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Ternate, Ternate, Indonesia

Sailing into Ternate in the Maluku Islands, you’ll first see the cone of volcanic Mt. Gamalama, which dominates the skyline at more than 5,600 feet in height. Then you may detect the scent of cloves; the island was the single biggest producer of the aromatic spice in pre-colonial days and clove orchards still ring the mountain. Fort Oranje was the first home of the Dutch East India Company in 1607. The Sultan’s Palace, now partly a museum, dates from 1756.  In 1858, Englishman Alfred Russel Wallace sent a copy of his so-called Ternate Essay on evolution theory to Charles Darwin, who was debating whether to publish his own conclusions. Darwin arranged for his own and Wallace’s papers to be read together at the Linnaean Society. A short trip to Lake Tolire offers views of the green-tinted lake from the rim of the crater that contains it and, with luck, one of the white crocodiles that occupy its waters. Ternate City’s impressive Al Munawwaroh Mosque is dramatically sited beside the sea. The black sand Sulamadaha Beach is the island’s most popular with snorkelers and divers attracted by its clear water.