The group met for dinner on the first evening, after arriving in Bali and checking into the airport hotel. We shared a delicious traditional Balinese meal, served family-style while getting to know each other a little. As expected, people were tired from the long journey and jetlag so we went to bed early.

The following morning we reconvened in the lobby and met a local English speaking guide who accompanied us (and our luggage) to a waiting bus. As we drove through Bali, towards Uluwatu, he told us about the local people and customs and about the historical and religious significance of the beautiful places we were to visit that morning.

First stop was Uluwatu Temple- a traditional style- old Hindu temple, built on the edge of a high cliff, with spectacular views of the ocean down below. We also got to watch some local kids who were there practicing playing their musical instruments and dancing. So sweet. We went in search of some Macaque monkeys as we did not immediately see them around.

Uluwatu temple and ocean cliff

We then returned to the bus and went to the GWK park, a government cultural and tourist park on the way back to the airport. It is most well known for the 263m statue of Lord Vishnu on the back of his Garuda (eagle). It is a magnificent sight.

Upon return to the airport, we received packed lunch from the guide before leaving to check in for our onward flight to Kupang. Here we transferred to the hotel to check-in, and meet in the restaurant for a well deserved cold beer and a few giggles before dinner, and bed.

This meant by the next morning we were all feeling well-rested and fresh and knew each other a little better so the real fun could begin. A short transfer and flight later, we were on our way to Alami Alor resort. Located on the eastern island of Alor, the drive took about an hour and gave us a chance to take in the scenery.

Upon arrival at the resort, we were met by some of the friendliest staff, who quickly figured out who was who and which bags belonged to each of us, before taking the bags to our rooms for us. The rooms are individual bungalows, well-paced from each other for privacy, built on the rocky shore of the island, with large private verandas, partially outdoor garden bathrooms, huge beds and spectacular views over the bay and surrounding volcanoes.

After settling in we met in the communal lounge and dining area, a large open-sided structure with a stunning view of the calm blue water. Here we settled into the comfy couches and had a welcome briefing before lunch- a delicious spread of local food fit for royalty.

Alami Alor Resort

After lunch, we got to the really good stuff- snorkeling! We were eager to hit the water, and none of us was disappointed. We visited two sites that afternoon, one form the boat and the other from the resort’s jetty, the house reef. We were all instantly taken by the stunning (25m+) viability, the lush reef teeming with small fish and critters, and the schooling fish hanging around off the side of the reef. We returned for showers and evening cocktails as very happy people.

Diamond spadefish below jetty in Alor

The following days were spent more or less as follows- breakfast (pre-ordered the evening before from a menu) and freshly ground and percolated coffee, followed by aa trip on the boats out to two sites. We would spend about 1h15 – 1h45 at each site exploring the wealth of marine life that varied so greatly depending on the location. From sandy bottoms with coral bommies to sloping reefs, to boulders dropping off into the deep, to volcanic geysers bubbling through the substrate, we were constantly entertained and enthralled. We were treated to tea and water, and homemade baked goods and fruit on the boat between snorkel sessions! After a leisurely lunch back at the resort, we would go to one more site for the afternoon before returning to home base to relax in the lounge while looking at our photos and trying to identify all the previously-unseen creatures in the fish ID books the resort has on the coffee tables.

Aerial view of Blue Whale

The week was not without much excitement. Highlights were- Blue Whales in the bay!! Schooling dolphins and tuna hunting small fish leaping out of the water putting on a fantastic display! A mola-mola (sunfish) coming to say hello to us on the reef! Loads of tropical fish, nudibranchs, octopus, small critters, and Mandarin Fish mating!! Every day we thought “wow, this could not get better”, and the following day we would be proven wrong. Simply amazing.

After a spectacular week we traveled together to Labuan Bajo, western Flores, were we transferred by boat to the stunning island resort- Komodo Resort. The boat ride over treated us to the best view of the red-skied sunset.

Komodo Resort Beach Bar

After arriving and checking into our beachfront luxury bungalows, we met for dinner and a drink before bed. The following morning, we were back at it! Here we spent our days on a large wooden boat, leaving the resort around 9 am and staying out until about 4 pm. We would visit two sites in the mornings before lunch on the boat (a yummy buffet of local dishes and fresh fruit) and then another site after lunch. The first day we were lucky enough to snorkel with 5 manta rays, and we knew right then that we week was going to be special. And boy was it ever. From watching a cuttlefish lay her eggs into the hard coral, to drift snorkeling, more manta rays, countless turtles, octopus, eagle ray, eels and more, we were simply delighted at every turn.

Green sea turtle sleeping on reef

The house reef at Komodo Resort is utterly exceptional, and we snorkeled it several times, with many people agreeing it is one of the best reefs in and around the Komodo National Park.
Evenings at the resort were spent watching stunning sunsets from the beach bar, while chatting, looking through photos, exchanging funny stories and generally recapping the day’s events and new sightings.

Komodo Resort Island

By the end of the tour, we felt like we had all known each other for ages (far longer than the two weeks it had been) and were sorry to have to say goodbye when we got back to the airport in Bali.

One of our most popular snorkel trip routes is the Alor and Komodo trip in Indonesia.

Following on from the previous post, about the first part of the tour in Alor, this post will deal with the second part of the tour in Komodo.

