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Diving in Alor

Volcanic Mountains G'Alore

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...Highlights: schooling fish & big pelagics, great macro life/ marine diversity...
...Diving environment: healthy reefs, drift diving, advanced divers, off the beaten track...

Snake eels can be found night diving in Alor - photo courtesy of Cary Yanny

When scuba divers talk about wanting to get away to a remote location in the middle of nowhere and do some amazing diving then this is what they mean. Alor, a small island north of West Timor in Eastern Indonesia, offers dives which are absolutely world class and it is a long, long way from the office.

Superb macro life, amazing coral and benthic diversity, and schooling fish are the main marine attractions in Alor. An unusual and excellent bonus of diving here is the likelihood of spotting pilot whales and dolphins from your dive boat. Alor tends to be a liveaboard diving destination and is suitable primarily for experienced divers due to the prevalent strong currents and eddies and its remote location.

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Dive Site Descriptions

Kal's Dream - Although some recent reports from liveaboards in Alor suggest it is not all that it once was, this remains a wonderful and colourful site where a large number and variety of fish are all but guaranteed. A further guarantee is the low density of scuba divers. Show more

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How to Dive Alor


Although there are now a couple of dive resorts in the Alor archipelago, these tend to focus their options solely in the Pantar Strait - the body of water that separates Alor's 2 main islands.

However, the remoteness of the region lends itself well to a liveaboard trip that can visit other amazing Indonesian diving destinations in the vicinity, such as Flores, the Banda Sea, the Forgotten Islands, Ambon, and even the imperious Raja Ampat. This simply would not be possible if you were to stay at and dive from a resort.

For more information on the cruise routes and durations, and all the other travel information you might need to visit Indonesia, check out our Alor - Flores liveaboard section.



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Diving Season

You can dive in Alor all year round, but the best conditions are from March to December, with October and November being the months when current is most prevalent. Outside of that time the surface conditions can be unsettled and there is greater chance of rain and reduced visibility. However, although the chance of such disturbances are higher at this time, the weather is usually pretty settled and many scuba divers visit at any time of the year and enjoy great conditions.

Water temperatures vary from a low of around 25°C (March to April and October to November) to 31/32°C from May to September, which is the southeast monsoon period. During this period the normally good visibility of around 25-30m can drop to 15m or less due to plankton blooms.

Additionally, Alor is well known for its muck diving which means conditions and the seasonal movement of creatures do not really affect the diving. Pegasus sea moths, mimic octopus and sea horses don't travel very far. Larger animals that might put in an appearance include orcas (killer whales) and sunfish (aka mola mola). September is the best time to spot mola mola.

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Where is Alor and How Do I Get There?

Review our map below of Indonesia, showing the location of Alor. Here, you will find information on how to get to the ports of departure in Indonesia, from where you will cruise to Alor.

Map of Indonesia (click to enlarge in a new window)

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Reef Summary

Depth: 12 - 40m
Visibility: 12 - 30m
Currents: Can be very strong
Surface conditions: Can be rough
Water temperature: 26 - 32°C
Experience level: Advanced only
Number of dive sites: >15
Distance: ~60 km north of Kupang (West Timor, 3 hours), 300 km east of Flores (15 hours) and 1,350 km south west of Sorong (West Papua, 60 hours)
Recommended length of stay: 4 - 5 days

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Useful References


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