The area of Wakatobi is fast gaining a reputation as one of the top dive spots around. This small collection of islands in the south east of Sulawesi enjoys some of the healthiest coral fields you are likely to see. The rich waters mean an abundance of marine life in all its forms and the area is now regularly visited by liveaboards.
Wakatobi is one of the newest and most exciting diving destinations in Indonesia, winning extraordinary praise from its visitors both for outstanding and accessible sites, and the quality of service they receive from the dive operation.
Although it is simple enough to get to with charter flights from Bali, you still have the remote pioneer-diving feel when enjoying the sites of Wakatobi. Above water, the pioneering atmosphere continues. You can visit a genuine sea gypsy village to sample their totally different lifestyle and check out the products of the local iron-making industry - beautiful traditional knives known as 'keris'. No pre-fab tourist attractions here, just locals going about their business and breaking into wide, toothy grins when people from distant lands show an interest in their lives. Other traditional manufacturing going on includes sarong weaving and dugout boat building.
You can also go on treks through some of the remote villages of Wakatobi with curious, welcoming village-folk, unaccustomed to and enthused by, the sight of foreigners. It is fair to say that unlike some places, you certainly won't hear of any begging or calls of "transport, transport!" or "handsome man!" You can end your treks by plunging into the clear, cooling waters of freshwater caverns. This is one of those priceless travel moments we all long for, to be far from the crowd and at one with nature. For serious divers looking for the one of the finest scuba experiences in Indonesia, Wakatobi could well be the place.
Wakatobi House Reef - For fans of Wakatobi diving it is not only that there are so many incredible sites within easy reach of the resort, being only a short speedboat ride away, but also that a few fin kicks from the shore lies the best house reef in the world. How could a simple house reef be one of the highlights of a scuba diving vacation? Well this isn't your average house reef. It is considered by many dive professionals to be the finest in the world and is a site that guests often visit over and over again, such is its allure.
Stroll in to a dive site that seems impossibly entertaining with every reef character you could imagine including turtles, eagle rays, and hard and soft corals galore. There is a resident school of trevallies, a sandy bottom of snake eels, blue-spotted rays and flounders and sea fans with pygmy seahorses. Among the sessile reef life of corals and anemones, look out for crabs, nudibranchs, shrimps, lionfish and scorpionfish. All of this just a few fin kicks from your bedroom!
Cornucopia suggests there will be plenty to get divers excited, and there is! A steady constant current keeps this reef awash with nutrient-dense water which can bring in a wide variety of marine creatures. Larger animals that may put in an appearance include mobula rays and eagle rays, as well as nurse sharks and whitetips.
The Wakatobi seascape continually changes here, from reef flat to wall with ledges and overhangs, often featuring impressive hard and soft corals of purple, yellow and orange hues. There indeed is a lot here for you to feast your eyes on.
Dive The World Indonesia's Recommendations: Roma and Cornucopia.
More detailed information available on the Wakatobi diving sites on our www.dive-the-world.com website.
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March to December is the season for scuba diving in Wakatobi. July and August bring rich plankton blooms and their attendant big marine animals, but also cooler water and lower visibility.
The water temperature varies quite a bit here. This is a quick guide: October maximum of 30°C, the latter half of August minimum of 25°C, March until May the temperature averages 28°C, June, July and September are between 26 to 27°C, October 28 to 30°C November to March averages 28°C. In other words for 99% of the year, the temperature ranges between 26 - 29°C.
Liveaboard trips here depart from Wakatobi itself. The boat operator has charter flights direct from Denpasar, Bali.
Great for: Small animals, underwater photography, reef life and health and visibility
Not so great for: Wrecks and non-diving activities
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 15 - 80m
Surface Conditions: Calm
Water Temperature: 26 - 29°C
Experience Level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: >50
Distance: 1,020 km north east of Bali (2½ hours)
Access: Wakatobi liveaboards
Recommended length of stay: 7 - 11 days