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27 Top Things to Do in Halmahera Island Indonesia

by steve

Halmahera is the largest island of the Maluku Islands, located in the northern part of the archipelago. Formerly known as Jailolo, Gilolo, or Jilolo, Halmahera contains the provincial capital of the Maluku Islands Province, Sofifi, which is located on the western coast of the island. Halmahera itself consists of six regencies that make up the bulk of the North Maluku Province. Half of the Halmahera populations are Moslems, while the other half are Christians. The island is home to the endemic flightless bird species called the invisible rail or Wallace’s rail. The location of this island is right on the Pacific Fire Ring, which means there are lots of volcanoes and volcanic islands around this area. Halmahera itself is classified as a volcanic island, although not all parts of the island contain volcanic activity.

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Top Tourist Destination in Halmahera

The most popular activity to do in Halmahera is mostly to explore its beautiful waters and sandy beaches. Remember that in Indonesia, the eastern it gets, the more beautiful and untouched the beaches are. Although there are a lot of beautiful landmarks and sceneries, Halmahera is not quite as popular as say, its neighbor Raja Ampat or Bunaken. This makes it a perfect destination for the traveler who does not like over-crowded tourist spots or mainstream tourist destination. Since Halmahera itself is sparsely populated and there is not much tourist activity in the area, you can have an amazing tourist spot all for yourself if you’re lucky. Indeed, here is the things to do in Halmahera island Indonesia.

1. Boki Moruru Cave

For those who loved spelunking and deep cave exploration, this cave might have piqued your interest. Known as the Endless Cave by the locals, this cavern was found in 1996 by a group of French expedition team. Up to this day, there have been no known data regarding how far and deep does the cavern go, as no expedition has managed to reach the end of the cave. The longest explored distance ever recorded was 7.9 kilometers, by the Indonesian Board of Tourism, and it still hasn’t reached the bottom. Due to the poor road infrastructure that leads to this place, reaching the cave might be quite difficult. Nevertheless, this cave is one of the captivating natural beauty you can visit in Halmahera. According to the legend, there was a princess who got swept away by the Sageyen River while taking a bath there. To reach the cave, you would prefer to go through the Sageyen River by boat since you will be able to hear the birds chirping and enjoy the green scenery of lush trees which grow on the riverbank.

Along the way, you may encounter many sacred places, such as the colorful Batu Susun (Stacking Stones). When you enter the gate of the cave you will also encounter a buleu (land in the middle of water) which is often used as a resting place for the visitors. Inside the cave, you will witness majestic constructions of stalactites and stalagmites, even a stalagmite that shaped like a man called Batu Sembahyang (Praying Stone). As you go deeper in the cave, you will find more ornament forms like a stupa, temple, animals, and human.

According to the legend, there was a princess who got swept away by the Sageyen River while taking a bath there. To reach the cave, you would prefer to go through the Sageyen River by boat since you will be able to hear the birds chirping and enjoy the green scenery of lush trees which grow on the riverbank.  Along the way, you may encounter many sacred places, such as the colorful Batu Susun (Stacking Stones). When you enter the gate of the cave you will also encounter a buleu (land in the middle of water) which is often used as a resting place for the visitors. Inside the cave, you will witness majestic constructions of stalactites and stalagmites, even a stalagmite that shaped like a man called Batu Sembahyang (Praying Stone). As you go deeper in the cave, you will find more ornament forms like a stupa, temple, animals, and human.

2. Aketajawe Lolobata National Park

Located in the eastern part of the Halmahera Island, this national reservation park is characterized by the high-level of biodiversity and still inhabited by the local indigenous people. The various flora and fauna in Aketajawe Lolobata National Park have attracted the researchers around the world to visit Halmahera. One of the most appealing species, however, is the rare and beautiful bird, Wallace’s Standardwing.

This bird has colorful wings and is seemingly good at dancing. It is estimated that in this national park area, there are at least 104 species of bird, 25 of which are the endemic species of North Maluku, 57 species of reptiles, and 17 species of amphibians. The other fascinating feature of this park, Batu Babua is also a magnet for adrenaline-seeker. This 100-meters high conical rock is considered to be sacred by the locals and can be reached and conquered in 6 hours tracking (or 3 hours by bike). However, this park is under constant threat from illegal mining and logging, which indirectly affects the life and ecosystem flora and fauna of this area.

