East Nusa Tenggara is one of Indonesia’s most exciting areas when it comes to diversity and, when you sail this province it’s easy to believe you’re in a different world a few times a day. From rugged mountainous landscapes to arid rolling hills, pristine bays, diving with whale sharks, wallowing in crystal water, walking on volcanoes, tracking wildlife and meeting people who live by age-old traditions, no day need ever be the same.
There are more than 500 islands in this province, and the biggest are Flores, Sumba and Timor. Dunia Baru spends most of her time in the waters around Flores, an island that is vividly lush and beautiful, and has changed only slightly since the first Portuguese
explorers arrived here (the majority of the population is still Catholic). Apparently falling instantly in love with this paradise, the Portuguese named their discovery "Cabo das Flores". The Cape of Flowers.
An ideal Dunia Baru’s itinerary for this area will be upward of 10 days, incorporating the very best that East Nusa Tenggara offers. There is so much to do here: so much culture, so much wildlife, so much marine diversity. We understand that everyone wants something different from a holiday, so if you’d like to have an itinerary tailored for you and your party, it would be our pleasure to plan something according to your interests.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Komodo National Park was established in 1983 to conserve Komodo dragons, but it’s evolved into something so much more than that. The park is now a refuge for a variety of animals including the endangered Timor deer, and its rich marine ecosystems boast more than 14 species of whales, 1000 species of fish, 260 species of coral and 70 species of sponges ... you can only begin to imagine what a spectacular destination this is to explore both above and below the surface of the ocean.
The 17 Islands Marine Park would be very popular if it wasn’t so difficult to get to ... but that’s the beauty of chartering a yacht: you can enjoy places that so few will ever see. The beaches on the park’s islands are almost completely deserted and the clean white sand makes them absolutely perfect for whiling away a few lazy land-based hours. You’ll find it quite difficult to leave the colorful coral reefs and crystal waters of these islands.
Island hopping is an absolute breeze in the Pemana Islands, where bright white beaches and sublime turquoise waters will lure you from bay to pristine bay and tempt you from the comfort of Dunia Baru’s bean bags and sun loungers – because as lovely as these waters are to look at, they’re even lovelier to be in. There are plenty of coral reefs where you can hone your macro photography skills, and severe drop-offs to get your thrill on. Most of the people who live on these islands, which are close to Maumere in central Flores, have saltwater in their blood: they are descendants of the seafaring Bugis people, and the islanders still live an ocean-focused life. Most of the boats you’ll see around these islands are traditional wooden ones.
On Lembata island life rolls along in its own time and things happen here as they have for generations. Tradition is very important and closely observed on Lembata, and that’s what makes a visit here so special. The people of this island are whale hunters and observe very strict code of conduct when hunting: they can use only hand-carved wooden boats that are powered by wooden paddles and the harpooning must be done with a bamboo spear. Every part of the whale is used by the village, and as you walk through the bone-lined streets you’ll see strips of meat hung out to dry. The village kills no more than 20 whales a year, and is exempt from the global ban on whale hunting.
The volcano-island of Kumba might be pretty spectacular above water level (particularly around sunset), but its marine surroundings are what make it extra special. The cool-water currents around this island are rich in foods and attract larger marine animals, so expect to see mantas, whalesharks, white-tipped and grey reef sharks, giant groupers and mola-mola when you dive here.
© Chris Hamilton
The Alor Islands would have the reputation of being one of the greatest diving spots in Asia – if only it wasn't also one of its best-kept secrets. This is another of Indonesia's countless secret spots and still largely unexplored. Benefiting from the collision of Pacific and Indian Ocean currents, the Alor Islands are an incredibly rich marine habitat. Only 168,000 people live on Alor main island (there's just one town). The islands are as rich in culture as they are in marine species: there are said to be 15 different indigenous languages in this little archipelago alone. This is the place to come if you want to see a part of Indonesia that few people ever reach.