Places to visit

The Fascinating Alor Islands at the east-most end of Flores


Despite its short name, the Alor islands hide a long list of splendors, from fascinating underwater wonders up to the unique culture of the highland people. Here, one will be indulged with spectacles ranging from spellbinding marine life, the unique Moko kettledrums, the oldest Al Qur’an in Southeast Asia, and the traditional villages of the highlands.

Extending at the east- most tip of Flores Island, still in the province of East Nusa Tenggara , Alor is a name pinned to the regency, the archipelago, as well as the main island of the archipelago.

The Alor Archipelago comprises 20 islands and 17 sub-districts. Among these, only 9 islands are inhabited: Alor, Pantar, Pura, Terewang, Ternate (not to be confused with Ternate in Maluku ), Kepa, Buaya, Kangge, and Kura. The other 11 uninhabited islands are: Sikka, Kapas, Batang, Lapang, Rusa, Kambing, Watu Manu, Batu Bawa, Batu Ille, Ikan Ruing, and Nubu.

Although not yet as popular as Raja Ampat or neighboring Komodo Island, the waters around the archipelago offer equally fascinating spectacles –if not better. There are at least 50 dive spots stretching from Alor Island to Pantar Island, and several islets around them. Among these, 20 are considered in prime condition and among the world’s best. Some of the best sites are found along the Pantar Strait.

Those who are fortunate enough to have experienced diving in these waters have said that the underwater splendors of Alor outclass those in the Caribbean. In his book “East of Bali ”, Photographer Kal Muller described the waters around Alor as pristine, filled with a variety of fascinating creatures, and highlighted with night-dive spots. He considered Alor as a world class underwater paradise.

The island of Alor itself is inhabited by a number of Flores sub- ethnic groups who still preserve their traditional ways of life. One of these still produces clothing from tree bark known as the Ka Clothing. The unique cultureof the Alorese are best observed among the Takpala indigenous group who dwell in the village of Lembur Barat, North-Central Alor. The Takpala still preserve the traditional housing construction that resembles a pyramid, covered with coconut leaves, bamboo plaited walls, and four main wooden pillars.

The island of Alor is also known as the island of a Thousand Moko’s. Moko is a small bronze kettledrum which is believed to have originated from the Dong Son culture of Vietnam. However, it remains a mystery as to how these prehistoric Dong Son drums arrived in Alor. Local legend says that the moko’s were discovered  buried in the ground, and indeed until today it is still common for these mokos to be  similarly  uncovered.To observe these unique artifacts, one can visit the Museum of  A Thousand Mokos located in the main town of Kalabahi, on Alor Island. The Museum also showcases a collection of distinct Alor hand-woven clothing called Kawate.

The island also holds the oldest Al Qur’an (Islamic holy book) ever to be discovered in Indonesia and in South East Asia. The Al Qur’an which is estimated to be over 800 years old is made of tree bark and uses natural substances for ink. The special Al Qur’an was once shown to the public in April 2011, during the Legu Gam Festival of the Ternate Sultanate.

To Stay

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Hotel La Hasienda

Jl. Adisucipto, Penfui 85148 Kupang

Hotel on The Rock

Jalan Timor Raya No.2 Km.5, Kelapa Lima, 85228 Kupang

Hotel On The Rock by Prasanthi

Jl. Timor Raya No.2 Km 5 Kelapa lima Kupang

Hotel Pantai Timor

Jl. Sumatera No.45, 85109 Kupang

EverGreen HomeStay

Jalan Sapta Marga I/10 Kuanino 85110 Kupang East Nusa Tenggara

Hotel Astiti

JL. Jendral Sudirman 166 Kupang

Sylvia Hotel Kupang

Jl. Soeharto no. 49 Kupang

Sasando Hotel

Jl. R.A Kartini 1 Kupang

Puri Gajah Dompak

Jl. Bougenvile No. 18, Naikoten Kupang (belakang Undana Lama) 85000 Kupang

T-MORE Hotel & Lounge

Jalan Piet A Tallo Kupang

Ima Hotel

Jalan Timor Raya No.122 Kupang

Olive Hotel

Jl. Duo Lontar No 04- Kayu putih Kupang

To Stay

Kalabahi is the main city, and the capital of the Alor Regency. This is where all the facilities and accommodation are centered. Here are some of the accommodations in Kalabahi:

