A Mystical Archipelago Full of Colors
Legend has it that after a particularly long drought in the Dolabang at Pura, Olangki made a journey to Reta to borrow rice. The following year, while on way to return it, he saw a pig on the top of Maru Mountain. He tried, but failed, to slay the pig. In his despair, he asked for help from “God” to give him water and in return he would give away his daughter, “Bui”. The sky turned dark and a big rain flooded the village. After he gave his daughter to the God, the rain stopped. After a year, the villagers had enough food and water. They celebrated their good fortune with the Lego-Lego Dance and invited Bui to join them. Bui was believed to be married to the God of the mountain. While dancing, Bui asked her mother to take care of her baby that was wrapped in a blanket. She told her mother not to open the blanket. The mother opened the blanket and found a big red fish. She could not resist eating one of the eyes. When Bui discovered that the mother had hurt her baby, she ran and locked herself inside Bitu Era cave. She promised herself that there would be no more hunger and thirst for her family and village. To this day, water can always be found on top of the Maru Mountain despite any long dry season. It is believed that Bui Hangi made this gift possible.
There are 95 islands surrounding this archipelago encompassing 7,420 km2 /2,865 miles2 of land and water. The Pantar Strait is between the islands of Alor and Pantar. The water coming from the Pacific in the north is flowing through this strait to merge with the Indian Ocean in the south. Similar flow occurs in the Komodo Archipelago. With more than 75 dive sites to choose, this area contains 1,200 species of coral reef fish and 500 species of corals. While under water, visibility ranges up to 40m/132 feet in the dry season of July to September.
Discover the world’s most colorful, beautiful and densely covered coral reef dive sites on Pura and Pantar. Some sites are known for their beautiful panoramas of dense coral, anemone, and sponge coverage mixed with smaller reef fish. Each site here is diverse with its own topography and vibrant colors scheme including walls, slopes and seamounts. Spend an extra day to travel to Sikka in search for the walrus type mammal, called a Dugong.
Kalabahi Bay and Baengabang Bay are great places for night dives. You can venture out for a night-dive where you will witness a busy nightlife in this volcanic seabed from rare Octopus to the iconic Rhinopias. The Pantar Strait provides us with an opportunity to see several types of pelagic fish given the right tide and moon phase. These can include Eagle rays, Barracuda, Trevally, Tunas, Rainbow Runners and if we are lucky even Mola-Mola, Dolphins, Hammerhead Sharks or Thresher Sharks.
You will see a volcano surrounded by crystal clear waters full of aquatic life, coconut fringed pure white sandy beaches at Adonara and Lapan. The sustainable traditional fishing and village scenery will welcome you this special archipelago. Join locals for a celebratory dance in village of Takpala or hike one of the volcanoes. If you are into Ikat “Indonesian traditional weaving”, we can join local artisans at Lembata or Solor as they create unique designs using a natural dyed process to make it into a beautiful fabrics.
During dry season from May to September, Lamalerans keep their eyes on the sperm whale. A wounded whale often tows its hunters for miles or drags their boat down into the deeps. Successful hunters distribute cuts of the catch according to clan and status. Despite sanctions from The United Nations to its whaling tradition, the locals are still-hunting for the only protein source available. This activity has nothing to do with commercial fishing. It is a matter of survival. Your eyes will be spoilt with the turquoise water and outstanding visibility of Maumere Bay. End your safari by joining a Watublapi family on a traditional feast and dance.
Be inspired to take a magical journey in The Coral Triangle.