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Mandarin fish in front of Blue Motion dive shop. | by Laura Jacobsen
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Mandarin fish in front of Blue Motion dive shop.

The Banda Islands are undiscovered gems in the sparkling Banda Sea. Formerly known as the Spice Islands, they rose to global prominence in the age of exploration. Today, they are sublimely sleepy with friendly villages, spice plantations, and world-class diving and snorkeling, with the volcano Gunung Api looming over the main town, Bandaneira. The islands' remoteness and difficulty of access has preserved their culture and natural heritage to a large extent, but that may change as more hydrofoil ferries and flights reach these once-uncharted islands. Read more about our Banda Islands travels at designthinktravel.com/snorkel-and-spice-the-banda-islands/.

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Taken on December 3, 2015