The other fascinating feature of this park, Batu Babua is also a magnet for adrenaline-seeker. This 100-meters high conical rock is considered to be sacred by the locals and can be reached and conquered in 6 hours tracking (or 3 hours by bike). However, this park is under constant threat from illegal mining and logging, which indirectly affects the life and ecosystem flora and fauna of this area.

3. Jailolo Bay Festival

Jailolo Bay Festival is an annual event held by the local government to promote West Halmahera as the eminent tourist destination in East Indonesia. This festival highlights the natural beauty, culinary, cultural diversity, and marine potential of West Halmahera.

The event is started by a sacred and unique ocean cleaning ritual and followed by a banquet that could go on about 1-9 nights as an expression of gratitude for the harvest. Afterward, the event is followed by art performances which collaborate the local songs and dances in an interesting story that is rich in philosophy and moral values.

But of course, the most interesting of all is the culinary stalls that provide a lot of local foods and the precious stone exhibition, especially agate. If you visited Halmahera during this event, it will be a truly memorable experience and will not be forgotten soon.

4. Dukono Volcano

One of the most interesting places to visit in Halmahera is the Dukono Volcano. As one of the three most active volcanoes in Halmahera, even one of the most active in Indonesia, this could be the best place to test your gut and to have your own fantastic adventure through the smoky mountain, especially for nature lovers.

The visitors usually start their journey through Mamuya Village, where a volcano post is available to update the information related to the condition of the volcano. From there, you can walk or rent a bike to reach the mountain slope. Afterward, you will have an expedition in the forest and through various chasms until you reach the Dukono crater. You can even bring your own tent and camp here. Do follow any precautions and warnings given by the authorities if you plan on climbing and camping in this site as the volcano is still active and therefore, could be dangerous.

The visitors usually start their journey through Mamuya Village, where a volcano post is available to update the information related to the condition of the volcano. From there, you can walk or rent a bike to reach the mountain slope. Afterward, you will have an expedition in the forest and through various chasms until you reach the Dukono crater. You can even bring your own tent and camp here. Do follow any precautions and warnings given by the authorities if you plan on climbing and camping in this site as the volcano is still active and therefore, could be dangerous.

More Tourist Attractions in Halmahera Island of Indonesia

Don’t be worry, there are still many things to do in Halmahera Island Indonesia. Check this out!

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[toggle title=”5. Mount Gamkonora” state=”opened”]

This mountain is the highest peak in Halmahera Island, standing tall at 1.560 meters above the sea level. Mount Gamkonora is a stratovolcano that is still active to this day and its last eruption happened in 2007, where more than 8000 people fled the vicinity to avoid the incoming debris and lava.

The largest eruption of this volcano that ever recorded was in 1673, where it creates a tsunami that devastated nearby villages. The mountain itself is a highly recommended place to climb or hike, as the trip to the peak was often described by climbers as a “pleasant stroll”. The peak provides an unobstructed 360-degree view of the surrounding area, which is a truly unforgettable experience and definitely a must-visit for every nature photographers out there.

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[toggle title=”6. Blue Lake Halmahera“]

Located in Mamuya Village, Blue Lake or Telaga Biru is a small 50 meters deep natural pool with glistening crystal clear water which you will find soothing to behold. Usually, the water is bluish from afar, but the locals often see it change in color. Just like any other lake in Indonesia, Telaga Biru also has its own story. According to the legend, Telaga Biru was once a bathing place of angels, and it changes color when an angel’s shawl falls into it. It is now has become a trending topic in social media because of its romantic scenery.

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[toggle title=”7. Tobotobo Sea Garden“]

Tobotobo is an ideal place to snorkel and dive to see an enchanting sea garden in Halmahera. It can’t be denied that this is the most wanted spot for the travelers to explore the diverse and rich underwater potential of Halmahera. You can also enjoy the sight of thousands of bats hanging on the rows of mangrove trees. One of the unique feature you can see here includes a place for the blue and white pigeons to take a bath.

