Moyo Island Overview
- Pristine forest, pure shores
- Coast life
- Deer-spotting, turtle-watching
If you love Bali, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven when you set foot on wildly beautiful, crowd-free Moyo Island, a nature and marine reserve a short flight away in Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara archipelago.
Framed by the beyond-blue waters and iridescent coral reefs of the Flores Sea, Moyo is ravishingly remote, lying east of Bali and Lombok and just north of larger neighbour Sumbawa Island. Once there (arrive by 65-minute seaplane swoop for maximum thrills), you'll encounter 350 square kilometres of lush forest, sultry savannah and pristine beaches. On land, spend days trekking to pretty waterfalls, soaking up spa treatments or wildlife spotting (fellow residents include Rusa deer, wild ox, boar and macaque monkeys, with brilliant birdlife up above). Offshore, get active with world-class snorkelling, diving, sailing, fishing and island-hopping, or just relax on empty beaches, swim with turtles and stargaze on the sand. There's just a few villages and one luxury camp on the island, so you've got the place to yourself.
Marvellously Moyo Island
Moyo Island is a scuba diver's wet dream, with a mind-blowing array of sites within a 10-minute boat ride of the hotel. Dive by day for a kaleidescopic line-up of tropical fish, sponges, gorgonian fans, reef sharks and eagle rays, or take the plunge at night for spectacular aqautic scenes.
- There are no taxis on the island, but you'll find you can walk to key spots with ease.
- Tipping culture
- A service charge is included at the island's sole resort Amanwana, and guests are not expected to tip. Elsewhere, locals will welcome a gratuity to show your appreciation for good service.
- Siesta and fiesta
- Unlike bustling Bali, there are no banks, boutiques or bars on the island beyond main resort Amanwana. The rhythm of life here is more low-key and at one with nature, with locals and guests enjoying early mornings and nights. Set your clock by the sunrise, sunsets and stars.
- Packing tips
- Keep clothes light and easy as it's warm and balmy year-round, although in the dry season (April to November) you may need a light sweater to keep evening breezes at bay. There are no glitzy clubs here, so bring sarongs not stilettos. Also pack a pair of binoculars for spotting sea eagles and ospreys, an underwater camera for snapping manta rays and a good beach read.
- Recommended reads
- Ring of Fire: an Indonesian Odyssey by Brit brothers Lawrence and Lorne Blair is a ripping yarn about exploration and adventure across the archipelago. Amanwana screens the documentary film version as a private outdoor movie for guests.
- Surprise, surprise. Sensational seafood and fish are keystones of relaxed gourmet meals served on the island, caught fantastically fresh (you can even hook your own and ask the chefs to prepare it for you). Juicy tropical fruit also gets star billing here, as well as the usual tasty rice and spice dishes that make up Indonesian cuisine. At Amanwana hotel's restaurant, expect humble local produce whipped up with modern flair.
- Indonesia Rupiah (IDR); US dollars are accepted in tourist areas in Indonesia.
- Time zone
- GMT +8 hours (on Moyo Island and Bali); GMT +7 hours (on Java).
- Dialling codes
- Country code for Indonesia: +62; area code for Moyo: (0)371.
- Do go/don't go
- Expect sun-kissed, hot, tropical weather year-round. April to November is the dry season, when nights can be cool; December to March is the more humid rainy season, with the monsoon months of February and March particularly wet and green. Monsoon, though, is also prime time for spotting whale sharks, giant manta rays, the odd pilot whale and other migrating sea life.