Off the Beaten Track: Morotai Island

Explore the untouched riches of Indonesia’s Pearl of the Pacific

When people hear ‘Indonesia’, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the ‘island of the Gods’ – Bali. Either that or every Singaporean’s go-to weekend destination, Batam. But this secluded island in Indonesia is a place you’ve probably never heard of before. 

Morotai Island sits at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, which explains its rightful title as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’. Located in eastern Indonesia’s Maluku Archipelago, this remote island is home to some of the most amazing sights nature has to offer. Could this be Indonesia’s best-kept secret? 

Most may know Morotai from its rich history and significance during World War II, being a strategic military base for the Japanese forces. However, there is more to the island than its historic past. Today, it is brimming with all sorts of remarkable sights that you’ll definitely want to see. 

 

Bask in the Sun at Dodola Island

Just slightly off the coast of Morotai, Dodola Island is Morotai’s ‘hidden pearl’ and is one of the island’s most popular destinations. Directly facing the Pacific Ocean, the white-sand beach and panoramic scenery make for the perfect island getaway. Beaches are known to be crowded at times – but there is nothing of the sort here. Since it is still a relatively secluded and underrated location, the surroundings remain pristine and tranquil. 

Dodola Island happens to be divided into two parts – big Dodola and Small Dodola, otherwise known as Dodola Besar and Dodola Kecil. During low tide, the distance between both beaches can go up to 500 metres! While this tropical paradise is littered with pristine beaches, Dodola Island truly takes the cake. 

 

Water Sports on the Island

The most popular activity on the Island is actually snorkelling and diving. Below the surface, Morotai boasts the underwater beauty that lies beneath it. You’ll find everything from colourful corals to abandoned shipwrecks from the over 20 diving spots on this tiny island! 

Besides submerging yourself in the deep blue, Morotai is also the perfect destination to ride the waves. Situated in Sopi Village is Morotai’s top surf spot – Tanjung Sopi. The waves here are equivalent to that of its fellow Indonesian islands like Bali and Mentawai, which is why Tanjung Sopi is a crowd favourite amongst professional surfers. Although the swells in Tanjung Sopi are more suited for pros, beginners don’t have to miss out on the fun – there are several surf instructors that will guide visitors through it and make sure they catch a wave! 

 

Morotai’s Lavishing Waterfalls 

Photo by: Udhy Ismail

Little do most know, Morotai is actually a mountainous island just as much as it is a coastal one. Waterfalls are never a sight to be missed on the island and visitors have plenty of options to choose from. For starters, the Raja Waterfall is a hidden gem in the rural village of Raja. On some days, you might be able to interact with the locals too. Located on the hillside of Bakulu Mountain in East Morotai, the soothing ambience of the Bunga Kokota Waterfall will definitely calm your senses. But if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, head over to the Wayabula Waterfall and stand from the top of the falls at 50 metres high! Regardless of whichever you choose, the sound of the cascading waters is bound to leave you relaxed for days. 

Getting There

Travellers can take a direct flight to Sultan Babullah Airport in Ternate, or take a domestic flight from Jakarta that takes about 5 hours. Lion Air, Garuda Indonesia, and Sriwijaya Air serve flights to Ternate regularly.

 

Moro Ma Doto

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