Travel Guide: Exploring Seram Island and Ora Beach in Maluku, Indonesia

Seram island in Maluku is one of the best kept secrets of Indonesia. The beautiful Ora Beach Resort offers views reminiscent of Bora Bora, and most of the island remains relatively unexplored.

For those seeking a secluded paradise with jungles, mountains, beaches, and wildlife, Seram island is an ideal destination in Indonesia. While not easily accessible, especially to Ora Bay, the stunning scenery and excellent snorkeling opportunities without the crowds typical of places like Bali make the journey worthwhile.

This travel guide will provide details on how to get to Seram island and Ora beach, accommodation options, top activities in the area, and other essential information before your trip!

Ora Beach Resort Seram Island Maluku Indonesia

Ora Beach Resort on Seram island


How To Get To Seram Island

Seram island is located near the busy island of Ambon in Maluku, Indonesia. Getting there requires several steps.

As of now, there is no operational airport on Seram island, so flying directly there is not an option. The nearest airport is Pattimura International Airport in Ambon (AMQ), with direct flights from Jakarta, Makassar, Ternate, Sorong, and other Indonesian cities. You can check flight options on Skyscanner.

Upon arrival in Ambon, you will need a taxi for the approximately 1-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. The boat journey, while on older vessels, is comfortable and takes around 2 hours to reach Amahai.

Ora Beach Resort Seram Island Maluku Indonesia Kayaking

Kayaking at Ora Beach Resort


How To Get To Ora Beach In Seram Island

Upon arrival on Seram island, the next step is reaching Saleman village and Ora beach. The drive from Amahai to Saleman takes approximately 2 hours, following a scenic road winding through the mountains. While the road is paved, expect some rough patches along the way.

Hotels in Ora or Saleman can arrange transportation from Amahai to the bay. Our guesthouse connected us with an amicable driver named Rudi who facilitated our transfer to Saleman village and back. The cost was around 600k Rupiah (~$40 USD) each way, although this rate was during the Covid-19 pandemic, so prices may have increased.

Upon reaching Saleman village, Ora beach is just a 10-minute boat ride away. The guesthouse where we stayed in Saleman offered half-day boat tours to Ora Beach Resort for 350k Rupiah per boat, or full-day tours to various locations in the area for 900k per boat.

Ora Beach Seram Island Maluku Indonesia Sawai Cliff Drone

Drone pic of the Sawai cliffs with a boat for scale

Ora Beach Resort Seram Island Maluku Indonesia Drone

Top down drone picture of Ora beach


Where To Stay In Seram Island

There are several new guesthouses in the Ora bay area that offer high ratings, budget-friendly rates, and relative comfort.

While this part of Indonesia is remote and lacks luxury, the accommodations are surprisingly comfortable considering the isolation.

Here are some top options:

  • Ora Sunrise View — Overwater bungalows in Saleman village with overwater hammocks. The hotel was closed for renovation during our visit in 2021, but it would have been our preferred choice. The rooms feature a fan, clothes rack, and electric socket, with basic toilet and shower amenities in the bathrooms.
  • Air Belanda Resort — Beachfront bungalows on the ‘Dutch water beach,’ including a dining room and hammock. Each room offers a balcony, window, fan, electric socket, and a pleasant jungle backdrop. The bathrooms are equipped with a basic shower, toilet, and sink.
  • Nusa Nalan Beach Resort — Beachfront bungalows near Saleman village. Room amenities include a fan, mirror, TV, socket, with basic shower and toilet facilities in the bathrooms.
  • Sing Key Beach Hotel — Beachfront bungalows near Saleman village. Rooms feature a fan, window, socket, clothes rack, and basic sink, shower, and toilet in the bathrooms.
  • Pasir Putih Homestay — Overwater bungalows in Saleman village. This was our accommodation during our stay in Seram and offered clean basic rooms. Each room had a fan, window, power outlets, and the bathrooms had a cold shower, water bucket, and squat toilet.

All these guesthouses in Saleman village boast stunning views of the karst mountains, Ora bay, the ocean, and the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset. Some are built above shallow water about 2-3 meters deep, allowing guests to observe fish swimming beneath them.

Unfortunately, occasional floating trash near the village detracts from the otherwise priceless location, highlighting the need for improved conservation efforts. We hope the local community will address this issue more seriously moving forward.