We are thrilled to share with you this spectacular resort based snorkeling trip opportunity to both Alor and the Komodo Islands, in the Coral Triangle of Indonesia, which is the epicenter of marine biodiversity in the world. We (Galen & Nicole) went on the first of these trips in 2019 and it was easily the best snorkeling trip of our lives. The reefs were amazingly healthy, diverse and abundant with coral and fish life, and the excellent resorts and trip organization by Ben's team made it all easy. All the underwater pictures on this page were taken by us in 2019. The 2021-2023 dates for this trip have a slightly different itinerary, check it out here.
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 small group trip (12 snorkelers + guide) is an exceptional value for a 15 day remote adventure filled with astoundingly healthy reefs, beautiful landscapes and some interesting top side attractions, like Komodo Dragons!
First you fly into Bali for a short visit with a tour of a seaside temple and a cultural park. You then start the remote island snorkel safari by flying to two distinct regions. Some of the trip dates start in Alor and some start in Komodo. There you will access the best shallow reef sites from two fabulous exclusive seaside resorts, Alami Alor and Komodo Resort. Both offer extraordinary and varied landscapes, and rich and healthy reefs with abundant marine life.
Alor and Komodo have some of the finest snorkeling to be found anywhere. You are almost sure to see manta rays, turtles and reef sharks, and have the chance of seeing a mola mola. Rare critter life like frogfish and Mandarinfish can be spotted, along with endless fields of brightly colored corals and the schools of fish that surround them. You will explore a vast variety of underwater terrains and ecosystems, from anemone fields and fringing reefs, to coral encrusted walls that drop off into the blue deep.
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, 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. 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 and dolphins (we saw both), 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 days to snorkel from the Alami Alor Resort. Each day 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.
The 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 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.
Komodo is a national park of 26 islands which lie to the east of Bali. Taking a trip to this remote corner of Asia feels like stepping back in time.
The islands are volcanic in origin with striking rugged hillsides of dry savanna and green thorny vegetation surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches.
Komodo is not as undiscovered as Alor, so you will see other boats out on the water, mostly with divers. But with few snorkelers on the water, you will mostly have the reefs to your group.
Below the surface you can expect truly world class snorkeling. Being in the Coral Triangle, it offers an abundance of marine bio-diversity. You have many opportunities to see larger species in Komodo. There are manta ray cleaning stations scattered throughout the park. It isn’t uncommon to have encounters with large numbers of these majestic creatures, as well as eagle rays. Schooling pelagics, reef sharks, and Giant Trevally also make frequent appearances. And you are very likely to see many large sea turtles tucked into corals for a break, or coming to the surface for air.
Komodo like Alor has big tidal ranges, with strong currents. So you will often be led by your guide in a drift snorkel along a reef, or even around a small island, and get picked up in a different spot by the boat.
You will explore a variety of reefs, with expansive coral fields of many types, anemones, sponges, and reef fish galore. This makes the snorkeling suited to a variety of preferences.
Besides the nearly overwhelming number of small reef fish, you will also commonly see Napoleon Wrasse, and schools of jacks, fusiliers, spadefish, and trevally, and many more. Beautiful small nudibranchs are commonly sighted, as are colorful tunicates.
Each day your group will venture out by boat to explore neighboring reefs, and have lunch on board. There will also be a number of opportunities to snorkel the fantastic house reef at the resort.
Topside, there’s the chance to trek on Rinca Island and see the legendary Komodo Dragons lazing in the warm sunshine.
We will have six nights at Komodo Resort which is set on its own private island in a secluded area of eastern Indonesia. Not only is it within range of some of Komodo's finest snorkeling sites, it has a spectacular house reef, powder white sand beaches for afternoon relaxation, and accommodation finely in tune with its surroundings. There are many reefs, islands, islets and sandy bays found within range of Komodo Resort to explore.
The 16 seafront bungalows plus 4 suite bungalows are made of teak wood, have private bathrooms, and are surrounded by the nature of a desert island.
All the rooms have air conditioning, fans, mosquito netting on the beds, hot water, and 24 hours electric power.
The open air bamboo restaurant serves international and Italian cuisine with fresh produce and fish straight from the sea. You can enjoy daily homemade bread, pasta at dinner and pastries and cakes at breakfast. They also accommodate dietary restrictions. Feel the breeze and enjoy the view of the ocean sipping a glass of wine.
The resort also has a new spa offering traditional Javanese massage, relaxation massage, masks and scrubs.
There is also a small gym, if you need a workout after all the snorkeling, or you can also hike the trails around the resort island for fantastic views of the neighboring islands.
The resort has a large boat dedicated to your snorkeling group that ventures out each day to explore neighboring reefs. You will often have lunch on the boat between snorkeling sessions, and there is a bathroom and changing rooms on the boat. The top deck has comfy bean bags under a shaded canopy to relax while underway. The rear of the boat has two very sturdy boarding ladders for getting back on the boat after your snorkel. There is also a zodiac inflatable boat that is always out with the snorkel group so that if anyone gets tired they can return to the main boat at any time.
This trip itinerary has been completed. There is a new itinerary for the 2021-2023 Alor & Komodo trip.
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 and is primarily offering guided snorkeling trips, but he started with diving. He began 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, the guides were fantastic and very helpful, 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. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips, 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.
June 1-15 with Galen & Nicole
June 22 - July 6
October 26 - November 9