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Alor Diving

Indonesian Liveaboards

Spanish Dancer - Indonesia - photo courtesy of Indo Aggressor

When people talk about wanting to get away from it all and do some amazing scuba diving in the middle of nowhere, this is what they mean. Alor is a small island north of West Timor. It offers absolutely world class diving and it is a long, long way from the office.

An excellent bonus here is the likelihood of spotting pilot whales and dolphins from the boat. Diving in Alor tends to be suitable for experienced divers due to strong currents and eddies and the remote location.

The Dive Sites

Kal's Dream - Some recent Alor liveaboard reports suggest this site is not all that it once was, but it still remains a wonderful and colourful site where a large number and variety of fish are all but guaranteed. You are also guaranteed a low density of fellow scuba divers.

You will make a negative entry and fin down to the sea mount around which the action takes place. You quickly see swarms of anthias flickering above the corals as you look out for the bigger fish species. If you are lucky you may see schools of fusiliers, surgeons and snappers. The sightings may also include grey reef sharks, barracudas and rays.

Sharks Galore is off the coast of Pura Island. It is a site where you can get away from the currents without compromising your fun. Given the name, it is no surprise that there is a good chance you will see plenty of sharks here in what is normally a still or gentle drift dive.

You may feel very small indeed as you watch the big grey reef sharks and white tips cruise around in the company of hefty dog-toothed tuna. If conditions are right you may finish this dive on the adjacent Alor site known as Clown Valley.

Just off the beach outside Biangabang village on Pantar Island is The Twilight Zone. There is a steaming hot spring on the beach that might make you expect the water here to be warm. Don't be fooled, it can get pretty chilly here. The dive starts to the south of the beach by a lava flow and you can choose to head further south over the reef or to head north on to the volcanic black sand. You can drop down to 40 metres or below but most life is found in the shallower waters.

As the name alludes to, this is a site for weird and unusual creatures that you will need to be eagle-eyed to spot here. Spearing mantis shrimps peer up at divers, focusing their independently movable stalked eyes. These nocturnal creatures are rarely seen out of their holes in day light but lucky scuba divers may see them hunting aggressively at night.

Octopuses are all around the coral mounds including the much sought after mimic. Pegasus seamoths can be found in the rubble areas. Bobbit worms and gurnard lionfish inhabit the sand, while the rare soapfish inhabit the reef areas. On night dives you may see Spanish dancers performing their incredible dance. This is also one of the few places in the world where the huge and rarely seen nudibranch Djibouti Giant has been seen.


Staying at Alor

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Diving Season

You can dive in Alor all year round, but the best conditions during the year are from March to December.

How to Get There

Snake Eel - photo courtesy of Cary Yanny

Reef Basics

Great for: Large animals, small animals, drift diving and advanced divers
Not so great for: Wrecks, beginners and non-diving activities
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 West Timor (3 hours), 1,000 km east of Bali (50 hours), 300 km east of Flores (15 hours) and 1,350 km south west of West Papua (60 hours)
Access: Indonesian liveaboard
Recommended length of stay: 4 - 5 days

Other sites that can be dived as part of an Alor liveaboard cruise:


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