For beginner diver, mostly when you say about diving spot in Indonesia, the most name shows up is Raja Ampat, Papua. But there’s also another diving spot that’s have same underwater great views. It’s called Pantar Island, located in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Pantar Island is one of the two main islands in Alor regency. Its area is 728 km2 so you can say this is quite a small island.
To reach the Pantar Island, first we must take a flight to Kupang. There’s a flight to Kupang from Jakarta, Surabaya or Denpasar. Local airlines such as Lion Air, Batavia Air, or Sriwijaya Air is the only one that have route to Kupang. The price started from Rp 700.000. From Kupang, there’s TransNusa airlines flight to Alor in every day. It takes 50 minutes to Mali Airport, the price is between Rp 350.000 until Rp 550.000. Alor is also can be reach by PELNI ferry. The schedule from Kupang to Alor is twice a week with estimated time 18 hours. The price is Rp 75.000 for adults and Rp 195.000 for motorcycle.
There’s no public transportation from the airport to Kalabahi, the capital city of Alor, so you must carter a travel car or make a reservation with the hotel or resort you’re staying. Most people usually make a reservation with the hotel resort. You can find it in the website, some resorts have their own package including shuttle car from the airport.
When I go diving in Pantar, I saw my first breathtaking scenery. Just so you know, Pantar Island has 40-80% of coral coverage, with over 30 variation of coral reef. This is really like an underwater castle. These coral reefs are generally widespread from various forms, so it is really exciting diving down here.
Diving to the depth of 20-30m, we found some school fish, mostly Snapper but sometimes there’s also Trevallies fish. When these schools of fish come through us, in a second our visibility is covered up. Felt like we were part of these fish. We also meet octopus there. Mimic Octopus, Wonderpus Octopus and Longarm Octopus are the most often found octopus in the Pantar sea area, the local residents here says that these octopuses can be easy to see in the afternoon or evening. The coral reef fish in Pantar is also in many species, such as Butterfly, Cardinal, mostly Angelfish, but they also says that sometimes you can see Parrot, Puffer and Porcupine too.
When diving in Pantar, I found one cute fish, it looks just like another ordinary pink rock that usually lies at the bottom, but when we approached it moves away. Later turns out that “pinky rock” is a fish, called Devil Scorpionfish. Besides the underwater attractions, the beach is also an attraction in itself. Just ask the local residents to show you their hidden beach. Let me tell you one secret, there’s one beach in Pantar that having 3 colors of sand. Interested to find out? Just come to Pantar Island and discover it yourself.