Embarking on an Alor Liveaboard is the promise of an outstanding journey in a remote corner of the Indonesian archipelago. Located on the most eastern part of the Lesser Sunda islands, Alor lies at the door of the Banda Sea. Its rugged volcanic landscape, rich waters, and authentic mountain tribes make of Alor a very unique destination.
Alor inhabitants fiercely protect their tribal identity, and liveaboard boats have an opportunity to experience their rare traditional culture. Women partake in traditional crafts like textile weaving, and often approach our boat to sell their colorful “Ikat”. Taking a stroll along the friendly villages is a great way to witness the traditional weaving process firsthand. Villagers are also famous for their local production of palm wine (tuak) and spirits (sopi). Hikes can be organized to visit infamous headhunter villages, which remained unseen by foreigners until the 1950s.
In this modern age, local fishermen continue to use their traditional fishing techniques, and observing them is part of our voyage. Outsiders will be amazed by their knowledge of the ever-changing currents, while they drift in their small dugout canoes. Experts in spearfishing, they reach their prey with a single breath, armed only with handmade fins and wooden spears. During your snorkeling and diving excursions, you may encounter their woven bamboo fishing baskets, which they employ at just the right tide. Kids often jump in the water to free dive and wave at our divers. Longer trips allow us to reach the village of Lamalera. This village of south Lembata, is the village of traditional whale hunters. To this day, these hunters still jump into rough seas from their small boats, armed only with homemade spears.
The Ombai Strait, between Alor and Wetar, is one of the four main Indonesian through flows. Coming from the Pacific, powerful ocean currents flow across the Indonesian archipelago to the Nusa Tengarra archipelago, before reaching the Indian ocean. From Bali to Wetar, every wild island is teeming with aquatic life, including healthy and thrilling coral reefs. In accordance with the old adage: “No current, no fish”.
The coral reefs in the Alor region are absolutely amazing. The configuration of the strait, in combination with the currents, has created unbelievable other worldly reef structures. In the north, steep drop offs, seamounts, and underwater pinnacles cohabit with colorful Acropora coral plateaus, which are often packed with clouds of anthias. The quantity of small reef fish in the northern areas of Alor is really incomparable to anywhere else. The southern experience is more soft coral, which is less fragile and can survive the colder temperatures. We will discover volcanic caves, anemones and sponge carpet displaying vibrant colors.
As this deep and narrow strait is a major passageway for marine life, literally everything can be seen in Alor. Gliding through drifting pelagic or large shoal of fish is a frequent occurrence. Migrating whales and dolphins are regularly spotted, especially during the months of September and October. Some dive sites are famous as cleaning stations for Hammerhead or Thresher sharks. A population of elusive Dugong are know to live in the northeast of Alor.
The bay of Kalabahi and the black sandy bay of Beang- abang provide an environment for the most fascinating and bizarre bottom-dwelling creatures. We will dive the bottom looking for unique critters like frogfish, Rhinopias, mimic and blue-ringed octopus, and flamboyant cuttlefish. You will be astounded by the animals you encounter here!