Hotel Pelangi Indah
Jalan Diponegoro No. 24, Kalabahi, Alor
Telp. +6 2386 21251

Hotel Nusa Kenari Indah
Jalan Diponegoro No. 11, Kalabahi, Alor
Telp. +62 386 21074

Homestay Cantik
Jalan Dahlia No.12, Kalabahi, Alor
Telp. +62 0386 21030

Hotel Marlina
Jalan Dipenogoro No.11, Kalabahi, Alor
Telp. +62 386 21208; 21205

Hotel Adi Dharma
Jalan R.E. Martadinata No. 12, KalabahiN Alor
Telp. +62 0386 21280

Hotel Mawar
Jalan Dipenogoro No.34, Kalabahi, Alor
Telp. +62 386 21251; 21281

Hotel Melati
Jalan Dr. Soetomo No. 1, Kalabahi, Alor
Telp. +62 0386 21073

Hotel Nur Fitra
Jalan Pasar Paledang, Kalabahi, Alor
Telp. +62 0386 2222124

There are also other accommodation available on other islands that particularly cater to divers. These are:

Homestay and Diving La P’tite, Kepa Island
Kecamatan Alor Barat laut, Alor, NTT
Telp. +62 386 21141; 21146
Mobile. +62 81 353 709 719

Javatoda, Alor Divers
Jalan Tengiri No. 1 Kalabahi, Alor
Mobile: +62 81317804133.

Find a Travel agent:

Flobamora Travel
Jalan Hati Suci No.50, Kupang
Telp. +62 380 831798

Nusatin Travel
Jalan Jenderal Sumdirman No.25, Kupang
Telp. +62 380 21086

Ellyandu Travel
Jalan Sumatera No. 13, Kupang
Telp. +62 380 821473

Stindo Travel
Jalan Perintis Kemerdekaan No. 17, Kupang
Telp. +62 380 821473

Montana Travel
Jalan Herewila No. 11, Kupang
Telp. +62 380 826814; 822272

Pitoby Travel
Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Kupang
Telp. +62 380 832700

Jalan RW Monginsidi, Komplek Ruko Lontar permai Blok B/17, Kupang
Telp. +62 380 8333990

Get There

To get to Alor, you can take a flight from Kupang,  capital of East Nusatenggara. From Kupang there are several airlines that serve flights to Mali Airport in Kalabahi, the main town of Alor. Trans-Nusa serves daily flights between Kupang-Alor which takes about an hour. Reservation can be made at:

Trans Nusa:
Jl.Jenderal Sudirman,No.68, Kupang
Telephone: +62 380 822555

The other option is by ferry which will take approximately 12 hours from Kupang to Larantuka, and followed by wooden boats to Kalabahi Seaport , which take  about one hour.

To Do

As an extension from the seas of Flores and Komodo Island, the Alor Archipelago is blessed with equally fascinating marine spectacles. Diving here is bliss, for you will encounter pristine coral reefs and fascinating creatures of the deep. Here divers will be indulged with the appearance of whales, sharks, mola-mola or sunfish, manta rays, and various other underwater creatures.

A number of  dive spots in Alor include Baruna’s Point, Never-Never wall, Cave Point, Barrel Sponge Wall, Mola-Mola Point, Night Snacks, Alor Expree, Rocky Point, Three Coconuts, Moving Pictures, Eagle Ray Point, Rahim’s Point, Tuna Channel, Anemone Country, Sharks Reeway, Octopus Garden, Captain’s Choice, The Refrigerator, Half Moon Bay, Peter’s Prize, Crocodile Rook,  The Edge, Coral Clitts, Baeylon, The Arch, Fallt Line, The Pacth, Nite Delht, Kal’s Dream, The Ball, Trip Top, The Mlai Hall, No Man’s Land, The Chatedral, School’s Ut, dan Shark Close. (for more information  please click :

On land, Alor Island is a perfect place to explore the fascinating culture of the country. Aside from the thousand Mokos and the 800 years old Al Qur’an, you can explore the indigenous way of life that has been well preserved for generations.


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