Alor Liveaboard Diving, Indonesia
Alor offers the ultimate liveaboard diving adventure. Drift dives over anemone covered reefs, critter hunts in Kalabahi Bay and ancient tribes of the Abui people await you.
Alor liveaboard diving offers the ultimate liveaboard adventure. Alor is the largest island of an archipelago of over 90 islands in the south east of Indonesia. Discover a hidden paradise and dive in the last frontier of East Indonesia.
Visit ancient tribes and dive unspoiled reefs. Drift over reefs covered in anemones. Be part of the critter hunts in Kalabahi Bay. Watch the lost tribe of the Abui people perform ancient dances.
Alor is a complete destination but can also be explored as part of an extended liveaboard cruise. This fantastic destination can be combined with a cruise to Komodo, or as part of a Banda Sea or Forgotten Islands tour.
Read more for Alor Liveaboard options, dive sites, trip highlights and best time to go information below.
Alor Liveaboard Diving, Indonesia - 39 LIVEABOARDS
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Alor is the largest island of an archipelago of over 90 islands in the southeast of Indonesia. Liveaboards will dive in different parts of this area, depending on the itinerary.
Alor Pantar Strait
The Pantar Strait runs between the island of Alor and Pantar. The waters flowing through this strait are from the Pacific in the north and the Indian Ocean in the south. Dolphins and even pilot whales can often be spotted here. During your surface intervals look out for other whales that use this passage on their migrations.
This huge movement of water creates conditions for unique and excellent diving. There are many dive sites here, we list a few of the best below.
Anemone City is a very special dive spot. It is on the south side of Pura Island. This little island is a small volcano island. There are some small villages on the island. This dive is usually a drift dive and what makes it so special is that the entire sea floor is covered in anemones. It is a sight to behold. Every rock and inch of space is taken up by anemones. If you can take your eyes away from the anemones, look out into the blue. Molas (sunfish), thresher sharks and other pelagic life have been seen here.
This small village is on the north of Pura Island. When the local villagers spot a liveaboard they will paddle out to say hi. Quite often an impromptu ikat market will set up alongside too! The children on Pura Island love to play in the ocean. They don homemade goggles and will pose for the underwater photographers. Yan Village is also a hotspot for finding Rhinopias and special critters on the black sandy slopes.
Kal’s Dream is a underwater sea mount. Schooling fusiliers, surgeons and snappers gather here. Reef sharks, rays and barracudas like to hang out here too.
Other dives sites include: The Arch, Babylon, Coral Cliffs and The Edge, all on Ternate Island. Cave Point, Crocodile Rock and Peter’s Prize are all on Buaya Island.
On the west side of Alor is Kalabahi Bay. Here you can experience world-class muck diving.
Named for the mosque on shore to mark the jump spot, this dive site is great as a day and night dive. The special Rhinopias can be seen here. Giant frogfish find spots in the sponges.
Jetties in Alor seems to be a hotspot for very special creatures. Every type of shrimp has been seen here. Bumblebee, tiger, harlequin to name a few. Seahorses and pipefish love the shallows under the jetty. Schools of batfish keep to the tall posts for protection to what might be lurking out in the deep.
Along the same shore line is a church which marks this rocky dive site. In the shallows are big rocks where large octopus make their homes. As you get deeper it turns into a sandy bottom full of the usual suspects that make a great critter dive.
Beang Abang Bay
Beang Abang Bay is on the south of Pantar Island.
Beang Abang Bay is a large bay that has rocky, deep sites at the edges. The rest of the bay is black sand. There is a jetty there now which very quickly attracted critters. Juveniles are the order of the day here. From tiny frogfish, to mini Rhinopias, this dive site seems to be a nursery for the babies! Mimic and wunderpus octopus have been spotted here. On a night dive look for the bobbit worm.
Lembata Island is overlooked by the large volcano of Lewotolo. There are several areas that a liveaboard may visit during an Alor cruise.
On the outside of a beautiful bay is Tanjung Bacatan. Enjoy an exciting drift dive along this sloping wall. Large sponge and tall whip corals adorn the walls. Special macro life such as pygmies and dragon shrimps live here. But be sure to look out into the blue to see schooling fish and perhaps a passing pelagic.
A top muck dive area that has several dive sites running along the shore. Rhinopias make this area their home. Special octopus, seahorses, candy crabs, pipefish and shrimps are some of the special critters. There is also a ferry jetty where catfish school around the posts. Giant frogfish seem to like this spot too.
Maumere can be the start or finish point of a liveaboard cruise that visits Alor. Some liveaboards dive in Maumere Bay itself. This sandy bay offers all the special creatures, including seahorses, flamboyant cuttlefish and scorpion fish.
Close to Maumere is the island of Babi. This small island is surrounded by steep walls. The walls are covered in sea fans, whip corals and sponges. Pygmy seahorses can be spotted on the gorgonian sea fans. Nudibranchs like it here too.
Alor Scuba Diving Highlights
- Common Sightings - Schooling fish, frogfish, octopus, nudibranch, ghost pipefish, squid, bumblebee shrimps, juvenile barramundi cod, plus many other critters.
- Special Sightings - The Holy Grail of Fish – Rhinopias, large pelagics, large pods of dolphins and pilot whales, sunfish (Mola ramsayi).
- Topography – Ranges from deep sloping reefs and walls, rocky shallows and black sand muck dives.
- Visibility – In the north it is usually 25+ metres. In Kalabahi Bay and the south it can be less, around 10-15 metres, but this is where you are looking for critters so no problem!
- General Information – Diving in Alor requires good buoyancy control for the muck diving sites. Some dive sites can be prone to strong currents so divers should be comfortable in these conditions and on drift dives.
- Onboard Options - Land excursion to see the traditional Abui Tribe on Alor. Village visits on the island of Pura or a Beang Abang Bay.
A highlight in this area is a visit to one of the Abui Tribe villages on Alor. Some liveaboards offer a land excursion here. At the entrance to the village you will be greeted by members of the Abui Tribe. After a ‘welcome' dance involving lots of dancing and moving of spears and bows and arrows, you will be invited into their village. You can then witness some traditional dancing. Afterwards there is an opportunity to purchase souvenirs. You can buy traditional woven textiles or ‘ikats'.
Village visits are possible throughout cruises in this area. Beang Abang Bay has a hot spring on the beach. Pura Islands has a few quaint villages that can be toured. Some liveaboards may offer beach visits.
Best Time to Go
You can dive all year round in Alor. Liveaboards are generally there in March to June and September to November.
How to Get There
Liveaboards offer Alor as a unique destination or as part of an extended tour. To join liveaboards for an Alor cruise, you will need to fly into Maumere (MOF) on the island of Flores.
Maumere can be reached with a short domestic flight out of Bali (DPS).