Seram Island is fringed by immaculate beaches and secluded bays, turquoise lagoons, overwater bungalows, virgin coral reefs and concluded with perfectly-shaped volcanoes in the background. Its mountainous northern coastline is covered by pristine rainforest, and this is where the splendid Ora Resort is hiding.

Ora Beach Resort, nightly rates range from 50 USD to 300 USD

The Ora Beach Resort made it to the top 10 eco-resorts in Indonesia, and the place truly embodies sheer tranquillity and the ultimate seclusion far from the outside world. Adventurous couples and are more than welcome to enjoy Ora`s tropical paradise albeit there is no luxury to be expected. Raw nature, peace and tranquillity are on every day`s menu instead.

Ora overwater bungalows are rather basic yet cosy and comfortable

SERAM ISLAND

For locals, Seram is the ‘Mother Island’ and a site where all Moluccans once came from. The island is huge, compared to the others, and it is hiding a lot of natural attractions.

The highest mountain is Gunung Binaya (3027 m) with excellent hiking opportunities. Fauna and flora on Seram are pretty abundant, with rare colourful birds, exotic plants and flowers.

The indigenous people will greet the visitors with a big smile, especially at the Sawai village, which should be on every traveller`s itinerary.

Ora Beach, Seram

ORA BEACH RESORT

Seram has quite a good road infrastructure, and it is a smart idea to rent a scooter and self-drive around the island to explore some of the hidden spots and secret beaches.

The Ora Beach Eco Resort is the star of the show, for exotic overwater bungalows that are built amidst a secluded lagoon, right above crystal-clear shallows filled with corals, and the image is amplified by volcanoes in the background. Naturally, the facility is more affordable than one of that kind in Tahiti.

Ora Beach Resort, Seram

WHAT TO EXPECT?

There are humble 13 eco-bungalows built in a traditional Indonesian style, out of which 6 are land-based and 7 are built over water. There is no air-conditioning or wi-fi in the resort but meals are included in the price.

Honeymooning, snorkelling, scuba diving, boating, swimming and sunbaking is what you can do (you will need to bring your own diving equipment though).

7 overwater bungalows are available for the guests at the Ora Resort, rates start at 150 USD a night

AUTHENTIC ‘TAHITI’ 

While for the Indonesian tourists the Ora Resort represents luxury, the Westerners will likely find the place rather basic. But the point is that one can barely find a similar facility worldwide – it is delightfully remote but still easily accessible and reasonably priced.

Besides, tourism has not hit the archipelago yet so you will enjoy the genuine character of the former Dutch colony, the ancient ‘Spice Sultanate’ as well as some of the last remaining traditional stilt villages in the world.

There is much to explore around the resort. Apart from relaxing, sun baking and swimming, you can take several trips – all to be booked in the Saleman Village.

Ora Beach Resort offers no luxury, the visitors will enjoy raw nature and ultimate tranquillity instead

WHAT TO DO ON SERAM ISLAND

  • Sawai Village – search around the countryside and enjoy its picturesque setting, there are many walking tracks and good snorkelling
  • Goa Akohi – inspect the mysterious caves at Tamilouw Village
  • Manusela National Park (access from Wahai) – take a trip to the nature reserve, it offers breathtaking scenery, jungle trekking, wildlife, rare butterflies and birdlife spotting
  • Gunung Binaya (3027 m) – climb the majestic volcano (only with an expedition, the whole trip takes up to 6 days return, the starting point is the Huahulu Village)
  • Ora Beach – relax, swim, sun bake, snorkel and relish the absolute peace on the splendid Ora Beach, where the sunsets will blow your mind

Manusela National Park, Seram

USEFUL TRAVEL TIPS

Religion – Maluku is partially a Muslim region and conservative dress are expected at all times, especially women. Many female travellers reported case when they felt extremely uncomfortable at some places, e.g. tried to be touched by the locals due to their skin colour or bright hair, been subject to loud mockery for their “lack of clothing” and so forth. Be aware of the fact that many residents might have never seen a person of a Caucasian race or a person wearing “Western clothes”.

Health – There is a high risk of Malaria in Maluku, particularly during the rainy season (May-Aug). Vaccinations such as Hepatitis A, B and Tetanus are recommended. Some countries require the Yellow Fever Immunisation (check up on your national health policies).

Transport – To get around the Maluku Islands you will need to use the local boat ferries that are fairly cheap. It is necessary to use boats not only between the islands but also between the towns within islands as the road network is very poor here. Locally, the best means of transport are bemos, ojeks or becaks.

Saleman Village, Seram (all tours can be arranged here)

WHEN TO TRAVEL

It is very difficult to estimate the weather in Maluku. Central and South Maluku Islands often get strong winds from December to February which makes it hard for snorkelers and scuba divers.

Central Maluku gets hit by the wet season roughly between November and March

Overall, it seems like the ideal time to visit Maluku is the shoulder season (April-May and Oct-Nov)

Ora Beach Resort, Seram

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly to Jakarta/Java or Denpasar/Bali from where you can catch a 4-hour domestic flight to Ambon Island (Tulehu).

From Ambon (Tulehu Terminal) to Seram (Amahai) you will have to catch a car-ferry (6 hours one way). Then you will need to hire a jeep to take you across the island to the Saleman Village (3 hours drive, via Masohi). It is a short, 10-minute boat trip from the village to the Ora Beach Resort. It requires a certain effort to reach the destination, but it totally is worth!!!

For all international flights go to www.momondo.com or www.skyscanner.com

For all domestic flights visit www.garuda-indonesia.com

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Eva Bodova

Eva Bodova

Sunday 12 August 2018

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