Alor Liveaboard Diving
Alor liveaboard diving is an amazing adventure. Drift over reefs entirely covered in anemones, dance with an ancient tribe, relax on deck while looking out for super pods of dolphins and see the Holy Grail of Fish – Rhinopias!
Alor can be dived on Coralia as part of an extended tour either to the Forgotten Islands or combined with Komodo. In 2021 we have one special Alor cruise from Maumere to Maumere.
Best places to Dive in Alor
The islands of Alor and Pantar are part of the Alor regency. You will also dive next to the island of Kawula and Adonara which are both west of Alor.
Alor is home to the holy grail of fish, Rhinopias. Something about the conditions here make this area one of the top places in the world to see this rare fish. There are several dive sites where there is a good chance to find them. Kalabahi Bay is one such place. This bay is where you will experience the fantastic muck diving of Alor.
Alongside Rhinopias we will look for all types of octopus, frogfish, ghost pipefish, squid, cuttlefish, weird and wonderful shrimps and nudibranchs galore! Mucky Mosque, Rocky Church and Pertamina Jetty are some of the other dive sites inside Kalabahi.
Pulau Raja, close to Maumere is a beautiful island with a fantastic fringing reef. This island is the perfect stopover on the way from Komodo to Alor. Pulau Babi is also close to Maumere and this will usually be where the last two dives of a trip finishing at Maumere will be.
Here the walls are decorated with huge gorgonian sea fans and pygmy seahorses make these their home. Nudibranchs, moray eels, lionfish and a myriad of reef fish live at Babi. The topography at one dive site is fascinating, with a huge crack seemingly splitting one side of the island in two.
Bacatan is on the island of Kawula. At the entrance to this big bay is a dive site called Bacatan Ledges. A drift dive will take you past a wall full of sea fans and sponges with a chance to see schooling jacks and pelagics such as eagle rays, tunas and sharks.
Inside the bay is the sea mount of Takat Prau and the reef and sand of Padang Pasir. Takat Prau has a small wooden fishing boat on one side of the pinnacle and in the shallows, are resident leaf fish. During the day, the reef at Padang Pasir holds delights such as pyjama cardinal fish, juvenile barramundi cod and stonefish, and at night star gazers, crocodile flatfish and demon stingers emerge from the sand.
Muck Diving in Alor
Muck diving is an affectionate name for diving over the top of sandy or silty bottoms. Most of the muck diving in Alor is on black sand. Here we look for weird and wonderful creatures hiding in the sand.
Waiwowan is on the island of Adonara. This is a full day of muck diving where we will look for Rhinopias. Rare shrimp, mimic octopus, candy crabs, cuttlefish, leaf fish, frogfish, ghost pipefish have all been spotted here. There is also a chance to dive at a jetty here. Giant frogfish seem to favour this spot, along with schools of catfish.
Abui Traditional Dance
Alor is also home to an ancient tribe called the Abui. During any cruise to Alor, Coralia will visit a traditional village to watch and take part in dances and ceremonies of these friendly people. An absolute highlight of any tour to Alor.
Alor Liveaboard Diving Highlights
- Fantastic muck diving in Kalabahi Bay
- Visit the ancient Abui Tribe
- Drift over a reef entirely covered in anemones
- Relax on deck while looking for dolphins, whales and molas (sunfish)
- Common sightings – nudibranchs, leaf fish, anemone fish, turtles, reef octopus, schooling fish, ghost pipefish, plus many more special creatures
- Special sightings – Rhinopias, frogfish, bumblebee shrimps, tiger shrimps, wunderpus or mimic octopus
Best Time to Go
Alor can be dived all year round but it is best dived with on a liveaboard cruise. Coralia visits Alor in April/May and again August/September. This is when the sea is calmest and you will be able to dive in the southern areas.
How to Get There
Coralia’s cruises through Alor depart from Maumere or Labuanbajo. Both of these harbours are on the island of Flores. There are direct flights from Bali to both towns. The airport codes are MOF for Maumere and LBJ for Labuanbajo. Bali international airport is DPS. It is now also possible to fly direct to Maumere or Labuanbajo via Jakarta (CGK).
Garuda runs flights on both routes. At the time of writing, Garuda offers an extra 23kg per person for dive gear. Be ready to show your diving certification and that your extra baggage is made up of dive equipment. Most flights for Maumere or Labuanbajo depart in the morning.
At the end of the cruise you can arrange for a morning or afternoon flight back to Bali to Jakarta. Please remember that if you fly in the morning then you might be restricted on the number of dives you partake in the day before. Usually, on the last full day on board, we will do two dives in the morning. Finishing by around 1pm.
You can take an international flight into Bali or Jakarta to connect with your domestic flight. We recommend arriving in Bali or Jakarta at least one day before your domestic flight. We also recommend you book your return international flight for one day after the end of the cruise.
Useful Alor Liveaboard Cruise Information
- All divers can join an Alor cruise. However, good buoyancy is essential at the muck diving sites.
- Transfers to and from the airport are included. From Maumere airport to the harbour is around a 20 minute drive. From Labuanbajo airport to the harbour is around a 15 minute drive. You will then be transferred by a short speedboat ride to Coralia.
- Water temperature – ranges between 21°C and 29° Thermoclines could reduce the temperature to below 20°C.
- Therefore, the water can get cold in Alor so bring a hood or hooded vest plus a 3mm or 5mm long wetsuit.
- Visibility is usually very good, ranging from 20-30 metres. Inside the bays the visibility may be less but it’s ok because here we’re looking for critters!
- Alor is part of Indonesia. The currency is Indonesian Rupiah or IDR.
- There are some great opportunities to buy souvenirs such as the colourful hand weaved traditional ikat so bring some IDR.
- If you would like to bring gifts for the children of Alor, we would have the opportunity to distribute them during the cruise. Please do not bring items wrapped in plastic as this plastic will not be disposed of appropriately. It is also best not to bring plastic toys or balloons. Most useful are things like pencils, pencil sharpeners, books, crayons, clothes, hair bands for girls, etc.
- Other on board options include kayaking, paddle board, beach visits, whale and dolphin watching.
Visit Alor with Coralia Liveaboard Indonesia !
Please have a look at Coralia’s cruise schedule to join us on an unforgettable diving adventure.
Also, please feel free to CONTACT US in case you have any questions. We look forward to assisting you.