Scuba diving Alor was not on my radar before, probably because I’d never heard of it, just like most people. The Indonesian Tourism Authority wanted to promote the scuba industry in some of their world-class, yet relatively unknown locations throughout the country, and sent me to Alor, assuring me it is worth my time. During our very first dive, the scuba diving in Alor not just made it on my radar, but also as one of the best locations in Indonesia.
Each dive site I tried out had something different to offer, and the surface intervals we spent boating between the islands offered amazing scenery. One day we even ran into a huge school of dolphins and pilot whales on the surface, and just stayed with them for a good 20 minutes. There are tons of great scuba diving sites in Alor, and I’ll get to those soon, but I also saw much more on the surface, making it even more rewarding to visit.
Some times, while motoring between dive sites, we would see enormous whirlpools in the channels, or huge currents that look just like rivers in the ocean, and they were amazing sites to see in person. But finding dive sites without current was definitely doable. During some of the surface intervals we would park the boat at a remote island, and the village kids would row their little canoes out to hangout with us. Check out my vlog from day one in Alor below.
Scuba Diving Alor, Indonesia
Dive sites in Alor
- Kal’s dream: Get to this site, and you’re going to run into plenty of barracuda, black tip sharks, morays and more cool critters. This is one of the most popular dive sites.
- Mike’s Delight: If you are scuba diving Alor to see banded sea kraits, this is the place. I ran into no less then 10, from huge to tiny. Great dive.
- Cathedral: When asking local dive guides, Cathedral was always a favorite dive site in Alor. There is a drop-off and thermocline, but you can see tons of macro critters, along side rays and other big stuff.
- Anemone Valley – Right next to the small village of Apuri, this location is known for having the highest concentration of anemones in the world, and I couldn’t believe how many there were (as well as clownfish obviously).
- Current Alley: Just like the name suggests, this is a strong current dive, and is a perfect spot to see hammerheads and a variety of sharks, as well as lots of other pelagic.
- The Arch: This is a sweet dive with a 10 meter tall arch and other cool formations. Definitely worth a visit.
- Red Wall: There is some cool volcanic activity here, with occasional gas bubbles being released. Besides that you still see lots of nudibranchs, fusiliers and more.
- Max’s Point: This site is hit and miss. It is either spectacular, or nothing, depending on what shows up. If you are lucky you can see big pelagics drifting by, from rays and sharks and more.
- Great Wall of Pantar: The are a ton of walls dives in Alor, and this is one of the best. You’ll see tons of orange and pink sponge and a lot of other crazy colored corals and critters.
- Wolang Cave: There is two caverns here, one with some whitetip sharks in it, and the other with sponges and lobsters and more. Great place to scuba dive.
- Shark Galore: This dive site is near Anemone Valley, and has relatively low current where you can see some large grey sharks, white tips and more.
- Undiscovered sites? Alor is relatively remote and untouristy, so who knows how many amazing dive locations can still be discovered.
All in all I am very glad I got the opportunity to try out the scuba diving in Alor, which is probably in the top 5 most untouristy scuba locations I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to a lot of them). Scuba diving Indonesia is one of the best experiences a diver can have, and Alor is one you need to experience. It was great being able to be surprised that there are still amazing scuba diving locations that I’ve never heard of, that are such high quality, and it was so fun creating my daily videos on Instagram from a location almost none of my views had heard of. I would definitely recommend heading to Alor on your next Indonesia trip, and getting off the beaten path.
My next stop is another remote location in Indonesia, so follow me along while I scuba dive Maumere!
How to get to Alor
To get to Alor Island, you will have to take a budget airline such as Wings or Nam Airlines from Bali or Jakarta, and when I went we had a layover in Kupang, then Lionair the rest of the way. Flights are relatively cheap, but fully expect long delays, even for only 50 minute flights. If your flight from Kupang to Alor is delayed there’s a nice lounge in the airport with wifi, food and AC.
Where to stay in Alor
There is really only one hotel in Alor, called Pulo Alor, except for some home stays and a hostel or two far out. But luckily this hotel has its own dive center and nice dive boats, and this is who we dove with this week. Don’t expect luxury, but you’re probably heading to Alor for its scuba diving, and that’s top notch.
When you’re in alor, you should also visit takpala village, to see traditional dancing and a cultural experience like no other!