The island of Alor, or Pulau Alor in Indonesian, is part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Pulau Alor is the largest island of the archipelago of Alor, has about 2800km2 approx.
Alor is of volcanic origin and has a very rugged terrain. Kalabahi is the only city on the island of Alor. With a population of approximately 60,000 inhabitants, three quarters are Protestants, the rest are Muslims or some Roman Catholic villages. The animistic rites and traditions are still much practiced.
More than 15 different indigenous languages are spoken in Alor, most of them classified as papuan.
To get to Alor by plane from Bali, Surabaya or Jakarta you will have to stop at the Kupang Airport (KOE). That is, flights stop at Kupang to change planes. You must be aware that, although the airport is small, at the last moment you can change the boarding gate.
Alor Island is an earthly paradise, apart from time and the capitalist society. It’s a place of peace and nature. Not suitable for tourists, since they would be bored. Here there are no shops, No variety of restaurants, only two hotels in the whole island (when I was there only were two hotels).
Palua Alor is a wild Eden for scuba divers and snorkel lovers. With just dive into its beaches you get an underwater world very rich in life. The two existing hotels on the island have their offer focused on diving. They have their own boats and rental equipment to dive.
I recommend the hotel La petite Keppa, in alor kecil, located on the small island of keppa. To get from the airport you can take or share a taxi (jeeps) that will drop you off at Alor Kecil. There you have to warn, since you have to cross with a small canoe to the island of Keppa.
It’s Run by a French couple with their two daughters, charming and great hosts. They make you feel at home. It is the best hotel I have been to in every way. They have respect for the environment. The cabins are great, and their breakfasts and meals delicious!
You can hire with them to dive or just rent equipment for snorkelling. The hotel has a couple of beaches on the small island of Keppa. Literally, solitary beaches, crystal clear waters in turquoise tones and white sand.
The best way to get to know the island is to rent a motorbike. You will not find a motorcycle rental business, but if you ask, there is always a local person willing to rent yours for a small fee per day. Yes, attentive where you get. Most of the roads are in poor condition due to heavy and routine rains. It’s especially if you go into the island to the existing villages between the mountains.
It is impressive how you can change the environment from one beach to another; there are white sand or black stones. Some extensive, others small and wrapped with palm trees.
You also have the public transport that Kalabahi has. It consists of two lines, blue and red. One of them makes a route through the city. The other takes you to the area of Alor Kecil. They are a kind of mini vans, with many colours and music at full volume.
In Kalabahi you will find the market, a cashier, the occasional grocery store, pharmacy, a kind of supermarket and a restaurant (I remember seeing a couple of them).
There is a town on the island that you can visit. They continue to live like their ancestors. They show you the typical cabins where they live. How they collect water from the rain. They even have a shop with little things made by them. I bought them a bracelet made from a fork! They are people of great heart. They even invited us to have a coffee!