead parrotfish, and napoleon wrasse.
It is located on the west of Banda Neira. It is the top dive site for shark encounter, especially Hammerhead sharks, thresher and silvertip sharks
It is a small island which is full of colorful wall and large amounts of fish. The main wall lays 70m to 150m off the islands’ northwestern coast known as “Depan Kampung” .