Our first trip to Moyo Island

Waterfall Moyo Island - Mata Jitu

It was the end of June of 2013 when we had our first chance of visiting Moyo.

Things have changed a lot since then; the island is better connected, more people speak english and all the information needed to plan a trip is out there. But at that time, it was a real challenge to find information on Moyo Island.
There were absolutely no tourist infrastructures, the only thing that we were sure of was that the diving had to be amazing and, of course, we couldn’t wait to visit the mythical Lady Diana Waterfall.

The Trip to Moyo Island

With just a few tips from some Indonesian friends, we made our way to Sumbawa Besar by bus. It took over 10 hours to get there from Bali but, even though there was already a small airport, there were no flights at all at the time.

When arrived in town, we were approached by a young guy that was one of the very few people able to speak English in Sumbawa Besar. His name was Rama, a divemaster working in Bali back to his hometown for a family wedding. As a local person and fellow divers, it was easy for him to contact a local boat owner and organize a 3 days trip around this hidden gem called Moyo island.

We bought some supplies from the local market and the next day we were off to Moyo island

The boat owner said that his boat was equipped with a small bathroom and kitchen: this meant that there was a hole in the hull aft of the boat with a curtain for some privacy and right next to it there was a gas tank with a small stove to cook. Of course there was no fresh water or sink, but hey, we love adventure!

We left at sunset from Sumbawa Besar and reached Moyo at night, slept on the floor of the top deck underneath a trillion stars. The first approach with Moyo island was definitely unforgettable and one of the best experiences we had in our life.

The next day when we woke up, our boat was anchored on the north coast of Moyo island.

The Wild Monkeys and The Flying Foxes

 Finally it was our chance to step foot on Moyo. Some friendly locals were happy to see some foreigners visiting their small village. One of them climbed up on a palm tree and picked some coconut, opened them and made us drink the water inside. We also had a small walk in the jungle and spotted some wild monkeys and myriad of butterflies. As we always say: it was love at first sight with Moyo island.


Some late afternoon snorkeling complemented our first rendezvous with this wild paradise island. At sunset, while one guy from the boat crew was preparing a delicious fish curry, we saw a bunch of wild pigs on a secluded beach, eating the fruits fallen from the trees and a huge colony of flying foxes took off for their night hunt. It just felt like being in another world. Moyo island looked like a secret place with plenty to offer to nature lovers.

The Reef and Lady Diana Waterfall

The next day we went to Satonda island, a few minutes away from the north coast of Moyo. We visited the salty lake, we snorkeled along impressive coral reefs with plenty of marine life.

On our last day we finally went to the famous Mata Jitu, aka Lady Diana waterfall. This was definitely the biggest surprise for us. It was unbelievable to discover how a place can give such a feeling of inner peace in contact with nature.

After visiting the waterfall we headed north again and we basically went all around the island. We passed in front of the majestic Tambora Volcano. Tambora is so huge that when you are so close to it, it is difficult to recognize the shape of the volcano. It was another incredible sight of our visit to Moyo island.

Our last night on the boat was another magical one. Sleeping underneath all those stars. The next morning we cruised south to reach Sumbawa Besar.

After these 3 days, it didn’t take long for us to figure out that Moyo island was the place we were looking for. It was the beginning of a very long and beautiful journey.

Waterfall Moyo Island - Mata Jitu
Divers at Blue emOcean - Moyo Island

Exploring Moyo

A mythical, tropical paradise with dreamy beaches and flamboyant reefs, overshadowed by fierce volcanoes. Read more about the island and what you can do here.

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