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Alor, Indonesia's Anemone Valley

 

Far off the beaten path, and the ultra popular neighbors of Komodo, Bali and Gili Islands, is a little place called Alor. Only known by trekkers and hard core divers, Alor is a tiny island east of Lombok, just north of East Timor, in Central Indonesia. For some reason it hasn't taken off yet as a popular scuba destination, but as world gets out about it's world class pelagic, macro, drift, reef and wall dive sites, people are sure to rush there, masks and fins ready. Alor is very un-visited, yet one of the best places for scuba diving in Indonesia

I could go on all day about Alor, as during my trip I was impressed with many sites and its health coral and marine life, but right now I just want to talk about one dive site: Anemone Valley. During the dive briefing right before hitting the water, our instructor told us that Anemone Valley has the highest concentration of anemones in the world (and the clownfish population is huge too). When hearing this I was very skeptical. Ive been a lot of places, and seen some huge anemones, and secondly I had never heard this statistic before coming to Alor.

Alor, Indonesia's Anemone Valley

Whether it was true or not, what I expected was just a giant field of anemones', each single one being the size of a bed, kind of like I have seen in Egypt, all butted up to one another. But what I really saw was much different, and just as impressive. My skepticism went away immediately as we descended to the shallow depths of Anemone Valley.

Alor, Indonesia's Anemone Valley

Instead of one giant pillow of anemones like I had imagined, the site was littered with basket ball size volcanic boulders, with small anemones EVERYWHERE. On top of rocks, in-between, underneath, in crack and everywhere you looked. It wasn't what I had expected, but I immediately understood that in numbers of individual anemones, I can certainly see how this was known as having the highest concentration.

There were reds and blue tipped and skinny and fat and as many colors as I could find. not all anemones' had a Nemo in it, and others had 10 in them! Everywhere I looked there were clownfish homes sticking out of every available space. It was awesome.

Alor, Indonesia's Anemone Valley

It wasn't just anemones and clowns though. There were uncountable reef fish and sea snakes and macro critters like shrimp and crabs and anything else you can expect to see in Alor. So if you get tired of seeing clowns, there was plenty more to see everywhere.

So if you are fan of clownfish and colorful anemones, you might want to head to Alor, and experience the largest concentration of them, in Anemone Valley. If you are thinking of checking it out, I put together a comprehensive guide to scuba diving Alor, to help you plan an epic trip.

Written by Justin Carmack