Banda Islands attractions

Top Choice Fortress in Bandaneira

Benteng Belgica

A classic star fort, the Unesco-nominated Benteng Belgica was built on the hill above Benteng Nassau in 1611, when it became apparent the lower bastion was an inadequate defence. The five massive sharp-pointed basti…
Top Choice Volcano in Pulau Gunung Api

Gunung Api

The 656m-high still-active volcano of Gunung Api can be climbed for awesome views (especially at sunrise) in two to three hours if you are fit, but the unrelenting slope is arduous and the loose scree is dangerous o…
Fort in Pulau Banda Besar

Benteng Hollandia

One of Banda's best views is from the chunky, overgrown ruins of Benteng Hollandia. Built in 1624, this was once one of the biggest Dutch fortresses in the East Indies, until it was shattered by a devastating 1743 e…
Island in Pulau Run

Pulau Neilaka

Off the northern tip of Run are the postcard-perfect, powdery white sands of Pulau Neilaka, an islet so small you can explore it in 10 minutes, drinking in dazzlingly photogenic views of Gunung Api.
Fortress in Bandaneira

Benteng Nassau

Quietly crumbling among tropical foliage, Nassau was the scene of the Banda Massacre, the greatest obscenity in the violent history of Dutch Banda. The fort was built in 1609, against the wishes of the orang kaya (l…
Museum in Bandaneira

Rumah Budaya

Bandaneira’s little museum displays colonial artefacts including coins, silverware, crockery, pipes, swords and flintlock pistols and muskets. There's also a smattering of Bandanese stuff, including the parang (mach…
Historic Building in Bandaneira

Hatta’s House

Of three early-20th-century ‘exile houses’ in Banda, Mohammed Hatta’s house is the most appealing. It’s partly furnished and photos of the dissident, his typewriter, distinctive spectacles and neatly folded suit are…
Historic Building in Bandaneira

Istana Mini

This grand, atmospheric yet empty 1820s mansion gives a sense of the scale of the Dutch enterprise in the Banda Islands. Once the residence of the colonial governors, it's now largely neglected. You can find 19th-ce…
Historic Building in Bandaneira

Schelling House

This massive columned house, owned by the daughter of the last Banda king, has a leafy courtyard, high ceilings and, in the the master bathroom, a stone tub resting against an exposed coral wall. Make sure to wander…
Temple in Bandaneira

Sun Tien Kong Chinese Temple

There are still a few Chinese families living on Bandaneira and the 300-year-old Sun Tien Kong Temple is testament to the ancient Chinese involvement in the Banda spice trade. Ask for the key at the Chinese-run groc…