As the world’s biggest archipelago, Indonesia will never run out of new destinations to explore. Widi Islands — a string of 99 islands, often nicknamed ‘the Maldives of Indonesia’ — should be included in Indonesia’s large tourism portfolio. From diving to eating, discover the top things to see and do in Widi Islands, Indonesia.
Located in North Maluku, Widi Islands is in the heart of the prized Coral Triangle, an area recognized as the global center of marine biodiversity. For tourists, that means having spectacular diving experiences through stunning, untouched coral reefs. Divers can start at Nusa Raa, a popular hub, and navigate through diving spots.
Eating fresh seafood in Widi Islands is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. The majority of locals are fishermen, and every day, they harvest seafood produce from the sea. Tourists can feast on fresh seafood caught on the same day, while trying exotic dishes like dogtooth tuna, ruby snapper, marlin and more.
The abounding marine biodiversity makes Widi Islands an excellent fishing destination. Whether you’re a pro or just want to try a new activity, fishing in Widi Islands is a satisfying experience, as the chance to catch something good is high. The population and diversity are astounding. Many fishers describe Widi Islands and North Maluku as a ‘fish supermarket’. The government is building facilities and developing spots for fishing, but meanwhile, you can bring your own fishing gear or ask a local fisherman to take you fishing.
Widi Islands is comprised of 99 islands, most of them relatively untouched and uninhabited. It also has three atolls and two major strings of islands. When the weather is clear, tourists can hop on a boat and enjoy sweeping views of the magnificent archipelago, stopping by to explore the unspoiled white sand beaches and lush tropical greenery.
Eastern Indonesia holds countless endemic bird species and other incredible wildlife, making the region a great spot for bird-watching in Indonesia. Widi Islands is a habitat for many species, including the Gosong Maluku. Due to the areas’ virgin natural state, it’s not hard to spot various birds roaming about nonchalantly, making bird-watching convenient and enjoyable, even for first-timers.
So far, there are 102 coastal spots with a potential to be developed, according to local authorities. Many of those spots are located on Nusa Raa Island and the main Widi Island. Umamoy Beach is one of the most popular spots for beach activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing or simply lying down on the powder-soft white sand and relaxing.
Generally, the islands at Widi Islands are uninhabited; fishermen come and go through dozens of islands to work, but Daga Island hosts their homes. Here, tourists can explore a fishermen village and locals’ waterfront huts. Many locals even offer their homes as a homestay for tourists. Daga Island also has some of the most stunning beaches, along with the best views of the sunrise.
If you want to immerse yourself in the life and customs of locals, try eating their salted fish. Seasoning fish with salt, then drying it under the sun is a common practice in coastal towns to keep fish for a longer time, while retaining their fresh taste. You can also pack some fish to bring back home to your curious friends. One kilo of salted fish costs less than $3, and you’ll also be contributing to the local economy.