Maluku Travel Information - Maru & Molu

Maru & Molu: Tanimbar's Far Northwest

The remotest islands in the Tanimbars, Maru and Molu lie close to each other several hours northwest of Yamdena. The four villages of Molu and the single village of Maru are inhabited by Fordatan people, but have lost most of the interesting traditions. However, they have preserved fairly pristine nature, and abound in beautiful scenery. I have only made it to Maru so far, so can only describe that island here, along with smaller islands that can be visited on the way there from Larat.

Attractions Off the Track Activities Local Culture Getting There Accommodation
Main Attractions


Maru is slightly smaller than Molu, and is home to only one village. It has fione, white sand beaches on all sides, including right in front of the village. The interior of the island is hilly, and though gardens abound, forest also remains.


Maru's single village is a very neat and clean settlement, largely built on solid white sand. Don't expect traditional architecture here though.

Off the Beaten Track


On the way from Larat to Maru and Molu, you will pass the five islands of Nuslima. They have beautiful beaches and green interior, and are uninhabited.

Kyaba Rengan

Just west of Nuslima are the two little islets known as Kyaba Rengan (Eagle Nest). According to local legend, a huge eagle used to nest on the hilly island to the right, catching humans on Yamdena and bringing them to eat here. Eventually, the eagle turned into stone - the jagged rocks to the left. Fearsome as the place may once have been, now its white beaches beckon! ;-)



As the people of these islands depend on marine resources and can grow enough food in their gardens, they tend to leave wildlife alone. Birdligfe in particular is very rich, in fact I found it more abundant on Maru than anywhere else in Tanimbar! Birds here also seem less shy of humans. Both the Tanimbar Cockatoo and the Tanimbar Lory were readily seen in goods numbers even in gardens close to the village.

Local Culture

Sopi Making

Maru has a strong drinking culture, and the people make their own firewater from coconut. Unlike on Fordata, thereare no huge walangs and they don't seem to make it to sell elsewhere, but if you stay on the island, expect to have to take part in drinking sessions daily!

Getting There and Around

Local village boats travel between Larat and these islands a few times weekly. Frequencies drop during the western winds' season (Dec-March).

There are no roads on either island.

There are no formal places to stay or eat in these islands.