Diving in Alor – Richness Beyond Land

Submitted by mumunmumun on 28 September 2015   •  Destination

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Alor is slowly emerging on the travelers map. Personally, I think it’s becoming known the same way as Wakatobi, because it’s a recommended diving destination with the growing diving market. A lot of prominent divers and friends have been to Alor and most of them come back with good things to say. Many have also chosen it as their favorite dive spot, even compared to Raja Ampat and Komodo Island. Well, there’s really one way to prove it. The time came for me to go diving in Alor! Yay!

Diving in Alor with Bubu

Diving in Alor is usually signed by the ‘bubu’.


Although I had visited Alor as written here, I had yet descended far in the water, as I wasn’t a certified diver back then. Different to now. In the event of Alor’s festival this year, I was invited specifically for diving in Alor, see its underwater wonders and to promote more of its abundance.

I can’t really say that this is a review for diving in Alor in general. I had only been diving in Alor specifically in three dive sites and snorkeled a few locations. Overall I can say, I lost my jaw ‘cause it dropped somewhere during diving in Alor. I might have been brought to some easy spots such as Pura Island and Sembaja, but that alone was gorgeous. The corals were really healthy and dense. It left little space for rocks and rubble.

Diving in Alor - the underwater scene in Alor

The Bama Wall specifically was the best wall to date for me. I’ve seen some pretty full-on walls covered with corals but Bama Wall was like a rainbow had puked it. It was dense like a tropical forest and my eyes couldn’t stop looking at all directions. I’m pretty much satisfied if I can find my own creatures without the help of a dive guide and, miraculously, I found a nudibranch with a cow-like pattern, a fish that suck on leafy corals, and a fish that snuck in a soft coral that I had never seen before.

I’m guessing the visibility wasn’t the best but it didn’t bother me much as there was plenty to see right under my nose. The water was crisp cool, at times a little cold. However, it explains mola-mola (sunfish) sightings around the area.

Diving in Alor - the creatures

Foto in the middle by Eaz from Backpackerinfo.com

Each spot I dropped down to was crazy abundant with fish. I was really impressed with the sites in Komodo Islands, but I think I like Alor Islands more. I saw a shark and eagle rays, napoleons, schoolings of giant sweetlips, countless schoolings of fish and a turtle from the boat. I was a happy diver!

Did I mention that I love seeing ‘bubu’s? Dive spots in Alor are usually decorated with ‘bubu’s. They’re the local traditional fish traps, placed on the water floor deeper than three meters, manually by the local fisherman. Not only is it environmentally friendly, aesthetically it’s the icon of Alor water and for some reason it looks adorable. Or that’s just me. And I love its name. Bubu (pronounced Boo-boo)! 

Diving in Alor - Fishermen setting bubus up

Fishermen placing Bubu’s. The real divers. 

Diving in Alor – For Advance Divers

There’s a necessity to emphasize that diving in Alor is preferably for advance divers or those with a lot of logs. I snorkeled at a few spots and found the currents were relatively strong, leaving me panting after swimming without fins. Sure, there are spots for open water divers with fewer logs, but they’re not the best spots. In general, there’s a big risk of a sudden current, which brings safety hazards to those inexperienced. Remember, when diving Alor, or anywhere for that matter, safety first!


Some other Alor diving reviews…

Fellow divers that I met in Alor, though admit its pristine quality, not all were impressed; some have seen clearer water, some had missed pelagics entirely. Nevertheless, this norm of seeing the best of a dive destination applies to all sites.

Diving in Alor - visibility

Bama Wall.

Alor Dive Centers

As I dove by invitation, I can only refer you to the dive centers that operate within the area. There are plus, minus, and rumors of each dive center but I don’t know exactly which would be preferred.

La Petit Kepa

This dive center is part of the dive resort of La Petit Kepa, located on Kepa island, across from Alor Kecil port. They have their own boat that looks pretty luxurious. On this opportunity, I only enjoyed their awesome resort.