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[toggle title=”8. Kahatola Waterfall“]

Different with the other waterfalls that usually plunge into a river, the Kahatola Waterfall plunges directly into the sea. The water itself comes from the seepage of rain and dew that gather in a natural basin that later fall as a waterfall. Although it may take three hours speedboat trip from Jailolo Bay, it will be worthwhile since along the way there, you will see the mesmerizing scenery of Halmahera Island.

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[toggle title=”9. Sapoli Waterfall“]

This beautiful waterfall is located about 5 kilometers from the nearest road, which makes the trip to this waterfall is full of challenge and adventures. It is a perfect trek for those who loves trekking and hiking since you will be going through forests, rivers, hills, and other natural obstacles.

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[toggle title=”10. Guaeria Village“]

Guareia Village provides the tourists with comfortable accommodation and North Maluku delicacies prepared by the local people there. Although you can only visit this beach by boat, this village is located near the diving sites of Babua Island and the beach there is worth visiting.

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[toggle title=”11. Tapeleo Batu Dua“]

Also known as Manus or Batu Dua, this iconic spot is known for the two large rocks jutting upwards in the sea near the Tepeleo Beach. The area is then officially named Tepeleo Batu Dua. As a tourist spot, this place remains largely intact because it is still unknown to outsiders and untouched by the hands of civilization.

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Top Islands Around Halmahera

Thus, part of Indonesia places are just so beautiful. Next things to do in Halmahera Island Indonesia is you must visit these great islands.

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[toggle title=”12. Kakara Island” state=”opened”]

Commonly known by the locals as Kakara Cape or Tanjung Kakara, this island is the origin of the Hibualamo culture, one of the indigenous people of Northern Halmahera. The waters that surround this island is crystal clear and there are lots of coral reefs scattered all over the island, which makes this island perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. There is a diving center in the island with proper equipment that belongs to the Tourism Board of Indonesia. If you don’t own any license, just jump straight into the water and start exploring the scenic underwater panorama through your goggles or snap some amazing pictures.

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[toggle title=”13. Bacan Island“]

Located in the Southern Halmahera Regency, this island contains a lot of exotic and typical Indonesian natural beauties and historical landmarks. The island also acts as the largest island in the regency and contains the town of Labuha, which is the capital of the Southern Halmahera Regency. One of the most popular tourist attractions in this island is the Sultan Bacan’s Palace and Mosque, the legacy that symbolizes the greatness of the Sultan in the past. The palace is located in Labuha, and the mosque is located not far from the palace so you could visit both sites in one trip.

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[toggle title=”14. Tagalaya Island“]

This beautiful island is one of the many scattered islands in Tobelo City. It is a combination of white sandy beach overgrown with mangrove trees and dazzling calm seawater. You can find a wide variety of healthy marine biota in the depth of 2 meters until 10 meters which allow you to have a not less interesting experience of snorkeling than diving.

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[toggle title=”15. Pawole Island“]

Pawole Island is one of the outermost islands of Halmahera. The beach in this island is dominated by rocks and white sands that create such a beautiful combination. The island is quite small which makes circumnavigating it such a menial task, only 15 minutes needed to circling it completely. Diving and snorkeling are the main activity on this island, but visitors must do so with some precautions. As the island connects to the ocean, the current in here is quite strong, and if one is not careful they might get dragged without anyone’s noticing.

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[toggle title=”16. Meti Island“]

For those who loved a serene and tranquil atmosphere, Meti Island is definitely the best spot to visit in Halmahera. Even the locals loved to visit Meti Island to spend their weekends, due to the calm and relaxing vibe of this place. The waters are crystal clear, and there are coral reefs around the island which make snorkeling a tempting activity to do on this island.

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[toggle title=”17. Dodola Island“]

Dodola Island has a wide stretch of white sandy beach that connects Pulau Dodola Besar (Big Dodola Island) with Pulau Dodola Kecil (Small Dodola Island). The white sand is also varied, the finer one, and the rough one. There are at least 13 diving spots you can find in Dodola Island, so it is indeed a paradise for snorkelers and divers. According to history, during the World War II, an American General McArthur and his troops often went to Dodola to relax.

