Halmahera is an island in the province of North Maluku that has complex combination of tourism attractions. This makes the island popular to visit by local and international tourists. On the previous article, we have already provided information regarding two aspects of attraction in Halmahera; the remains of World War II and the beautiful lakes to peacefully enjoy. To complete the information, here are other wonderful attractions you could find in Halmahera Island:

 

Volcano

Halmahera Island has three active volcanos. The most popular one is Mount Dukono. Tourists like to climb up this vocano just to test their adrenalin. The mount is 1,185 meters high above the sea level. To hike up to the top, you can ride a motorcycle to the mountain slopes and continue going up by walking for about two hours.

During the hiking tracks, you will have to get through forests for several times. There will also be smokes of the lava which you need to be careful about. On top of the mount, there is a crater surrounded by cold lava fields. About one hour walks from the lava fields, a comfortable camping site is provided where people can enjoy scenic panorama of the volcano and around.

Almost Reaching the Top (Source: Flickr. Credit: hshdude)
Almost Reaching the Top
(Source: Flickr. Credit: hshdude)

Beaches

The island of Halmahera is framed with wonderful beaches overlooking the wide blue ocean. Kupa-Kupa Beach is popular for its unique characteristic. The beach slope is very slight. The water is calm and there is no wild current as the beach shape is similar to a bay. This way, the beach is perfect for swimming, canoeing, or snorkeling.

Gamlaha beach is also has calm water so this could be your alternative destination for swimming in the beach and other simple water activity. The white sand is decorating this beach, adding the peaceful atmosphere to enjoy.

A Kid is Enjoying the Environment of Kupa-Kupa Beach (Source: Flickr. Credit: leivischem {federleicht})
A Kid is Enjoying the Environment of Kupa-Kupa Beach
(Source: Flickr. Credit: leivischem {federleicht})

Very close to Tobelo, there is a tiny island called Kumo Island. The island has pristine beach which is also favored by many people. The beach is also a great location for swimming or snorkeling during the day. When it is almost dark, it is also a great location for watching the sunset with the background of Mount Mamuya.

Other tiny islands around Halmahera where you can enjoy exotic beach are Meti Island, Luari Island, Roralange Island, Pawole Island, Pasirtimbul Island, and much more. Other activity to enjoy these tiny islands is by circling around the coastal line of the island.

 

Underwater Tourism

The beaches on Halmahera Island could really take your breath away. But don’t stop there just yet. If you go a little bit further, you will be taken to a whole new level of awesomeness by the wonderful ecosystems of underwater. The sea around Halmahera has rich biodiversity that forms beautiful harmony of marine life. Around the island, there are several spots that you can explore by snorkeling or diving.

Tagalaya Island around Tobelo is one of the most popular diving spots in Halmahera. Under the water, you could find large coral reef in the depth of only 2-10 meters. The sea water is very clear that you could see the underwater scenery. The island itself has white sand with mangrove trees growing out of it. The combination of mangrove and corals will give you rare view to see. The exotic marine life of Halmahera could also be enjoyed at Kupa-kupa Beach, Tobotobo Marine Park and Kakara Island.

Underwater Tagalaya Island (Source: Flickr. Credit: leivischem {federleicht})
Underwater Tagalaya Island
(Source: Flickr. Credit: leivischem {federleicht})

Other Nature Adventure

Tobotobo Marine Park is not just a beauty underwater. Above the land, you could also explore some unique living creatures. Around the beach, you will see a thick mangrove forest where plenty of bats live. Visiting it during the day, you can see them hanging on the tree, sleeping. White and blue pigeons are living at the mangrove forest as well.

Wanting for a water adventure other than diving and snorkeling? You can try visiting Dorume Beach around December. There, you would find a wild current tempting you to do some surfing. At this beach, you could also enjoy the beautiful form of nature in the environment. The sand is soft and sparkling as it contains iron seed. Several species of endemic birds will also decorate the environment to enjoy while you are rolling away on the water.

 

Cultures

Halmahera also has big potential for cultural tourism as the local community still preserves their native culture. All kinds of cultural activity are centered at Jailolo Bay. There are many kinds of art performance that you can watch in Halmahera.

Cakalele Dance is a tribal war dance that shows more artistic moves than real war. Although all performers are holding weapon, they never point it up front. Other war dance is Soya Soya Dance.

This dance was created and performed as a remembrance of a brief history when Halmahera people united to fight Portuguese colonialism who tried to kill Halmaheran king. Other traditional dances to enjoy are Tidetide Dance, Lelehe Dance, Gumatere Dance, and much more.

Tribal War Dance (Source: halmaherautara.com. Credit: Aderius Sero)
Tribal War Dance
(Source: halmaherautara.com. Credit: Aderius Sero)

For better experience in Halmahera cultural tourism, you can attend Jailolo Bay Festival. It is an annual festival held in Jailolo to preserve and promote the unique culture of Halmahera. During the events, you could watch many art performers by local community. Several traditional ceremonies will also be performed such as Horom Sasadu (feast ceremony), Sigofi Ngolo (rituals to honor the sea emperor) and more.

You could also buy various items in Halmahera culture as souvenirs. The most popular items are salawako (Shield) and kalewang (sword). Both items are traditional weapons that are used on Cakalele Dance. A series of competition will also be there for tourists and locals to join such as underwater videography, traditional fishing, traditional boat rowing, swimming competition, and much more.

Besides Jailolo Bay, you could also visit the beautiful Kakara Beach to observe the unique culture of Halmahera. The site is very famous for its underwater beauty that people loves to dive at. But on that very same place, the culture of Hibualamo is rooted. There is a Hibualamo House at this beach. The house is used by 10 sub-ethnics of Halmahera to have discussion over every important matter to keep them live in peace and harmony. At several certain times, sacred ceremonies and rituals will be performed.

Sacred Ceremony of Hibualamo (Source: halmaherautara.com. Credit: Aderius Sero)
Sacred Ceremony of Hibualamo
(Source: halmaherautara.com. Credit: Aderius Sero)

Tips

  • You would need mosquito repellent when in Halmahera, especially on the mangrove forest at the beach.
  • You can also stay in local people’s house as they are friendly. But make sure to have a friend or tour guide with fluent Bahasa Indonesia along with you as most locals don’t understand English.
  • Best time for diving and snorkeling is around May to October. Best time for surfing is around November to December.
  • If you need to manage your diving, please visit Kakara Island. There will be an official Tourist Information Center and also Dive Center.
  • Best place to buy souvenirs are directly from the local’s village, on Jailolo Bay Festival, or at the souvenir shop at Jalan Bhayangkara 2, town of Tobelo.

 

Halmahera is such a unique place to visit. The beauty of nature combines harmonically with the brief history and strong cultures. This creates a wonderful experience of tourism that will never be forgotten easily.

 

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