When scuba divers talk about wanting to get away to a remote location in the middle of nowhere and do some amazing diving then this is what they mean. Alor, a small island north of West Timor in Eastern Indonesia, offers dives which are absolutely world class and it is a long, long way from the office.
Superb macro life, amazing coral and benthic diversity, and schooling fish are the main marine attractions in Alor. An unusual and excellent bonus of diving here is the likelihood of spotting pilot whales and dolphins from your dive boat. Alor tends to be a liveaboard diving destination and is suitable primarily for experienced divers due to the prevalent strong currents and eddies and its remote location.
You can dive in Alor all year round, but the best conditions are from April to November, with October and November being the months when current is most prevalent. Outside of that time the surface conditions can be unsettled and there is greater chance of rain and reduced visibility. However, although the chance of such disturbances are higher at this time, the weather is usually pretty settled and many scuba divers visit at any time of the year and enjoy great conditions.
Water temperatures vary from a low of around 25°C (March to April and October to November) to 31/32°C from May to September, which is the southeast monsoon period. During this period the normally good visibility of around 25-30m can drop to 15m or less due to plankton blooms. For more details on the climate and sea temperatures of Alor, visit the HikersBay website.
Additionally, Alor is well known for its muck diving which means conditions and the seasonal movement of creatures do not really affect the diving. Pegasus sea moths, mimic octopus and sea horses don’t travel very far. Larger animals that might put in an appearance include orcas (killer whales) and sunfish (aka mola mola). September is the best time to spot mola mola.