Pombo Island: an uninhabited piece of paradise in Maluku

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The vast expanse of sea with white sand beaches gives its own beauty to an uninhabited island in Maluku. (photo: IO/Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Do you ever dream of just leaving all the crowds and rush behind, and just be in a quiet place with natural beauty? If yes, then you might choose Pombo Island in Maluku: you can get away from it all, at least during vacation. This raw, uninhabited island has both the beauty of land and sea, which gives you the adventure of solitude in the wilds.

The exotic place is a new magnet for both domestic and foreign tourists. Pombo Island is located in the District of Salahutu, Regency of Central Maluku Tengah. It is a raw, uninhabited island, whose forests are a national natural preserve. It is very small, a mere 4 km square, but it is nature in vivid, solitary splendor. Naturally, if you want to spend the night (or some days) here, you must bring your own tent and food, your own water and medications, as the nearest people are literally across the sea. Don’t forget to clean up your garbage please!

Pombo Island is a very remote place, and you need a combination of land and sea routes to get there. First you must get to Ambon as a starting point. Then you need to take the long-but-quick (about 65 minutes) land route of Ambon – Waai – Wainuru Village by car or motorbike. From Wainuru Village, you take a speed boat to Pombo Island (a 20-minute trip, but longer in bad weather, although usually not more than 30 minutes). If it’s really bad weather, the boatman will simply refuse to take you.

Even from afar you can see the island as a lovely jewel, a mirage floating on the glasslike sea. It houses many land and sea animals, such as the pombo bird endemic to Maluku. These austere birds fly in large white and grey flocks above their home island every day.

This lovely island has pristine sands and waters, hosting lovely underwater animals that you can see darting around in vivid flashes of color. Enjoy them better by getting up close and personal: diving or snorkeling here is accepted. When you are lucky, you might meet domestic or foreign diving partners, as not many people relish the idea of such a remote and primitive place, no matter how beautiful. You will be in good company.

Such a tantalizingly brief description of the charms of Pombo Island…. It is far away to be sure, but definitely worth a visit. It takes money to go far, but if you bring some companions, costs will be shared. (Aldo)