World-famous scuba diving takes places in the Banda Islands where you can encounter incredibly diverse marine life, healthy corals, impressive visibility and the yearly season for hammerhead sharks. Visitors to Banda Neira may wish to check out the amazing Mandarin fish! The best time to see these tiny fish is around dusk, 5:00-6:00 pm in the shallow areas of the reef just on the edge of the island. Mandarin fish are brightly coloured and stand out primarily hiding in the rubble near the pier.
Looking to see more of Banda? It is possible to take a guided hike up Mount Gunung Api where you will have an incredible view from the top. If you would like to see some of Banda’s history, you can’t miss out on the Benteng Belgica Fort. It was originally constructed in the 17th century while protecting the important nutmeg spice trade. Visitors can walk inside the fort and see the view from the top which looks out over the ocean and is a popular place for organised sunset dinners.
On the island, there is a small local pasar (market) on the waterfront selling fresh produce each day as well as a handful of cafes and restaurants. The street food in Banda Neira is most commonly found in the evening where visitors can enjoy local delights such as grilled ikan (fish) with rice and spicy sauce, nasi kuning (yellow rice) steamed with turmeric served with a selection of different vegetables, noodles, tofu and fish and the simple chicken satay. Banda Neira has a slower pace of life, with friendly people and a welcoming atmosphere. Learn more about the trade of Manhattan