Diving

Alor's dive operators regularly visit upwards of 42 dive sites, sprinkled throughout the archipelago. There are wall dives, slopes, caves, pinnacles, reefs and impressive muck diving in the Alor bay. What makes Alor special are its completely unspoiled reefs with vibrant soft and hard coral intact. Dive sites are never crowded, the water is crystal clear and you may well see a thresher shark, pod of dolphins or, come November, migrating sperm whales. Just know the current is frequently unpredictable and the water can be as low as 22°C. The cool temperature is what keeps the coral nourished, and spectacular. It's best to have 30 dives under your belt before venturing into these waters.

All divers must pay a marine park fee of 50,000Rp per day to fund the management of a 4000-sq-km marine park. The WWF works with the government to help manage and take care of this unique marine environment.

Sandwiched between Pulau Pantar and Alor is Pulau Pura, which has some of Alor’s best dive sites. Pulau Ternate, not to be confused with the Maluku version, also has some magnificent dive and snorkel sites. Uma Pura is an interesting weaving village on Ternate, with a rather prominent wooden church. To get there, charter a boat from Alor Besar or Alor Kecil (150,000Rp), or take a motorbike to the Padang location of Alor Besar Village and pay 10,000Rp each way.

Hiking

For hikers or motorcyclists who like rugged backcountry, consider a longer trip; two or three days hiking along the verdant, mountainous spine of Central Alor. One route connects Mainang with Kelaisi and on to Apui. Another loop begins in Ateng, stops in Melang and ends in Lakwati. These are all very poor, purely traditional villages. The roads and trails are very bad, so are not easy journeys. You'll be sleeping in basic village accommodation (per person from 100,000Rp), and meals will be extremely basic, too. Not all villages have latrines, and you'll need to bring extra food and water. Be prepared.