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Wakatobi, Indonesia: An Introduction

wakatobiWakatobi Island is situated in the eastern end of the Indonesian Archipelago off Sulawesi and is now part of the Tukang Besi National Marine Park. Just 6° south of the Equator this area benefits from the great diversity of the Banda Sea where over 3,000 species of fish have to date been classified. The island is exceptionally remote and still only a few of the inhabitants have today's convenience of electricity, this really is a tropical paradise of lush rainforest, swaying palm trees and golden sands far from the reality of civilization.

divingIn being a National Marine Park Wakatobi benefits from having only one dive resort, Wakatobi Dive Resort. The owner Lorenz Mader with his wife and Wakatobi team have worked exceptionally hard alongside both the government and local people to preserve the area, this has retained the pristine coral reefs and diverse marine life making it one of the worlds most spectacular diving destinations.

From the shore of the resort divers can explore the famous House Reef lying just 20m from your bungalow, just a few fin strokes from the waters edge. The thriving seagrass bed is interspersed with colourful soft corals, eels, and the occasional flounder can be seen skimming the beds. This shallow reef stretches a distance of 50m from the shoreline and has an abundant array of life, Blue-spotted Rays, Bigeye Jacks, Fangblennies and the rare Halameda Ghost Fish can all be seen on the swim to the drop off at 50m. Within the gully that leads to the drop off you can search for the as yet un-named species of Pygmy Seahorse often found on the spectacular seafans. When looking into the deeper water from this gully you can often sea both turtles and Eagle-rays gliding by and feeding from this nutrient-rich part of the sea.

wakatobi hotelsFrom marvelling at the diversity of the House Reef it is hard to believe that there can be much improvement around these waters, however there is and the divemasters of Wakatobi Dive Resort will be keen to show them to you. One of the most loved sites is The Blade, this comprises of a chain of 6 pinnacles that rise from great depths to within 6m of the surface. These incredible towers are adorned with brightly coloured hard and soft corals, gorgonians and sea fans, and are continually circled by numerous fish making it an exciting dive site with much ongoing activity.

wakatobi beachOther sites of exceptional interest include Roma, again a chain though this time of undulating mounds where Clownfish can be seen playing in the soft corals and the bommies teem with macro life. This photographers paradise offers, corals in all imaginable colours, sea fans and anemones, and the resident fish will play up to the camera. At Inca's Palette the multiple overhangs that plummet to great depths are home to Leather Coral and huge tube sponges. To truly benefit the diversity of corals along these reefs a drift dive should be experienced where you can let the current guide you whilst you take in the open corals.

The list of dive sites within Tukang Besi National Marine Park is limitless and new sites are continuously being discovered. With the ongoing protection fortunately this will be a location that should grow further in its diversity of life and interest.


Accommodation at Wakatobi, Indonesia: Dive Resort

wakatobi dive resortsWakatobi Dive Resort is a secluded, intimate resort that is run by an international crew, the resort was carefully constructed with traditional methods embracing sound ecotourism principles. The architecture of the Indonesian longhouse and the Grand Bungalows are all very traditional and were all constructed by local craftsmen using traditional hand tools.

Although one of the world's most remote resorts, Wakatobi offers guests private rooms and bungalows with western amenities; hot and cold running water, 24hr electricity, satellite communications and more, all combined with personal service. A gourmet chef is at the resort to create wonderful local and international cuisine throughout your stay.

Wakatobi Dive Resort offers unlimited diving, with a minimum of 3 boat dives per day and free access to the House Reef just metres from the shore. The resort has often been described as a 'liveaboard with a built-in-beach!'





January and February normally sees the wet season here. Located just south of the equator, Wakatobi has an even, tropical climate with temperatures around 32°C all year round.
We recommend visiting from March to December - it's the high season (most busy around April/May and September/November) during which the diving is consistently good. November to April is the best time for spotting pilot whales. During the first and last months of the season you may find yourself in a refreshing shower but this does not greatly affect the diving. In the summer months the surface tends to be a little choppier due to coral spawning which is evidence that there are things going on beneath the waves.

Singapore Airlines B747 non-stop to Singapore
Depart Heathrow/Manchester daily AM
Return Heathrow/Manchester daily AM
Flight time to Denpasar Bali approx 17 hours
Flight requires change of aircraft at Singapore
Economy Class Seat pitch 34 inches
Malaysia Airlines B747 non-stop to Kuala Lumpur
Depart Heathrow/Manchester daily AM
Return Heathrow/Manchester daily AM
Flight time to Denpasar Bali approx 17 hours
Flight requires change of aircraft at Kuala Lumpur
Economy Class Seat pitch 34 inches
Direct connecting flight from Bali into Wakatobi

A passport is required for entry into Malaysia and Indonesia.  It needs to be valid for 6 months beyond your travel dates.

A visa is required for entry into Indonesia and can be acquired upon arrival in Indonesia at a fee.
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