Take a day off!
Published/Last edited or updated: 20th April, 2017
Just off the southwest tip of Alor, Kepa Island is home to the lovely La P’tite Kepa, but it can also be visited on an easy day trip from Kalabahi should you not want to stay in the resort (or they’re full).
Reached by just a five-minute boat trip from the mainland, the island has a gaggle of beaches you can snorkel from (or just laze on) along with a pier to jump off and a tiny fishing village.
Before you get in the water, a word about the currents. Swirling around the island are some formidable waters, especially on the western side. To the west there is a deep channel and when the tide is going out, you should exercise extreme caution when swimming/snorkelling here. It is fine if you’re just playing around in the shallows, but at the drop-off and beyond, when the tide is going out, this is extremely dangerous—next stop West Timor. This goes for both the west coast beaches. Never snorkel alone off of these beaches.
On the north side of the island, more or less opposite La P’tite Kepa and to the east, the currents are more reasonable, though again, when the tide is going out, care should be taken.
The best easy snorkelling, if you just want to see a lot of fish, is off and around the pier. The reef out from of La P’tite Kepa is a bit banged up and when the tide is lower you’ve got a lot of rocky shallows to get over. On the west coast, when the tide is coming in, ideally an hour or so before high tide, there is great off-the-beach snorkelling and there are shy reef sharks in the waters.
If you enjoy walking around islands, Kepa can be circumnavigated in a bit over an hour, though you’ll need shoes as some of the going is rocky, and it is only really possible at low tide.
A boat from the mainland to Kepa costs 20,000 rupiah one way.
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.