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Why Alor Island Should Be Your Next Scuba Diving Destination

Dive Guide for Alor Island

If you are wondering why Alor Island should be your next scuba diving destination, I will share with you the information based on my recent trip there in September 2017.

First of all, Alor Island is located in the east of Nusa Tenggara, just after the island of Flores in Indonesia.

And second, Alor is one of those places that not many people have explored, making this one of truly raw destinations in the world for scuba diving. 

Alor Island is part of the Alor Archipelago and has only one main town called Kalabahi where the main airport is located at.

In total, Alor Island is home to around 200,000 people which are mostly found in the remote villages around here. 

The main industries of Alor Island are mostly homegrown small industries like farming and cultivating. With a slow development, there is not much infrastructure here, but roads are connecting the island.

Why Alor Island Should Be Your Next Scuba Diving Destination?

Scuba Diving Pulau Alor
Incredible clear waters of Alor Island

As tourism is one of the up and coming industries in Alor Island, it is mainly due to scuba diving and snorkelling at the incredibly clear waters and rich marine life.

However, there is only one main hotel found in Kalabahi which is the two-star Pulo Alor Island. That is it, and I am not kidding. 

The other accommodations are a few locally operated beach lodges and homestays. Usually, divers that visit here will opt for the live-on-board boats for scuba diving.

There are no proper restaurants, cafes or modern retail shops and everything is still raw and untouched here. 

So why you should make Alor your next scuba diving destination? Simply because of the non-commercialization, these places take you to a place never before experienced.

People are not spoiled by modernization and this is one of the best factors to visit here.

Dive Guide Alor Island
Some of the accommodations seen at the smaller islands of Alor

Scuba Diving at Alor Island

Right now, there are probably only five dive operators on the entire island, where they are all located in the town of Kalabahi.

One of the reputable operators here is no other than Donovan of Dive Alor Dive, who has 25 years of experience diving these waters and its surroundings.

The great news is that there are over 63 dive sites at Alor Island, suited for experienced divers and those with advanced open water certification.

Each of the sites provides unique experiences, and the main highlight is the incredible clarity or visibility at all these sites.

Divers at Alor Island
One of the Alor Island dive sites with incredible visibility

The main reason for this is that the place is not commercialized. This means, at any dive site you visit, it will be only your group.

This is not like diving at Komodo Island where it has become a major tourist attraction.

Alor Island is still considered as one of the undiscovered dive destinations of Indonesia and is a very raw place.

Things are still as they were 50 years ago as development here is one of the slowest. Honestly, I really like this place because of this.

For anyone planning to dive in Alor, I would suggest you come with a small group as the costs are cheaper when combined together.

Read about my Alor Dive trip report from my visit here in September 2017.

Dive Operators in Alor Island

1. Dive Alor Dive
2. Alor Divers
3. Alor Diving Kepa
4. Alami Dive Alor
5. Air Dive Alor

Alor Island Airport
Bandar Udara Mali-Alor, the main airport on Alor Island

How to get to Alor Island?

Generally, I would recommend you fly in from Kupang in Flores which is a one hour flight and this is the best and fastest way to get here. For my visit here, I took the local flights from Kupang to Alor.

Alternatively, some ferries operate from Kupang and other smaller ports around East Nusa Tenggara, but this can be tricky or take a longer time.

There are private boats that operate from Kupang to Alor, but the journey can take hours.

If you are going backpacking style, then you really need to do your homework as not many people speak English.

I would strongly recommend you make arrangements with your dive operator, so they can have everything pre-arranged for you when you arrive.

Alor Takpala Tribe
The Abui tribe of Takpala Village on Alor Island

What Else Can You Do In Alor Island? 

While diving is the main itinerary here, there are in the face several things that you can do in Alor Island which is quite general.

In most cases, you will either be staying at a homestay, Pulo Alor Hotel or on the live-on-board boats.

I would personally recommend visiting the local town and markets, with a guide of course, and sample some of the local Alornese food.

One of them to try is the betel nut chewing which is absolutely out of this world. This should always be done with a local guide too.

You should also make it a point to explore the Takpala Village, which is a traditional Alornese ethnic village.

The village is open for tourism and usually, the trips here are arranged by your travel or dive operator and must be visited with a local guide.

Hotel Pulo Alor Island
Pulo Alor Hotel, the best and only hotel on Alor Island


For seasoned scuba divers, if you are planning to visit Komodo to dive, I would recommend you consider adding in Alor Island as your next scuba diving destination.

This is because you have already made your way to this part of Indonesia and Alor is just the next island on the east of Flores.

It is totally undiscovered offering divers a whole new world of underwater adventures. Again, after doing some scuba diving at Alor Island, Komodo seems like another Bali.

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