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[toggle title=”18. Woto Island“]

Woto Island, or Otto Island, is an uninhabited island surrounded by an extremely beautiful white sandy beach. This island mostly attracts surfers since it is known for its strong and high tides, which is perfect for surfing. The island can be reached by using a speedboat from either Buli or Maba port. The trip from Buli takes around 2 hours while the trip from Maba takes around 1.5 hours.

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[toggle title=”19. Babua Island“]

This uninhabited island off the coast near Jailolo port holds an untapped natural beauty in the form of pristine coral reefs, blue waters, and white sands. It took a 15 minutes boat ride to get here from the Jailolo port, and there are a lot of diving and snorkeling spot scattered all around the island. As the diving spots around here are not as popular as, say, Raja Ampat, you can spend as much time as you like when observing these underwater marvels.

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[toggle title=”20. Sajafi Island“]

The trip to this island can be made via a 50 minutes speedboat ride from Tepeleo Village. Lots of fir trees and coconut trees grow in this island. The beautiful beaches and natural rock formations created an enchanting panorama which is more than suitable for those who loved photography and contemplating with nature. The waters also have such a bright blue color, tempting visitors to jump and dive straight off the boat.

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[toggle title=”21. Luwo Island“]

Not far from the Sajafi Island, there lies another beautiful island filled with impressive panorama called Luwo Island. Both islands are separated by a narrow strait that can be passable using a small boat or canoe. Swimming through the strait is ill-advised as the current can be quite strong and despite it looked so close, it is still quite a dangerous thing to do if done without proper preparations.

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[toggle title=”22. Moor Island“]

Moor Island gains its fame from its beautiful fine and white sandy beach, collaborating perfectly with the turquoise seawater, and also from its lovely greenish lake. Although Moor is an uninhabited island, you may find many lodges on the beach, owned by the Patani locals to garden and fish to make their living. Nevertheless, the waters surrounding Moor is often to be said as a paradise for fishers, as you can expect to catch some large fish. You may also expect to eat grilled fish, with the local sambal, dabu-dabu, and be drinking coconut water by the beach.

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[toggle title=”23. Sosol Beach” state=”opened”]

This combination of natural and historical tourist destination consists of the black sandy beach with calm seawater, which is perfect to relax and swim, and Tosimaru shipwrecks, which was a Japanese cargo ship in World War II period. The ship is located near the shoreline, so you could freely go around it by boat.

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[toggle title=”24. Nusara Beach“]

This beach is one of the most beautiful spots in Southern Halmahera. Located on a small island around the Bacan Island, this beach has a calm current and beautiful sand, which makes it perfect for those who want to contemplate by the beach and enjoy the sea breeze. Clusters of banyan tree grow near the beach instead of coconut trees, giving it such a distinctive look compared to other beaches in the area. With a range of mountains as a background and lots of coral reefs around the beach, what’s not to love in this place?

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[toggle title=”25. Luari Beach“]

Known as one of the few white sandy beaches in Tobelo County, this beach is famous as the place to see both the sunset and sunrise from the beachfront. With the Pacific Ocean as the background, the result is such an impressive moment that is too beautiful to be captured by the camera lens.

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[toggle title=”26. Idamdehe Beach“]

Idamdehe Beach is a vulcanic beach which is characterized by the hot seawater in the north and cold seawater in the south. The sand is really fine and you can do some snorkeling to enjoy the beauty of its underwater panorama.

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[toggle title=”27. Dorume Beach“]

This brownish sandy beach is popular for its strong and high tides. If you are fond of surfing, you may consider visiting this beach during December, as the tides are the highest during that time. The sand of the beach is fine and glistens under the sun since it contains iron ore. You may also encounter many species of birds as you explore the forest behind the beach.

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Indeed, Halmahera Island in North Maluku Indonesia hides many beauty of nature, This island is perfectly great to stay forever. With so many tourist attractions and things to do in Halmahera Island Indonesia, then you would be better to visit this Halmahera Island as soon as you can.

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