Mobile (sms only): +62 81 339 102 403

Email: la_petit_kepa@hotmail.com

Dive Alor Dive

The most prominent dive guide and master of the area is Donovan Whitford. He’s one the most active dive trip organizers for the island. Understandably, bookings must be made months prior of diving as his schedule is pretty tight. His jokes are too!

Mobile: +62 0812 396 0107

Email: info@divealordive.com

Alor Divers

Email: info@alor-divers.com or alordivers.com

Alor Dive

Email: info@alor-dive.com


On Land Richness

Something I learned about Alor is that it’s a mini archipelago. There are a lot of small of islands surrounding the main island, and offer much to see and do. Snorkeling, visiting traditional villages, hunt for traditional ‘ikat’ cloth, trek or bird watching, are some of the things you can do in the in between dives and spending time getting the bubbles out of your system before flying out. Something for future posts.

Diving in Alor - on land

My final note on this is, because I didn’t fully enjoy my visit due to coordination mishap, I lack satisfaction and assure myself that I’d be back to dive Alor for the culture and more diving. Amin!

Although my visit to Alor was based on invitation from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, all opinions are mine.



And! I’m giving away this ‘ikat’ or cloth I brought from a local Alor artisan. I specifically chose this with its unique color, one that I hadn’t seen on ‘ikats’ before and, coincidently, it had a fish pattern weaved in. The universe has spoken! The artisan had also experimented on sea urchins and seaweed for organic coloring, although I don’t know for sure if it was used on this particular cloth.

Diving in Alor - cloth with fish pattern

How to win this ikat cloth?

It’s not something cheap and I take my cloth seriously. You can read it on my link here. So, I’m gonna make you work for it just a little.

Mention in the comment section which sea creature is the most interesting and why.

Diving in Alor - giveaway

My favorite answer with unique reasoning will win this baby along with the weaved bag. Comments eligible for giveaway will be limited until the 5th of October 2015. And go!


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5 years ago

It must be Frog Fish. Why? Have you seen Frog Fish?

doug fretty
doug fretty
5 years ago

Got to be the octapus,because they are clever little beasts!

Dian Lestari
5 years ago

Stingless jellyfish! I’ve been always have this irrational fear to water, to the ocean or the lake. Until this year, I met someone who really loves the ocean. He helped me to fight my fears, he took me to the beauty of the sea. Started from Thousand Island, Gili, Bira, and finally Derawan. And there, in Derawan, in Kakaban island, when I snorkel surrounded by thousands of stingless jellyfish was the 1st time I forgot my fear, totally. They might be stingless, but for sure they’re so amazing, I’m stunned! Since then, my muscles & my mind finally freed, and… Read more »

Hendi Setiyanto
5 years ago

Sebelumnya,boleh nggak saya jawabnya pakai bahasa indonesia? soalnya nggak bisa bahasa inggris. Hmm sebelum ngejawab makhluk laut mana yang paling menarik dan mengapa? pertama saya harus bilang kalau saya nggak bisa berenang,boro-boro nyelam,mengapung di air saja nggak bisa. Kebetulan saya tinggal di pegunungan didaerah Banjarnegara,jateng jd jauh dari laut. Jadi ketika ada kesempatan main kelaut itu udah kayak anak kecil yang dibiarkan bebas berkeliaran,main-main air dan pasir pantai sepuasnya. Hampir semua binatang laut yang ada difoto belum pernah lihat secara langsung,hehehe. Jadi kalau boleh jawab ya semua makhluk laut menarik menurutku karena saya belum lihat langsung makhluk laut tadi dihabitat… Read more »

Satya Winnie Sidabutar

Ah ALOOOORR!!!! So beautiful. I wish I could dive in Alor someday, Kak. Thank you for the interesting article <3 Me personally, love Napoleon Fish. Why? Because Napoleon has unique name, unique thick lips, their hump head (jenong) and their ability to live in the ocean until 50 years. And you know what? Napoleon fish are protogynous hermaphrodites. They are known as a creature that could do gender / sex change. Napoleon babies born without knowing whether they are boy or girl. They will know it at age nine years old. The factors that control the timing of gender change… Read more »

