Photo: Mata Jitu waterfall, Moyo Island.

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Introduction

Our rating:

Almost, but not quite blocking the western mouth of the Saleh Sea, forest-covered and largely undeveloped Moyo Island promises some great beaches, a terrific waterfall and some spectacular snorkelling — and can deliver it to those with the money, or time, to visit.



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Keep reading to learn more about Pulau Moyo!

While the island is home to a number of villages, and much of the lowland coastal strip is cultivated (cashew nuts are popular), getting to Moyo Island remains a bit of a hassle — or at least expensive. This is also despite its relative proximity to two access points from Sumbawa’s mainland.

The waterfall is just gorgeous. Photo taken in or around Pulau Moyo, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

The waterfall is just gorgeous. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The island, long and thin, is best known for two features: a gorgeous, multi-terrace limestone waterfall called Mata Jitu and some tremendous snorkelling. The waterfall leapt to international fame in 1993 when Princess Diana, apparently trying to escape the attention of papparazzi, spent two nights at the uber-luxurious Amanwana tent resort. During her stay, she took a boat and jeep tour to the falls — today, we commoners just walk or take an ojek. And if there was ever a waterfall fit for a princess, Mata Jitu is it.

Off the island and under the surrounding waters, you’ll find some truly beautiful snorkelling. Perhaps we just saw it on a good day, but we had absolutely crystal-clear visibility, plenty of live coral and tonnes of reef fish, making for a pretty enjoyable hour of snorkelling.

Must. Buy. Underwater. Camera. Photo taken in or around Pulau Moyo, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Must. Buy. Underwater. Camera. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The Amanwana remains the only proper hotel on Moyo Island, but there are more than adequate full-board homestays available in Labuan Aji for those not keen on paying a little under a $1,000 a night. If you ring ahead you may be able to drop in for a late lunch (as we did). The setting is lovely, with terrific views and very, chatty and obliging ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Pulau Moyo.
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