The islands of Flores and Alor lie in south-eastern Indonesia, with Komodo National Park to the west and the Banda Sea to the north. Unsurprisingly these islands are therefore home to an abundance of marine life and present some wonderful scuba diving opportunities.
Flores is an island known for its impressive numbers of endemic species. You are likely to see many new species when diving here. Maumere Bay’s reefs, damaged by an earthquake in the 1990s rebounded strongly and are a great spot for adventurous divers looking to get away from the crowds of nearby Komodo.
Nearby islands such as Babi and Lambata are must-dive areas when in Flores. Rare weedy scorpionfish, wonderpus, sea apples, pygmy seahorses, mantis shrimp and leaffish all adorn the reefs here. Large gorgonians spread wide in current-swept channels, where garden eels carpet the sea floor, and occasional reef sharks and eagle rays may cruise by in the blue.
Alor, like Flores, is a great place for drift diving. Here current is your friend and takes you on a tour past healthy coral, vibrant reefs and around schooling fish. There is also excellent macro life when in sheltered areas, including pegasus, bobbit worms, Spanish dancers and even the rare Djibouti Giant! Around spots like Pura Island and Kal’s Dream, larger species abound such as dog-tooth tuna, barracuda and grey reef sharks. [More details on these dive sites: Flores and Alor].
Liveaboard Diving Safari Options in Flores and Alor
There a some diving trips in the liveaboards' schedules which concentrate only on the 2 islands of Flores and Alor. Such trips tend to be between 9 and 12 nights' duration.
Other trips take in some of the dive sites of this area and venture beyond. Alor & Banda Sea, and Banda Islands, Flores & Alor cruises tend to be for around 11 nights and include diving the Banda Islands and Ambon.
Other routes include Ambon, Banda Islands, The Forgotten Islands & Alor; Raja Ampat, Banda Sea & Alor; Raja Ampat National Park, Banda & Flores; or Komodo National Park, Sumbawa & Flores. See our dedicated Transit Trips section for more details.
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You can dive in Flores and Alor all year round, but the best conditions are the drier period of March to December when visibility is at its best. October and November are the months when current is most prevalent, particularly in Alor. Generally speaking the weather is more settled here than other parts of Indonesia.
Water temperatures are quite constant, varying very little during the year from around 25°C and a high of around 31°C. Both Alor and Flores are known for their macro diving and the seasonal movement of small animals is not really a factor. Alor has a great chance of providing you with big pelagic encounters with mola mola, particularly in September and, if you are extremely lucky, killer whales might put in an appearance.
Liveaboard Ports of Departure for Alor/Flores and How to Get There
Flores & Alor liveaboard cruises use the port of Maumere on Flores. You can fly to Maumere direct from Surabaya, Bali and Kupang. Banda Sea trips that also include either or both of Flores and Alor will use the ports of Maumere as well as Ambon. You can reach Ambon from Jakarta, Bali (often via Ujung Pandang) and Manado. Those safaris including Raja Ampat will use the port of Sorong. You can fly to Sorong direct from Bali, Jakarta, or via Ujung Pandang or Manado. We will provide you with all the 'how to get there' information you need for your chosen cruise.
You can view which ports the various boats use on their trips in the 'Departures & Prices' section of each boat's webpage. We will send you full departure details during the booking process. Whichever ports your boat uses, normally the boat operator provides a transfer to the boat from the local airport or hotels (if you overnight beforehand).
Most people fly into Indonesia to Jakarta (Java), Manado (Sulawesi) or Denpasar (Bali). More information on: how to get to Indonesia.
We recommend you take out insurance to cover diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programme for a competitive quotation:
Places to Stay
If you plan on staying in Indonesia before or after your Flores and Alor liveaboard diving safari, you can find a large range of accommodation options at hotelscombined.com, our affiliated hotel reservation specialists. Browse their website, use their on-line chat to ask questions, then simply use your credit card to make your booking:
All bookings carry a 'Low Price Guarantee' to ensure you get top-dollar value for money.