When Christopher Columbus set sail in the 15th Century, it was not the Americans that he had hoped to find. Columbus, like many other European explorers, went after the promise of spice to be found in the Moluccas, now more commonly referred to as Maluku. Located in the eastern deep seas of the Indonesian archipelago, these islands were the sole producers of nutmeg, clove and other precious spices that fetched their weight in gold in Medieval Europe.
As the capital of Maluku, Ambon possesses a rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage. It is located North of the Banda Sea, off the Southwest coast of the much larger Seram Island.
The Banda Sea is one of Indonesia's deepest oceans at over 6500 m below sea level. In the center lies a string of small volcanic islands surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and inhabited by a large variety of marine life. Relatively untapped, this area is a haven for divers.