The rarely visited Alor archipelago can be found to the east of Komodo National Park and Flores. This gem in the Indonesian archipelago harbours a great deal of cultural interest. Between East Nusa Tengarra and Alor itself, these sloping isles feature fascinating local villages set in the shadow of dormant volcanoes and wide golden beaches that lead to exhilarating dive sites beneath the waves.
Cruises in this region can include Flores, Komodo National Park and the Forgotten Islands.
The Alor archipelago comprises a series of rugged, volcanic islands, the final link in the chain stretching east of Bali, Sumbawa and Flores. It is perhaps most notable for its staggering cultural diversity – the small archipelago is home to no less than 100 tribes speaking eight languages and 52 dialects.
The entire archipelago harbours a population of 200,000, of which roughly 60,000 people reside on the main island of Alor. Dutch settlers fixed local rajas in the coastal areas after 1908 but were unable to penetrate the interior with its notorious fierce head-hunters up until as late as the 1950s.
This area, with its striking volcano-pocked landscapes, remains known for its enduring indigenous animist traditions and the highland villages with their Moko kettledrums, where visitors are warmly welcomed with open arms.
The deep channels in the Alor archipelago make up part of the migratory route for many types of whales and the underwater landscape features breath-taking walls and coral gardens occupied by large schools of fish.
These waters are notorious for powerful currents, particularly in the narrow straits between Pantar, Alor and Lembata, attracting predators such as hammerhead sharks from the deep. From fascinating macro diving to colourful reefs and schooling pelagic fish, Alor has plenty to offer.
Conditions here are also excellent for fishing for the likes of Spanish mackerel, dogtooth and yellow fin tuna among many other deep-sea game fish.
SEASONS & GETTING HERE
The Alor archipelago is best visited between April and October during the dry season. The islands turn from lush green to arid sable throughout summer, contrasting against the vivid blue of the sea.
The Alor archipelago is accessed through Maumere or Alor airports. Upon arrival at the airport, your yacht’s crew will collect you for a short 25-minute drive to the harbour.
For one-way itineraries, you may start or finish your trip in other destinations, such as Komodo National Park (Labuan Bajo airport), Lombok (Praya airport), Sumbawa (Bima), Moyo (Sumbawa Besar airport) and the Forgotten Islands (Saumlaki and Tual airports).