Kai Islands

Kai Islands

The Kai Islands, also known as the Kei Islands, are a breathtakingly remote cluster of islands located in the southeast of the Maluku Province. The islands are primarily composed of low-lying atolls and islands with long, powdery sand spits and crystal-clear blue seas that are often home to flocks of migrating pelicans. The beaches in this region have been frequently referred to as some of the best in the world! Despite being a bit hard to reach, with long and irregular flights with many transit stops, this archipelago is increasingly becoming popular among those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle and a chance to relax and soak in the serenity of the calm ocean and the laid-back local lifestyle.

Although there are only a few dive resorts operating in the area, the Kai Islands have great potential for diving, with many hidden dive spots. An experienced dive guide is a must-have here, not just for diving, but also to take in the stunning anchorages among the nooks and crannies of the atolls and sand spits. The Kai Islands can serve as a destination in their own right, or as a stop on a Banda Sea or Forgotten Island trip. You can be sure that this place will leave a lasting impression.

One of the most spectacular beaches in the region is Ngurtafur Beach, which features a 2 km long sand spit stretching into the blue seas off Woha Island. The area is abundant with seagrass and coral, and is home to rays, dugongs, and pelicans, both above and below the water. Ngurtafur Beach is just one of many such wonders in the archipelago, and you’ll be able to enjoy them in peace and solitude. The development in this area of the Maluku Sea is limited, with only a few scattered resorts and beachside bungalows, primarily located on Ngurbloat Beach. The Kei Islands consist of three main groups – Kei Besar, Kei Kecil, and the Tayandu group to the west. Kei Kecil and Besar are very different islands, with Kei Kecil being composed of atolls and sand spits, while Kei Besar features rugged mountains and cliff drops. Bair Island, located to the north of Kei Kecil, is home to a breathtaking limestone lagoon and crystal-clear waters, giving visitors a taste of the scenery in places like Raja Ampat or Triton Bay – which could be their next yacht stop. Goa Hawang cave, meanwhile, boasts a beautiful freshwater limestone swimming hole reminiscent of Mexico’s Cenotes. The Tayandu group, about 30 nm to the west of Kei Kecil, is another paradise similar to Kei Kecil, but with fewer inhabitants. It’s a truly magical place to get away from it all and enjoy complete privacy and powdery sand spits surrounded by glowing turquoise waters.

The main town of Tual is split in half by a bridge that is too low to pass, with the main anchorage located on the north side. If you’re coming from the south, be sure to take the long way around, as the harbour offices are located on that side. Tual is an international clearance port and is served by an airport, making it a convenient logistical hub or stop in the middle of the vast Banda Sea.

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