We are delighted to announce this unique trip to snorkel the incredibly alive reefs around the islands in the Alor Regency of Indonesia, using the remote Alami Alor Resort as your base. We (Galen & Nicole) stayed at and snorkeled from this resort in 2019 and these were easily the most alive reefs we have ever seen. They were diverse and abundant with the coral and fish life that you would expect from the Coral Triangle, the epicenter of marine biodiversity in the world. All the underwater pictures on this page were taken by us in 2019.
This trip is being run by our partner and friend Ben and his team. Based in the U.K., they are experts in the Coral Triangle, run amazing excursions, and have a great appreciation for the underwater world.
This trip is slightly different than the other trips offered by Ben. Since the staff at Alami Alor are very experienced with leading Ben's snorkeling groups it is not necessary for Ben to send a guide from his team. The benefit to you is a lower cost, while still providing helpful local travel organization including domestic flights and airport transfers. Having the resort full of snorkelers also guarantees boat trips are focused on snorkeling.
This small group trip
(12 snorkelers) is an exceptional value for an 8 or 10 night remote adventure filled with astoundingly healthy reefs, beautiful volcanic landscapes, and a local village tour.
First you fly into Jakarta and spend the night in the Jakarta Airport Hotel and fly out the next morning to Alor. You will be met at the airport in Alor by staff from the resort and transported there to spend the next seven or nine nights of your trip.
The Alor Regency is made up of 15 islands, nine of which are inhabited and six are uninhabited. Alami Alor is on the largest island in the regency, Alor, as is the capital Kalabahi.
The island and the way of life there feels very far flung to us westerners and is a treat to experience. The islands are rugged and volcanic creating beautiful scenery.
Alami Alor Resort is in a secluded setting on a
large bay. The six well-appointed oceanfront bungalows look directly
onto the water. The resort's house reef is wonderfully alive with enough
creatures, fish and corals to keep you happy for a long time.
The location of the resort allows for short speed boat trips out to visit reefs around the neighboring islands, including Pura, Pantar and Ternate.
Alor is one of Indonesia’s last frontiers, and is remarkably undeveloped. Very few tourists visit the area, and you will likely be the only group on the reefs, besides an occasional local canoe fishermen or some curious kids from the local villages.
Locals have never
used destructive fishing practices and as a result we can confirm the
reefs remain in their virgin condition.
You will occasionally see traditional fish traps (see picture below) used that are both beautiful and seem to have a low impact on fish populations. And we were pleased to see very little trash in the water or on the shores.
Alor was previously difficult to access because of a lack of infrastructure, so this archipelago is largely unspoiled. Now several airlines offer flights from major Indonesian cities, some via Kupang.
The main islands are Alor and Pantar, and between them is a strait of world class reefs.
Alor is very special in our hearts for how untouched and diverse the reefs are and we believe it has some of the finest snorkeling to be found anywhere. Most of the reefs you explore are fringing an island, with a shallow shelf to explore and sometimes a gorgeous wall that drops off into the deep blue. While you will see lots of fish, particularly a crazy abundance of smaller reef fish, and larger fish schools of spadefish, fusiliers and jacks, what really stands out for us about Alor is how incredibly diverse the fields and walls of coral life are, and how healthy they were. Every spot we visited seemed like a different ecosystem, with very different colorful corals, sponges and anemones, and the most marine biodiversity we've seen.
Of course the chance to see mola mola, dolphins, frogfish (we saw all three), and whales (we did not), adds to the thrill.
Also of note about Alor, and probably one of the big reasons the reef is so healthy, is because there is a large tidal range, and with that strong currents in the area. This flushes a lot of water through the reefs, full of nutrients. Because of this, Alor is a place to snorkel with a very experienced guide.
Because of the currents our guide would often have us dropped off at one end of a reef, we would drift with the current, and we would be picked up at the other end of the reef by our boat. Snorkeling in Alor feels very adventurous and exciting at times.
You will have six or eight full days plus some time on arrival and departure days to snorkel from the Alami Alor Resort. Each of the full days you will have two guided snorkel boat trips to the best reefs in the area. There is also an excellent house reef that is full of life to explore. The reef is a shallow shelf, accessed from the pier, that is full of coral life, small reef sharks, nudibranchs, spadefish, mandarinfish, and lots of other reef fish.
Alami Alor is an intimate resort situated on a remote and quiet bay
which combines luxury accommodation and delicious locally inspired food. There are six waterfront bungalows, and it will be only your group at the resort. The bedroom is air-conditioned, and there is an open air garden bathroom. There are plenty of outdoor loungers.
Guests can enjoy a full breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the dining
room, family style, at the communal dining table. They serve an assortment of dishes
influenced mostly by tropical Indonesian and Asian style, but also
international cuisines. We found the food to be healthy and delicious, with excellent drinks available at your own cost.
Alami Alor can accommodate most special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and so on.
The resort has two boats with shade covers that hold six guests plus snorkel guides and crew. So each day your group will go out in two boats. These boats are big enough to handle a bit of weather, but small enough to drop you off and pick you up right up close to the reefs. You drop into the water from the sides of the boats, and get back on from solid stainless steel step ladders on the side of the boats (you can just see the ladder retracted in the picture below). You return to the resort for lunch between outings.
This is a small group trip and we expect it to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.
May 3-13 - Trip full, but you can be on a waitlist. May 12-22 - Trip full, but you can be on a waitlist.
August 8-16 - Available.
April 15-25 - Available.
Price for May 2020 trips - 10 nights:
$3580 US per person (Twin/Double Share)
Price for August 2020 trip - 8 nights:
$3140 US per person (Twin/Double Share)
Price for April 2021 trip - 10 nights:
$3580 US per person (Twin/Double Share)
Individual travelers - Ben will happily find someone of the same sex for you to share a room with. If he cannot find you someone, no single supplement surcharge will apply.
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers of this trip (more about them below). Galen & Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all signups, trip organization and payments are made to and managed by Ben's team. TropicalSnorkeling.com does receive a referral fee in exchange for promoting the trip, at no extra cost to attendees.
How to Sign Up or Learn More?
Use the contact form below to contact Ben and his team to request more information about them and express your interest in signing up. They will get back to you shortly with full details.
Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have around twenty years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 that used to be primarily diving. He started offering snorkeling specific trips because he was aware that snorkelers often get the short end of the stick when thrown in with divers. He and his team love the freedom and low stress of snorkeling, and are very aware of the different needs of snorkelers versus divers, in terms of the reef depth, and calm surface conditions needed.
experience going on one of his snorkeling trips we found it very well
organized, and the underwater experiences were exceptional. Snorkeling
groups really get the benefit of all of Ben and his guides' years of
experience in the water, and with different resorts and liveaboards.
of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio
of snorkelers to guides. And for where they visit, and how packed they
are with experiences, they are affordable.
His company is licensed and insured. They have never cancelled a trip, and all funds are held in a trust until the trip is completed giving you 100% financial security if they or any of their suppliers go out of business before the trip happens.