Alor, Indonesia
The volcanic island Alor is part of to the province East Nusa Tenggara, located north of Timor, east of Flores

What to see: Muck diving, coral, the biggest anemone field. Marine life includes rhinopias, frogfish, nudibranchs, shrimp, crabs, seahorses, pipefish, mollusks, big stuff like sharks and rays. With some luck it might even be possible to see Mola Molas, Orkas, dolphins (these two only from the boat) and whales
Underwater Photography from Alor

Diving: Boat diving, depending on the site most shops will offer two morning dives back to back

Level: Experienced divers, underwater photographers, the currents can be crazy

Who should go there: Divers who are looking for special critters, small stuff, drift dives and underwater photographers.

How to get there: Flight to Alor from Jakarta, Denpasar or Surabaya via Kupang. Transnusa and Wings Air fly between Kupang and Alor. The flights are often delayed, make sure you allow enough transfer time. From the Airport in Alor taxi or organized transfer through the resort. Alternatively, it is possible to dive the area on a liveaboard.

Where to stay and dive: With one of the resorts or a liveaboard. The resorts are Dive Alor, Alor Divers – Eco Dive Resort, Alor DiveLa P’tite Kepa, Alami Alor Resort and Air Dive Alor

Rates: For one week including accommodation, food and 2 dives per day between € 500 and 1500 in one of the resorts, starting at € 3000 for one week on one of the liveaboards.

Climate: Around 28°C all year round, some rain all year round, most September to November

Water temperature: 24-29°C with thermoclines down to 17°C, the north is usually warmer

Visibility: 20-40 m

Season: Mid March till mid December, some of the resorts close outside of the season.

Favorite dive sites: “Anemone City”: I have never seen that many anemones before in one huge field, “Lobang Bocor”: Rhinopias heaven, that was the place where we have found 6 rhinopias in just that one dive site. It took us two dives to take photos of all of them though.

 

My trip:

I flew from Denpasar with Garuda which allowed to get from Bali to Alor the same day. I did stay at La P’tite Kepa, which is located on the small island Kepa just off Alor.
The small resort offers the best dive guides that will find all the critters, small group diving, a lot of freedom for the divers and all the staff is just awesome. The resort is very basic but lovely and cosy. Some more luxurious bungalows are available. I did stay in the most basic bungalow category with shared bathroom (and bucket showers), did 14 dives including one night dive and one afternoon dive for € 550.