Indonesia’s exotic Spice Islands

Indonesia is home to some of the most intrepid travel destinations on the planet. Among them are the Spice Islands, also known as the [Moluccas or Maluku islands](, an archipelago of more than 1,000 islands set on a vast canvas of ocean that today, as in centuries past, is best explored by boat. The roots of Indonesia’s spice trade trace back to ancient times, when shipping routes between Africa and Indonesia were first initiated (the first people to settle in the Spice Islands are in fact related to the people of Madagascar), and it continued with the Portuguese, Spanish, English and Dutch trade routes in the 16th Century. Today, these islands are still the world’s top producers of nutmeg, mace, cloves and pepper. (Chris Jackson/