By Dian Hasan | July 29, 2010
La P’tite Kepa Homestay is located on a small idyllic island called Kepa (Pulau Kepa in Indonesian), in the middle of Pantar Strait, the heart of Alor archipelago. Just 5-minutes by boat from Alor Kecil village, on Alor main island west coast, this is a central place to explore Alor Islands and the dive sites.
La P’tite Kepa Homestay is the brainchild of Cedric & Anne Lechat, a French couple who became smitten with Alor Islands when they traveled there in the late 1980s. The eco-friendly homestay is a vision of that love, built in stages over the years, and involving the immediate community every step of the way. Fred & Anne had been practicing eco- and sustainable-tourism principles long before it became the buzzworthy catchphrase it is today.
- In respect of the local culture and immediate environment, La P’tite Kepa Homestay‘s 9 bungalows were fashioned after a traditional Alor village, using all natural building materials like bamboo, coconut trees for the main structure and thatch for the roof.
- For both eco and practical reasons, all of La P’tite’s bathrooms are the traditional Indonesian style “mandi” (a water container with a small ladle). 2 bungalows have attached “mandi” (Indonesian style bathroom), and 7 others have separated (4 shared mandi).
- Fresh water is fetched from Alor Kecil village for showers, and seawater is used for sanitation system. Alor-Pantar’s strait islands regularly suffer from aridity and water is a fundamental issue. Guests are always encouraged to conserve water and other resources.
- Laundry service is available, or you can do it by yourself at the well of Alor Kecil (special place for cultural exchange!)
- Power is generated through solar panels. La P’tite collects guests batteries (and other electronics) that require charging in the evenings, and returns them fully charged in the mornings. There’s also a small solar panel for charging mobile phones and small equipment.
- Organic waste feeds goats and chicken. Other waste is burned in a ‘home-made’ incinerator, not high-tech but with a neutralization system for smoke’s acidity.
- All meals are made with fresh and seasonal produce, with a priority on local sourcing. Imported foods (generally from Bali) is kept to a minimum.
The Alor Islands are only 1-hour away from West Timor’s main town of Kupang. For the longest time, Alor had been in isolation for lack of infrastructure. But today, transportation to Alor has improved conisederably, with regular boat and airline services.
So if you are looking for first-class diving or a more authentic setting than the regular tourist scene, come to these beautifull islands to enjoy stunning sealife and coral gardens, tribal culture and general hospitality!
The Alor islands are surrounded by pristine blue waters, reputedly offering some of the wolrd’s most accessible reefs, drop-offs, caves and valleys, full of brightly colored corals, as well as a rich invertebrate and pelagic fish life, with hundreds of species of fish.
On land, you can find steep mountains, dry savannas as well as lush rainforest. Alor also offers an active volcano, various hot springs, and some hidden waterfalls …
These small, rugged and remarkably beautiful islands, dominated by jagged mountains and steep valleys, have divided the islands into many distinct ethnic groups. There is a wealth of interesting local culture, with strong traditional beliefs and some of the best ikat weaving in Eastern Indonesia.
Alor traditional life remains untouched across many villages, as evident in their three-tiered houses with thatch roofs. And the Alorese are always a welcoming bunch ready to welcome guests and show them their rich heritage through their ikat cloth and paraphernalia.