Arriving into Alor you can just feel that you are in for something special. There is something so tantalising for a diver about arriving at a destination surrounded only by locals and I think that's when you know in for a treat - unspoiled reefs, charming people and a wealth of dive sites unpopulated by liveaboards and local dive boats. Alor is truly a gem of a dive destination for the intrepid and undeterred diver (it's not that far to go) and we happen to think this area of something very special indeed. So, incidentally, do Lauren and Max who are the live-in owners at the simple divers retreat that is Alami Alor.
If I could put together a checklist of the things I would like to see in a dive resort, I have to say that Alami (meaning 'naturally') checks every box. This small resort of just six bungalows is created by divers for divers so if you are looking for opulence of butler service, gold taps and marble floors, Alor is not the spot for you, but if you are looking to experience as much diving as possible every day in a relatively unexplored area of Indonesia then we suggest you get to this island NOW before everyone else finds out!
When it comes to diving, Alor is for the experienced diver and the area is particularly fascinating for photographers with endless muck sites where the stars of the show are rhinopias, snake eels, thorny seahorses, mimic and blue ring octopus or at night the tiny (and adorable) bobtail squid. The teeming reefs welcome all manner of beautiful fish life and stunning coral, and exciting channel dives with ripping currents bring in the shark action; from white tips to grey reefs and even the odd hammerhead sighting if you are lucky. The diving can be cold (this from a self-professed warm water diver) and the excitement is almost tangible when you hit a 17 degree (yep!) thermocline and heads start swivelling looking for the enormous and elusive Mola Mola.
In short, the diving in Alor is exciting, fascinating and unique, and we can't help but want to shout about it (very quietly so people don't swarm there).
Alami Alor itself is simple and elegant with all the right touches - a dedicated camera room, a spectacular house reef (with mandarin fish right off the jetty!) fresh and interesting food, charming lodge managers and the best bit is that there are only six bungalows so you get a truly personal experience. Oh and how could I forget the stunning sunsets witnessed from your personal hammock outside your room - bliss! For divers looking for their next hidden gem - search no further.