The world’s largest archipelago is a tropical yachting paradise where thousands of Jurassic peaks rise out of the blue like a string of emeralds cast by the hand of nature. With its pristine reefs, empty stretches of white sand, idyllic stilted bungalows, endless perfectly formed volcanoes and a rich tribal culture, Indonesia is a dream for adventurers, divers and beach lovers alike.

As part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country’s many dormant and active volcanoes have shaped the nation, and each has its own mythical tale to tell.

The ragged islands of Komodo National Park are like something out of King Kong. In fact, the movie was inspired by footage from American millionaire W. Douglas Burden's 1932 expedition. Burden had heard tales of pearl divers who braved the deep blue but were terrified by a menacing reptilian presence lurking in the jungle – the Komodo “dragon”, the world’s largest lizard. Today’s dragon chasers come in the form of rangers who give fascinating tours.

Pulau Ambon – Maluku’s most prominent island – is verdant and undulating, sculpted with two bays that make for perfect anchorages. The Bandas are an archipelago of ten small and lush volcanic islands. Dutch settlers grew nutmeg here and the islands are dotted with old Dutch houses. For these colonials, money really did grow on trees – until their spice monopoly ended, bringing their high-class European lifestyles to a halt. Today, little Banda Neira is sleepy and flower-filled; a charming place to wander and see the tumbling Dutch ruins. You can climb volcanoes, visit the Rumah Budaya museum and the fortress, and dine on the terrace of the Cilu Bintang Estate.

The Bandas lie at the heart of the world’s ‘Coral Triangle’ and there is more marine biodiversity here than anywhere else on Earth. For divers this is an underwater nirvana with an abundance of colour and life, including pygmy seahorses and the bizarre looking dugong (a kind of sea cow). Lava flowed into the sea here 20 years ago and since then a hard coral garden has formed. Divers are guaranteed a unique spectacle of schooling fish: giant groupers, large schools of barracudas, snappers, sweetlips and surgeon fish, all in the midst of beautiful coral. Hilly Banda Besar offers interesting woodland walks and you can climb Gunung Api (also known as ‘Fire Mountain’) and take a dip in the interior lagoon.

The trump cards for the Kai Islands is their miles of stunning white-sand beaches that are backed by swaying coconut palms and dotted with thatched beach bars. The locals are deeply hospitable, and November is the time to watch them racing their war canoes.

On Flores, visit Kelimutu National Park – the volcano here contains three striking crater lakes, the colours of which shift between maroon, silver, green and black depending on the mineral content at the time. The women of the local Watublapi tribe are skilled weavers and you can watch them sitting together and working their looms. The best food will always be onboard, but it’s fun to venture ashore from time to time. The Paradise Bar on a hilltop on the west coast of Flores offers a mesmerizing spot to watch the sun set, listen to acoustic music and eat fresh fish from the barbecue. In nearby Labuanbajo, divers flock to Aneka Baru, a hole-in-the-wall serving delicious noodles.

Some of the indigenous tribes of Indonesia are known for their distinctive traits, such as the Yali Pygmies who stand no taller than 150cm, the Dani and Lani tribes that preserve their warriors and tribal chiefs as smoked mummies, and the Mentawai tribe for whom sharpened teeth and tattoos are a sign of elegance.

Yachting in Indonesia

Traditional wooden Phinisi with their romantic billowing sails typify yachting in Indonesia. Larger motor and sailing yachts do come and go however, and our Charter Team can tell you which yachts will be there this winter.

The new 65m LAMIMA is the world’s largest wooden sailing yacht. The first ever ‘super-Phinisi’, LAMIMA is built to the highest superyacht standards of safety, comfort and stability and is effectively a floating spa retreat-come-PADI dive centre (PADI certification is on offer courtesy of two dive instructors), now available to charter throughout South East Asia.

Her crew includes a guide who worked for National Geographic (and whose knowledge of the landscape, culture and folklore is second to none) and two onboard masseuses who offer a wide menu of Asian style massage and beauty treatments. On LAMIMA there’s no excuse to lapse into the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ look…

OR CALL +44 20 7408 1001
+377 97 98 76 60
Map Indonesia

Where and when
March-May 2019: Raja Ampat
June-Oct 2019: Komodo/Bali
Oct-May 2019-2020: Raja Ampat
June-Oct 2020: Komodo/Bali OR Raja Amp

Contact the team