Seram Island & Ora Beach Travel Guide (Maluku, Indonesia)

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Seram Island, located in Maluku, is one of Indonesia’s best-kept secrets. This stunning island is home to the beautiful Ora Beach Resort, which boasts views comparable to Bora Bora. Despite its allure, much of Seram remains relatively unexplored, offering a true sense of adventure.

For those seeking a secluded paradise, Seram Island is a top destination in Indonesia. It features a diverse landscape of jungles, mountains, beaches, and rich wildlife, making it a perfect getaway.

Reaching Seram Island is not straightforward, and Ora Bay is even more remote. However, the journey is well worth it. Visitors are rewarded with breathtaking scenery and excellent snorkeling opportunities, all without the crowds found in more popular destinations like Bali.

Ora Beach Resort on Seram island
Ora Beach Resort on Seram island

How To Get To Seram Island

Seram Island is situated near the bustling island of Ambon in Maluku, Indonesia. Traveling to Seram requires several steps and some planning.

As of now, Seram Island does not have an operational airport, so direct flights are not an option. The closest airport is Pattimura International Airport in Ambon (AMQ), which offers direct flights from Jakarta, Makassar, Ternate, Sorong, and other Indonesian cities. Flights can be conveniently booked through Skyscanner.

After landing in Ambon, you will need to take a taxi for a one-hour drive from the airport to the ferry port in Tulehu. From there, you can catch a fast ferry to Amahai port on Seram Island. Although the boats are old, they are comfortable and the journey to Amahai takes about two hours.

Kayaking at Ora Beach Resort
Kayaking at Ora Beach Resort

How To Get To Ora Beach In Seram Island

After arriving on Seram Island, the next step is traveling to Saleman Village and Ora Beach. The drive from Amahai to Saleman takes about two hours and follows a scenic jungle road that winds through the mountains. Although the road is paved, there are numerous broken sections.

Your hotel in Ora or Saleman can arrange for a car and driver to pick you up in Amahai and transport you to the bay. Our guesthouse connected us with a friendly driver named Rudi, who took care of our transfer to Saleman Village and back. The cost was around 600,000 Rupiah (~$40 USD) each way, although this was during the COVID-19 pandemic, so prices may have increased slightly since then.

Upon arriving in Saleman Village, you can reach Ora Beach by a short 10-minute boat ride. The guesthouse where we stayed in Saleman offered half-day boat tours to Ora Beach Resort for 350,000 Rupiah per boat, or full-day tours to various locations in the area for 900,000 Rupiah per boat.

Drone pic of the Sawai cliffs with a boat for scale
Drone pic of the Sawai cliffs with a boat for scale
Top down drone picture of Ora beach
Top down drone picture of Ora beach

Where To Stay In Seram Island

In the Ora Bay area, you’ll find several new guesthouses that are highly rated, budget-friendly, and relatively comfortable. This remote part of Indonesia offers a surprising level of comfort, though luxury should not be expected.

Here are some top options:

Ora Sunrise View

Located in Saleman Village, this guesthouse features overwater bungalows with hammocks. Although closed for renovation in 2021, it would have been our top choice. The rooms include a fan, clothes rack, and electric socket, while the bathrooms have a basic toilet and shower.

Air Belanda Resort

These beachfront bungalows on the ‘Dutch Water Beach’ come with a dining room and hammock. The rooms have a balcony, window, fan, electric socket, and a picturesque jungle backdrop. The bathroom features a basic toilet, shower, and sink.

Nusa Nalan Beach Resort

Situated near Saleman Village, these beachfront bungalows offer rooms with a fan, mirror, TV, and socket. The bathrooms have a basic shower and toilet.

Sing Key Beach Hotel

Another option near Saleman Village, these beachfront bungalows have rooms with a fan, window, socket, and clothes rack. The bathrooms come with a basic sink, shower, and toilet.

Pasir Putih Homestay

This is where we stayed in Saleman Village. The overwater bungalows are basic but clean and comfortable, with a fan, window, and power outlets. The bathroom had a cold shower, water bucket, and squat toilet. We booked our stay with three meals per day included, and the food was delicious and filling, featuring fish, chicken, deer, rice, vegetables, fruit, and more. The homestay owners were friendly and helpful, though communication was in Indonesian.

All these guesthouses offer stunning views of the karst mountains, Ora Bay, the ocean, and both sunrises and sunsets. Some are built over shallow waters, allowing you to see fish swimming below. The only downside is the occasional trash floating near the village, highlighting the need for better conservation efforts. This priceless location deserves greater attention to environmental care, and hopefully, the locals will prioritize this in the future.

Swinging on the beach
Swinging on the beach

Ora Beach Resort was once the prime place to stay in Seram, having been established as the original hotel in Saleman in 1997. The bungalows and the location are stunning, but unfortunately, it seems the resort has declined recently. Since COVID-19, there have been numerous negative reviews citing a lack of maintenance, with reports of the bungalows being run down and in disrepair.

While Ora Beach is still worth visiting for sightseeing and snorkeling on a day trip from Saleman, I wouldn’t recommend staying there until improvements are made. Instead, consider staying at one of the accommodations in Saleman Village for a more pleasant experience.

We rented this glass bottom kayak at Ora Beach Resort
We rented this glass bottom kayak at Ora Beach Resort

Conclusion

Seram Island and Ora Beach in Maluku, Indonesia, offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and unique experiences that make them ideal destinations for travelers seeking both adventure and tranquility. Seram Island, with its diverse ecosystems ranging from lush rainforests to mountainous terrains.

Provides ample opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and exploring traditional villages. Meanwhile, Ora Beach stands out as a pristine paradise with its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and serene ambiance, perfect for snorkeling, diving, and relaxing by the sea.

Read More:

https://besttraveler.co.uk/

 Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to Seram Island and Ora Beach?

To reach Seram Island, you can fly from Jakarta or other major Indonesian cities to Ambon, the capital of Maluku. From Ambon, take a ferry or speedboat to Masohi, the main port town on Seram Island. To get to Ora Beach, you can arrange a private car or taxi from Masohi to Saleman Village, followed by a short boat ride to the beach.

What are the best times to visit Seram Island and Ora Beach?

The best time to visit Seram Island and Ora Beach is during the dry season, which runs from October to March. During this period, the weather is typically sunny and dry, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as snorkeling, diving, and exploring the island’s natural attractions. Avoid the rainy season (April to September) as heavy rains can disrupt travel plans and outdoor activities.

What accommodation options are available on Ora Beach?

Ora Beach is known for its eco-friendly accommodations, primarily the Ora Beach Resort, which offers bungalows over the water with stunning views of the sea and surrounding mountains. The resort provides basic but comfortable amenities, focusing on sustainability and blending with the natural environment. Booking in advance is recommended due to limited availability.

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