This spot has been added by


20 spots added - 633 photos shared

Other contributors You can help us keep this page up-to-date by uploading your pictures to the photo gallery, or by sending us your comments via the contact form

Last updated on

Pulau Hatta is a small off-the-beaten-track island of the Banda archipelago, in the Southern Maluku Islands. It is famous for its steep reef drop-off, filled with corals, which stretches along its coasts. Book a few nights in one of the island’s homestay and explore the reef, where a great diversity of colorful fish awaits.

Hatta Island reef drop off
Hatta Island’s reef is almost vertical.

How to get to Hatta Island snorkeling spot?

Pulau Hatta (Hatta Island) is one of ten islands of the Banda archipelago, in the Indonesian province of Moluccas. Each week, several boats make the trip between Banda Neira (the archipelago’s capital, equipped with an airport) and Hatta Island. It is also possible to charter your own boat to spend the day on the island from Banda Neira. The trip takes about 1 hour.

Hatta Island (Pulau Hatta) snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Hatta Island’s reef

We recommend entering the water from the beach, near the village. It is indeed at this location that the reef is the narrowest, and therefore that accessing the drop-off is the easiest.

Hatta Island’s reef snorkeling exploration tips

The recommended snorkeling location is the coral reef which begins near the “old village”, one of the two villages of Pulau Hatta, found on the northern side of the island. The reef then stretches along much of its western coast.

Get into the water in the village, where the reef is very narrow, then follow the drop-off to the left. The reef widens as you go west, until it reaches a width of about 300m.

Sea lily in Hatta Island
A sea lily in the middle of a brain coral, surrounded by lather coral.

Hatta Island is famous for its vibrant reef drop-off, very steep. It is full of dozens of species of healthy hard and soft corals, punctuated by sea lilies (or crinoids) and gorgonians swinging in the current.

On the reef flat and along the reef wall, you’ll encounter the amazing diversity of fish that live in the region, one of the richest in the world. As you snorkel, you will easily spot butterflyfish (including large schools of pyramid butterflyfish), triggerfish, angelfish and surgeonfish, among dozens of other species.

On the reef edge, groups of sea goldies, green chromis, sergeant majors and bicolor chromis. Keep an eye on the blue, where sometimes a sea turtle or a Maori wrasse appears.

Soft coral cover in Hatta Island
A scrawled butterflyfish and a unicornfish noted on the reef.

The drop-off extends for several hundred meters, but do not stray too far from the entrance point, especially if there is a current.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There are several homestays in the “old village”, some on the beach, facing the reef. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are generally included in the room price.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m on the reef, +30ft/10m after the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.