5 years ago

For me, the unique sea creature ever is blowfish! Or ikan buntal! Or fugu! Or whatever we call it. Even when i was a kid i really like this fish, and im willing to adopt one -or more- in my aquarium. (But my parents doesnt allowed that -_-) This is begin when i was around 7 , i went to some beach (i forgot the beach’s name, but it is located in west java). I was playing with my sis, when i saw something stranded on the shore. At first i dont think this creature is a fish, because at… Read more »

5 years ago

I wanna go to Alor too , huhu, really beautiful place, thanks for this nice article 🙂

windy ariestanty
5 years ago


vampire squid! you need a reason? oh, come on, vampire sounds coooooooler than tauge for sure! ;p go googling vampire squid; i bet, you are as an ahelik biologi will find this little cutey creature is unique and interesting.

5 years ago

I would choose dolphin as the most interesting sea creature. Because as we know that dolphin is the most friendly sea creature for human. There are so many cases that dolphin helps people who drown or guide the way to the island for lost ship. Dolphin not only friendly, but also playful and clever. Dolphin is easy to be trained too. Thats way, lots of performances showing the cleverness of dolphins. Like in the circus, etc. Because of its friendly traits and cute appearence there a lot of people, mostly kids who like this mammal. And me too, i like… Read more »

Parahita Satiti
5 years ago

The most interesting sea creature for me is…. sea horse! Until 2001, i thought sea horse is a creature as big as a small horse, or at least as big as a sea lion, or a walrus, or maybe a shark.

Until one day I saw Riyanni Djangkaru in Jejak Petualang, diving some where in Indonesia, showing a sea horse smaller than her pinkie!

I was laughing my ass off, at myself, for had been sure all this time that a sea horse is as big as a horse.

5 years ago

hmm, i think i would choose flatfish. when i think about flatfish i always remembered the episode of spongebob being bullied by his flastfish friend, it is so hilarious! haha 😛 okay firstly i will tell you a story first about my childhood, when i was lived in Padang. Flatfish really popular on that time, my auntie who lived near my house liked to cook that fish. The taste of the flesh was really delicious, no wonder the price is rather expensive, but not too expensive.. so the reason why i choose flatfish because i like this fish! the taste… Read more »

Muftah S
Muftah S
5 years ago

The most intersting sea creature? Uhm, in my opinion is Blobfish! Maybe people say blobfish is uninteresting, ugliest fish ever, even me when i was told there is fish called Blobfish, i’d said “what kind of name Blobfish is?” But when i look about the picture of this fish i laughed so hard. Because.. gawd, blobfish is so similiar with my math teacher in junior hs , and it make me became interest to this fish. Okay maybe untill now i havent see Blobfish yet since that fish only live on the ocean floor around Australia and i havent going… Read more »

5 years ago
Reply to  mumun

oh dear god, i just googled blobfish and ewwhh…. and your teacher looked like that? i don’t know how to respond now..

Muftah S
Muftah S
5 years ago
Reply to  vira

Actually my teacher was like.. he didnt like to smile, i rarely saw him smile, even my friends liked to mention him as a ‘grumpy man’ because his mouth always looked upside down, like he was sad or angry. Thats why, when my friend showed me the picture of that fish we laughed so hard, cuz we remembered our teacher.
and noo, i didnt hate him, cuz he is one of the succesful teacher who thaught us well. So i dont want to mock him or what.. I just remembered him,,

Muftah S
Muftah S
5 years ago

Really!? I dont believe that i win because of Blobfish! Gawd thanks Blobfish! Okay I will waiting for your email. My email : muftah1957@gmail.com
Thanks a lot !

Yeah, that fish really looks like a funny cartoon character, i laughed so hard!


[…] for cloth artisans in general. However, considering my lack of ability to preserve them as written here, I decided to give it away. It was hard to do so, because the green she created was a bit different […]

3 years ago

Aku mau ke alor ,…. trus galau antara alor atau KEI