The Alor archipelago, comprised by a series of rugged, volcanic islands is one of Indonesia’s best kept secrets. The final link in the island chain stretching east of Java, the scenery is nothing short of wild. Described by Lonely Planet as being “drop-dead gorgeous”, jagged peaks, white-sand beaches and crystal clear bays showcase the vast array of eye-popping coral gardens and migratory pelagics. Whilst only a small archipelago with many of the islands uninhabited, the region is notable for its staggering cultural diversity, with no less than 100 tribes speaking a total of 8 different languages and 52 dialects.
Dutch settlers fixed local rajas in the coastal areas in the early 1900’s, but were unable to penetrate the interior with its fierce headhunters up until as late as the 1950’s. This area remains known for its enduring indigenous animist traditions and the highland villages with their Moko kettledrums.
The underwater topography consists of breathtaking walls and coral gardens occupied by large schools of fish whilst the deep channels of the archipelago make up part of the migratory route for many types of whales. These waters are notorious for powerful currents, particularly in the narrow straits between Pantar, Alor and Lembata, attracting predators such as hammerhead sharks.
If the picturesque landscape, high voltage currents, reefs adorned in healthy corals and vast array of marine life wasn’t enough, approximately 4 hours off the coastline lies the island of Komba, where the active Batu Tara volcano can be found. Erupting roughly every 20-30 minutes, visitors can watch the great crater belch clouds of smoke and ash as they descend to dive coral gardens behind the island. The rumble of the volcano can be heard underwater and adrenalin junkies will emerge from the waters depths to nature’s best fireworks display.
Between the scenic beauty above and below the water, the sheer variety of marine flora and fauna and the fascinating traditions of the local inhabitants, Alor offers an experience unlike any other and on every level for those seeking the final frontiers left on earth.
Liveaboard Diving in Alor
Above water the region is shaped and defined by the incredible volcanism of the region and as we cruise through we encounter one of Indonesia’s most active volcano! Eruptions occur almost every half an hour presenting you with a breathtaking photo opportunity whilst you relax between dives. Depending on your wishes we can offer you extra land excursions to discover the local Lizard dragons (related to the Komodo dragon close cousins), and visit the local cultures who have safeguarded their traditions and customs through the ages – megalithic tombs, and symbolic architecture unique to the area representing the ever present spirits and infuence of male and female ancestors.
The local reefs are still untouched and diving there offers a great alternative to many mainstream destinations of Indonesia. Ýou will find a wide range of hard and soft corals ,critters, including the rare Rhinopias and Wunderpus, some high voltage big fish dives Mola Mola, Hammerhead Sharks , pods of Dolphins, and if you are lucky Sperm Whales or Blue Whales migrating through the Pantar Strait or resting in Kalabahi Bay.
In total there are at least around 50 dive sites in Alor and something for everyone. Above the water Alor is a fantastic travel destination for all nature lovers. As a highly volcanic region you will experience stunning landscape and active volcanos that erupts almost every 30 minutes. Many exotic birds call this area home .
Cruise Holiday Information
The climate of Alor is pleasant: from early April to October it’s almost dry and nights are often cold. Onboard Calico Jack offer some interesting land adventures , such as visiting hill tribes or the famous three-coloured crater lakes of Kelimutu and meet the children of Alor who love to dive down to meet you with their famous wooden goggles are also a highlight on a trip in this area.
Calico Jack departs from Kalibahi harbour 45km the Airport of Alor island, located in East Nusa Tenggarah in Eastern Flores, serviced daily from Bali, by Lion and NAM airlines.
We also have itineraries that depart from Alor and continue through the wilds and far East of Indonesia to Sumlaki – the Forgotten Islands please check our schedule for details.