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Vaguely chicken-shaped Alor is the largest island in the Alor Archipelago. This is Indonesia at its rawest, and this island will appeal to independent travellers comfortable getting a little more off the beaten track.

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Home to the archipelago’s sole airport and the administrative capital Kalabahi, which doubles as the primary port, all roads (or boat routes) lead to Alor. There is plenty enough to keep visitors busy for a few days, be it lazing on the beach, snorkelling and diving, or visiting a traditional village or waterfall.

Late light at Kalabahi harbour. : Stuart McDonald.
Late light at Kalabahi harbour. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Geographically, Alor sits at a crossroads. It’s set more or less north of West Timor; east of Pantar, Lembata and, in the distance, Flores; distantly south of Sulawesi and Maluku; and to the east Wetar and eventually Papua. Alor enjoys a rich diversity of people, with more than a dozen languages in use, many of them, like the people, having Papuan roots. Most Alorites, especially in the interior, are Protestants, while the sea-facing villages are more likely to have significant Muslim populations. You’ll see far more mosques by the sea, while churches and crucifixes dot ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)

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