Komodo Resort Island

After a superb week in Alor, we travel by plane via Kupang to Labuan Bajo, a small town on the western tip on Flores, a large island further west, and the jumping off point to the famous Komodo National Park. Here we will be met by our drivers and taken via the main resort office to the port where we embark on a 1h30min private boat trip to the island of Seyabur, and location of our next stop.

Arriving mid afternoon, we will settle into our amazing beachfront bungalows. These gorgeous bungalows have four-poster beds, mosquito nets, desks and bar fridges. (Soft drinks and snacks in the fridge are free of charge for in-room consumption). The ensuite bathrooms come complete with towels, shampoo and body wash. Each bungalow has a private balcony with bean bag and chairs, as well as a little deck with deck chairs and umbrellas for relaxing and sunbathing by the waters edge. Each bungalow also has extra towels for guests to take and use on the boats during the day.

Here we enjoy our meals in the dining area, where the menu includes Indonesian, Italian and other western style choices, and is served al la carte. Drinks can be enjoyed at the beach bar watching spectacular sunsets.

Komodo Resort Food

The long jetty runs over the stunning house reef. Here the corals are pristine and alive with schooling fish in huge numbers, passing eagle rays, moray eels and critters, and can be snorkeled at any time with surface boat support.

Our time here will be spent exploring some of the reefs that make Komodo one of the most well known marine parks in the world. Famed for it’s biodiversity, this area more than lives up to it’s reputation as home to the most species of coral and fish in the world.

Happy couple snorkeling a reef in Komodo

We will have private use of a large wooden double story boat. The roof deck has a sun shade and several bean bags for relaxing on, while the bottom bed has benches for sitting on and preparing for water entry from the back lowered deck. A large sturdy ladder makes for easy re-entry onto the boat. The boats have tea, coffee and drinking water and a small marine toilet. Boats are equipped with flotation devices as well as long ropes to help tired snorkelers back to the boat. Our expert snorkel guides are always available to help or just point out fantastic marine life, and the experienced captain and boat crew help to make our time on the boat comfortable and enjoyable.

manta rays feeding on the surface

When not snorkeling we will visit Rinca island, one of the last few islands in the world where Komodo dragons can be seen in the wild. Other species living here include deer, monkeys, buffalo and more and our walk is guided by a park ranger who can tell us lots of information about the island and wildlife living there,  Another day-trip takes us to Pandar Island, known for its stunning beaches and magnificent hill-top view point. Here, weather permitting we have a BBQ on the beach between hiking and snorkeling sessions.

Large school of fish in Komodo

The water temperature in this area is generally a little warmer than Alor, mostly around the 84F mark and above. Here we often snorkel in rash vests and leggings (for sun protection) but some people prefer wet suits as after several days of snorkeling we sometimes feel a little colder than expected.

The final morning of the tour involves a very early start, with a light breakfast on board the boat as we head back to Labuan Bajo to catch a 9.30 flight to Bali where the tour comes to an end.

So I have decided to give you a small overview of the trip, what you can expect, what a day in the life of the tour looks like… This post deals with the first part of the tour, in Alor. You can read about the second part of the tour in Komodo here.

The tour start with a night in Bali to allow everyone some time to arrive from international flights, freshen up and get a good nights rest.

Uluwatu temple and ocean cliff

The following morning, the group of 12 plus the guide travels together to Alor. This involves a short flight to Kupang, and after a wait, another short flight to Alor. This is a small island in the eastern part of Indonesia, where we are met by waiting cars and embark on an hours journey to the magnificent resort nestled into the tree-lined rocky shore. Here we settle in, enjoy lunch and a resort and snorkel briefing before getting our feet wet. the water temperature ranges from 74 – 84F, although closer to the resort it’s usually closer to 84F.

This resort has a beautiful house reef, accessible from the wooden jetty, which stretches a good distance along the shore. Here we can see stunning corals ranging from the surface down to 18m along a slope. Alive with tropical fish, baby reef sharks, eels, Mandarin fish, nudibranchs and more, this is a magnificent place to spend some time exploring.

Diamond spadefish below jetty in Alor

The resort’s three speed boats and excellent staff members will provide transport and surface support for the following days outings to snorkel sites further from the resort. We will fill our days here exploring some of the healthiest and most colorful reefs in the world. The boats have experienced captains, and are equipped with water, snacks, towels and flotation devices.

While snorkeling around this part of Indonesia we recommend wearing 3mm wetsuits, and possibly bringing a vest along too as water temperatures sometimes drop a little in the Southern sites. Full foot fins are perfect as we will be doing boat entries so no need to have booties necessarily. The resort has a camera set up room, complete

Alami Alor Resort

A couple of afternoons will be spent on land exploring some of the sites and learning about the local culture of the area.

We will spend 7 nights in our luxurious sea front bungalows, each with an open air ensuite bathroom, complete with towels shampoo and body wash and mosquito repellent. The bungalows have spacious bedrooms with closets, bedside tables, desk with access to plug points, wash baskets (where one can leave dirty clothes for the free laundry service), drinking water, as well as large private outdoor decks. Here we can enjoy private sun lounges, and magnificent sunsets.

Snorkeler floating over reef in Komodo National Park

While here our meals will be taken in the lounge/dinning area, where we will all sit at a long table and enjoy a variety of dishes prepared with fresh local ingredients, mostly showcasing the best of traditional Indonesian cuisine.  Breakfasts are made to order, lunches and dinners are served family style and completed with freshly baked treats for dessert.

Alami Alor Resort Bungalows