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Watery Gems of Indonesia: Maumere to Manado

Explore the far reaches of Indonesia, in a watery region seemingly untouched by modernity and passage of time. Cover 1,250 miles on this exhilarating, illuminating 14-day tour. Set sail from Maumere, heading toward the breathtaking island of Kumba, where you will have time to snorkel in the turquoise waters at the base of a smoldering volcano. Your journey will take you through to Buton Island, home of the ancient Wolio Palace. Onward, explore the limestone caves and traditional villages of Muna. Take a captivating riverboat tour through the virgin forests of Morowali National Park and witness the daily lives of Wana tribe members before reaching your final destination, Manado.

Highlights
  • Snorkel beneath a smoldering volcano off the coast of Kumba Island
  • Sleep beneath the stars in the enchanting Bay of Tomori
  • Journey through the virgin forests of Morowali National Park by river boat and meet members of the Wana tribe
  • Delve into Indonesian history, visit the ancient Wolio Palace on Buton Island
  • Meander through the captivating streets of Gorontalo, where colonial homes line the streets, and horse and carriage is the main mode of transport
Day by Day Itinerary

View Watery Gems of the East: Maumere to Manado in a larger map
Day 1
Maumere – Lembata

Start your seafaring journey with an overnight crossing to the Island of Lembata, the largest island of the Solor Archipelago in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Enjoy your first dinner at sea while taking in a beautiful sunset.

Day 2
Waienga Bay – Maumere

Shortly after sunset on your second day, drop anchor in stunning Waienga Bay. Notice the mighty Ile Api volcano that towers high above the coastline amongst rolling, forested hills. Take a step onto dry land and stroll through the traditional village of Jontona, famous for ‘ikat,’ a unique dyeing process used to pattern textiles. Head back to the ship for an overnight sail back to Maumere.

Day 3
Kumba

Rise to the sights of Kumba Island, a smoldering volcano in the middle of the Flores Sea. Conditions permitting, go ashore to one of the islands’ pebble beaches for a snorkel ‘under the volcano.’ Today your 120-mile passage across the Flores Sea commences.

Day 4
Tukang Besi

By day four, you will have reached the first islands of the Tukang Besi archipelago. Here you will meet the Bajau people; these ‘sea gypsies’ live in stilted homes over the water. Formerly a nomadic group, they have now adopted a more static way of life. Learn about their resourceful ways of sustenance and daily life, so removed from all that is modern.

Day 5
Buton

Make your way to the Buton Island harbor of Bau-Bau. Take to shore and explore the harbor, once an important point on the trade route between Sulawesi and the Moluccas, infamous for a history of pirates and slave traders. Visit the palace at Wolio, where two-meter-high stone fortifications still encircle the royal hilltop abode. Within the walls of the palace, you will find one of the oldest mosques in eastern Indonesia.

Day 6
Muna

Enter the narrow strait between Buton and Muna, by daybreak of day six. It takes careful navigation to move between the islands until you reach the main village of Raha on Muna Island. Go ashore and explore the limestone caves and their ancient wall painting adornments. In the nearby village of Bolo, you can get a sense of authentic island life and interact with the friendly locals.

Day 7
Muna – Tolo Bay

Today, follow the east coast of Sulawesi towards your next destination, Kolondale. A beautiful day spent at sea, enjoy the enchantment of the passing islands and the healing energy of the water around you.

Day 8
Tolo Bay – Kolondale

You will reach Kolondale; a town nestled deep in the narrow, enchanting Bay of Tomori, by nightfall. Tie up at the pier and spend a peaceful night in the bay, the perfect place for stargazing.

Day 9
Kolondale – Morowali

Charter a local boat in Kolondale this morning and visit the virgin forests of Morowali National Park. Deep in the untouched rainforest, meet members of the Wana tribe. Watch as the locals hunt with blowpipes and forage for sustenance materials. Before evening falls, return to the ship and sail away from Tolo Bay.

Day 10
Banggai

Sail to the remote Banggai Islands on day ten. Rarely-visited by tourists, the region encompasses an archipelago of more than 100 small islands. Visit the central town and port of Banggai, a 13th century locale with the palace of the former sultan still intact. Proceed to Peleng and anchor in one of the quiet bays for the night.

Day 11
Peleng – Gorontalo

Spend today exploring the largest island of the Banggai group, Peleng. The island’s dense forest, high mountains and hemline of mangroves, teeming with avian life makes for a gorgeous sight. Anchors away, set a northerly course across the Gorontalo Basin, crossing the equator during the night.

Day 12
Gorontalo

Today you will visit the friendly town of Gorontalo, located on Sulawesi’s southern coast. A provincial capital, the town’s quaint streets are lined with colonial houses between which horse-drawn carts are still the predominant means of public transit.

Day 13
Nuangan

It’s day thirteen of your whirlwind adventure over the Indonesian waters. Drop anchor off the shore of Nuangan village, a small fishing town with a beautiful beach. Spend your last day swimming and snorkeling. Soak it all up! On the thirteenth day, you could drop anchor in front of the village of Nuangan, a small fishing village with a nice beach, a superb spot for a last day of swimming and snorkeling.

Day 14
Manado – Departure

On this, the final day of your tour, arrive in Bitung, the deep-water harbor of Manado. Exchange a heartfelt goodbye with the crew of your vessel, and set off on the next leg of your journey.

 

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Our co-founder Jay Tindall travels regularly to Indonesia. As well as relaxing in beautiful Bali, he loves visiting more remote areas such as Torajaland, Sumba & Kalimantan.
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