You would love to go on a cruise in Indonesia but do not want to miss out on the exciting places on land? Well here is great news: Chartering a liveaboard might be the best way to get your wish! So, if you are fond of trekking through unique landscapes, secret waterfalls, while cruising on the ocean; keep reading! You are about to discover the art of combining adventures on land & at sea. Aboard Adelaar, that’s our specialty…
Volcanoes dominate Indonesia’s geography. There are formed due to subduction zones between the Eurasian and the Indo-Australian plates. These plates movements are at the origin of a path along the Pacific Ocean traversed by many active volcanoes. The famous Ring of Fire.
Would you believe that some of the most remote ones can even be climbed when accessed by sea? You may already know most of Bali’s volcanoes are hiked every single day, but some of these giants are standing in the middle of the sea and could be your next challenge…
Mount Tambora on Sumbawa island, for instance. This sleeping volcano has been mostly forgotten for years. Completely off the beaten path, she awaits the intrepid traveller who perhaps knows of her violet past. Erupting in April of 1815, she exploded with such a force the sound was heard all the way to Jakarta. The resulting aftermath was catastrophic and caused a year of darkness in the Archipelago. In fact, the eruption was the largest and most destructive event in recorded history. Can we still count you in when we start our ascension?
Although exhausting, the trek to the summit, is not technically challenging, and can manage to successfully make it to the top. The path is well maintained and there is no steep climbing. With Adelaar’s guests, we anchor off the West coast of Sumbawa and board the ranger’s Jeeps to start the land adventure. We start the hike early morning from the Tambora Guesthouse, in the village of Oi Bura, located above Pancasila. Then, our route first leads us through coffee plantations before connecting to the trail leading to the National Park. In the late afternoon, we are half-way to the top and make camp for the night. The guide and porters busy themselves setting up the tents and the kitchen. They prepare an early dinner, and everyone finally retires for the night. The next day, we reach the crater rim at 2,630 meters just in time to see the sunrise.
If you are more of a diver than a climber, you would be happy to hear that the underwater surroundings of this volcanic area is something you will want to tick on your list. Indeed, the topography of these sites makes for spectacular diving.
On our Alor archipelago itineraries, we sail near Komba volcano. During the 5-hour high sea crossing from Lembata Island, migrating whales and dolphins often show their tails on the surface and accompany the Adelaar for a while. Once below the surface, colourful coral thrives, starkly contrasting against the dark sand. What makes the site spectacular is also the lava flow that has solidified along the slopes of the volcano and continues under the water.
Closer to Komodo National Park, Mount Sangeang rises in the middle of the Flores sea and occasionally emits puffs of smoke. In places, a steady stream of gaseous sulphur bubbles up from the sand making its way towards the surface. Swimming through, you have the feeling of being in an underwater jacuzzi! When you will be amazed by what’s beneath the surface, the view of its two volcanic cones above the sea is particularly beautiful when the sun sets.
Secret islands & waterfalls
Our fellow adventurers might also like to get lost in the green paths of untamed islands. Both located near the coast of Sumbawa, Moyo island & Satonda island are both really particular.
On board Adelaar, we usually cruise overnight for an arrival in Moyo Island early morning. The early birds will be happy to dive along the fringing reef outside the main village before going onshore. In the afternoon, an excursion to the nearby waterfall, takes you through the local village and past the school. You may of course visit the school where the children welcome you to their classroom, and some even practice their English. The walk to the waterfall is down a road lined with ‘living fences’, passing herds of goats and water buffalo. Once there, those daring enough can grab the rope, swing out over the falls and drop into the pool below!
Not far from Moyo, Satonda is an ancient volcanic island, said to be even older than Tambora. A tsunami caused by Mount Tambora’s violent eruption filled the crater of the island with salt water. While you walk along this salty lake, you come across “wishing trees”. Don’t miss a chance to cast your wish! At sunset we witness thousands of fruit bats departing the island for the mainland. They fill the sky, with their translucent wings silhouetted against the sunset.
You might think making your way to beaches does require much less effort, make no mistake! In Indonesia, we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but you will have to brave nature more than once to plunge your feet in the sand.
In Bali, the island of Penida is the perfect mix of white sand and nice snorkeling spots. The best way to enjoy Nusa Penida is to arrive early morning before all the day boats. While on Adelaar, you can go closer to shore to observe the famous Kelingking beach from the sea. You must have heard about this secluded white sand beach visible from a 200-meter high drop down overlooking the T-rex head. From the boat, a short swim will allow you to step foot on this very special ground which usually can only be reached after a perilous walk on the sharp cliff.
Yet that’s not all, diving and snorkeling are also one of the main reasons people come to visit Nusa Penida. The island is known to be the place for incredible encounters with Manta rays. You will get to meet them with only your mask and fins at the surface at Manta Bay. If you love to see their belly spots from beneath, Manta Point is where you will want to deflate your BCD. Both of these sites are cleaning stations, so you can sometimes see Mantas swimming around for hours.
A lot more remote are the islands extending from Alor to the beginning of the Banda Sea: The Forgotten islands. The “Romang group”, as it is called in the navigation books, spans across 23 nautical miles from West to East and features some fantastic white sand beaches. At Romang & Nyata islands, there are gentle terraced slopes, which slip down into the deep blue of the Banda Sea. A big feature of diving on this western side of the island, are the collections of huge vividly coloured gorgonian sea fans, and large barrel sponges. Fans of bigger animals can see Napoleon wrasses, reef shark, ray, tuna and other pelagic fish patrolling the reefs and walls.
Even if our itineraries offer a wide range of activities and places, all the above will not necessarily be part of your trip. You cancombine all things on your bucket list and ask Adelaar to tailor a trip just for you and your loved ones. You may wonder, what is so great about chartering a Liveaboard? Everything is customizable: from the destinations, to the activities on-land and at sea. From the food you will eat to the day schedule, everything is up to you.
Because yes, after an afternoon dive on world-class diving sites, you might want to keep the fun going on our SUPs, kayaks, wakeboard… Or you could lay down on the deck lounge with a good book from our library and enjoy a cold drink overlooking the sunset! You can even take your cultural excursions to the next level with a historic guide. Everything will be at your own path and rhythm. Isn’t it what a holiday is about?
Do not be afraid to ask, no dream is big enough for us! Get more information on Adelaar’s private charters here.
Want some more inspiration to plan your journey? Read our article Indonesia on & offshore to learn more about the archipelago’s wild life, eco resorts, and iconic places.
Morgane, professional learner