The Alor Archipelago

The Alor Archipelago is located to the east of Flores and north of Timor-Leste in the Lesser Sunda Islands. The archipelago holds a wide variety of splendours from fascinating underwater wonders up to the unique culture of the highland people.

Alor is the largest island and lies at the eastern end of the archipelago. It is inhabited by a number of Flores sub-ethnic groups who still preserve their traditional ways of life.


Diving Alor

Alor offers pristine coral reefs. The Pantar Strait is one of the most well-preserved coral reef systems in Indonesia. The total ban on dynamite and cyanide fishing means the whole area has beautiful, colourful and dense coral reefs. Some of the dive sites are renowned for schools of pelagics such as Manta and Eagle rays, sharks, Dog-tooth tunas (Gymnosorda unicolor), and Napoleon wrasses. Occasionally you can spot schools of dolphins and Pilot whales.

The continual flow of ocean currents brings nutrients to invertebrates and small fishes, which in turn are eaten by medium-sized fishes, and so on up the foodchain.

In addition to pristine corals, Alor is also one of Indonesia’s top muck-diving destinations. Sediment on the seabed mixed with volcanic black sand and coral rubble is a perfect camouflage environment for unusual critters.

It really is a treasure hunt for macro photographers!


Alor’s Diving Seasons

Diving is good year-round with average viz of 25-30m however the best conditions are March to December. From May to September is the southeast monsoon (more windy than rainy) when viz may decrease to 15m. However this is when the plankton bloom happens resulting in increased feeding activity. Mola-Mola are usually spotted in September.


How to Reach Alor

The Alor Archipelago is somewhat remote however, Alor’s diving is often integrated into some Liveaboard schedules when crossing from Komodo to Raja Ampat.

And, of course, dive resorts offer attractive Diving & Accommodation packages: There are domestic flights from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali to Kupang, and from there to Alor.

For more info on Alor diving, and to start your planning, please make sure your AMD-B Travel Consultant is aware of your needs. As always, they will be more than happy to offer recommendations and make arrangements to suit your preferences. Contact us on today!


The Wakatobi Island Group

The Indonesian archipelago has many of the world’s greatest dive locations, one of which is ‘Wakatobi’ located in the centre of the Coral Triangle.

Rising from the depths of the Banda Sea, south east of mainland Sulawesi, the name ‘WaKaToBi’ comes from the names of four islands: Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, Binongko.

The Wakatobi islands have been a marine conservation area since 1996 and were declared a National Park in 2002. They are recognized as having one of the highest numbers of coral reef fish species in the world. Wakatobi also has the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Being a National Marine Park, fishing is strictly limited. These superb reefs are supported and protected by the local fishing communities. In exchange for adopting more sustainable practices, including no-fishing zones, the fishermen receive a share of the income generated by Wakatobi Dive Tourism.


Diving with Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort and their liveaboard, Pelagian, offer more than 50 spectacular dive sites. These range from The House Reef where the warm water and shallow depth allow for long dives (although there can sometimes be a current) to gorgeous bays and lagoons, as well as dramatic walls and drop-offs abounding with seafans and gigantic sponges. Famed for night-diving due to the brilliantly coloured corals and resident marinelife, the reef edges attract great numbers of fish. The coral gardens bristle with large bommies and tubstrea corals. Large table corals shelter stingrays as well as invertebrates and crustaceans.

Wakatobi is ideal for divers who love macro underwater photography. Make sure you check out the muck diving in Pasarwajo 🙂 There aren’t many big fishes here although you will see Black-tip reef sharks at several dive sites.

The temperature range in Wakatobi is 26-29°C.
Rainy season is October to April.
Visibility remains consistent at approx 30m year-round.

All charter flights to/from Wakatobi Dive Resort & Liveaboard are Bali-Wakatobi-Bali return, and are currently on a Monday and Friday schedule.

If the above whets your appetite and, like so many of our other ‘Bali & Beyond’ guests, you can’t wait to start planning – please contact your friendly AMD-B Dive Travel Consultant on today to start YOUR planning!


Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat: Wild West of Scuba Diving

Raja Ampat is still the Wild West (well, East if you’re in Indonesia) of Scuba Diving.

We’re all aware of Raja Ampat’s beauty topside, the pristine corals, diversity of marinelife, tropical climate, the unrivalled smiles of the local people – everything needed to become a huge magnet for adventurers.

Thankfully, despite its growing fame, Raja Ampat is not yet on the tourist or backpacker trails. However, visiting remote islands and communities means a lack of local homestays and amenities.

If as a diver, you prefer land-based, imagine an eco-friendly environment in a secluded area. Escape from ‘the crowds’; the continual hum of your everyday life will be replaced by birdsong, the breeze in the coconut palms, and waves on the shore. What bliss!

If you love the biodiversity part of Raja Ampat but prefer more ‘home comforts’, you could choose an upmarket dive resort or liveaboard. Please ask my Dive Travel Consultants for recommendations.


Diving in Raja Ampat

Diving-wise, Raja Ampat can be divided into two areas: North and South.

North Raja Ampat centres around Mansuar Island and the Dampier Strait; this is where you’ll find most of the dive resorts. Here you can explore famous dive sites such as Chicken Reef – nowhere is known to be ‘sharkier’ (including Wobbegongs!) or more accessible. If you are coming for Manta, Manta Sandy is best October – April. For muck and macro (although the Tulamben area in NE Bali is hard to beat), we’ve heard 12-20m depth on Saporkren Jetty at Waigeo island is incredible: Bobtail squid, flying flatworms, Boxer crabs, Colemani shrimp, and more!

Misool is located to the south of the main islands. Compared to North Raja Ampat, Misool offers better visibility and gorgeous soft corals. The highlights at Magic Mountain are barracuda and Napoleon wrasse but this is also the place where you’ll encounter giant black Pacific Manta rays. All other dive sites are now within the marine reserve meaning the shark and fish populations grow every year.


Diving Seasons

The north of Raja Ampat is more sheltered therefore it’s diveable year-round. The ‘rainy seasons’ are November – December and July – August. For the Misool area, resorts are closed June-September due to rough seas and high waves

In short, everywhere in Raja Ampat is phenomenal! Let us know how we can help you start your planning!