Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia
The area is named after the four main islands Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko.
What to see: Pristine coral reefs, walls, pinnacles, colorful corals and sponges with abundant marine life, mainly smaller fish, schooling barracuda, little macro
Level: From entry-level to experienced diver
Who should go there: Divers who are looking for a remote place with colorful coral reefs and abundant marine life
How to get there: Flight from Makassar to Wangi-Wangi (around USD 40)
Wangi-wangi: taxi to the accommodation (up to IDR 200’000, USD 16)
Hoga: taxi to ferry port (IDR 150’000, USD 12), ferry to Kaledupa (2 hours, IDR 100’000, USD 8) and transfer by boat to the resort in Hoga (30 min, 50’000, USD 4)
Tomia: taxi to ferry port, ferry from Wangi-Wangi to Tomia (5 hours, IDR 200’000, USD 16). Alternatively direct flight from Bali to Wakatobi Dive Resort (USD 500 to 800).
Where to stay:
Wangi-Wangi: The best developed of the islands with different accommodations available. Patuno Resort is the most luxurious option with a package price of USD 230 per night including diving. Alternatively it is possible to stay at a guesthouse/homestay (IDR 150’000 to 400’000, USD 12 to 32) and dive with one of the dive operators in the area. Talk to the owners of your guesthouse to contact a dive guide.
Hoga: Hoga Island Dive Resort
Tomia: Either the luxury option Wakatobi Dive Resort starting at USD 290 per night or a basic guesthouse (around IDR 250’000, USD 20) and dive with one of two dive operators.
The Wakatobi Dive Resort also operates a liveaboard which visits several areas of Wakatobi and other companies offer liveaboard trips to the region.
Climate: Around 26 to 30°C all year round, wet season is January and February
Water temperature: 28 to 30°C October to May, 26-28°C June to September
Visibility: 10 to 50 m
Season: Diving is possible all year round, loads of mosquitos during the wet season
Wangi-Wangi: At Patuno Resort the package price is USD 230 per day including accommodation, full board and two dives. Diving with the other dive operators will cost around IDR 400’000 (USD 30) per dive.
Hoga: At Hoga Island Dive Resort the package price is EUR 95 per day including accommodation, full board and two dives.
Tomia: At Wakatobi Dive Resort a day diving including 3 boat dives and unlimited housereef diving costs USD 195.
Liveaboard: USD 315 to 520 per day
Favorite dive sites: Buoy 1 in Hoga to dive with the biggest school of barracuda I have seen so far
My trip: I flew from Makassar to Wangi-Wangi, where I was picked up by a taxi to drive to the ferry, the ferry took 2 hours to Kaledupa and from there we were picked up by a small boat to drop us in front of the Hoga Island Dive Resort. I stayed 10 days with two dives per day. The resort is built on a beautiful beach under lush trees, a lovely place. The set-up is basic with huts close to the beach and outside bathrooms with bucket showers. Electricity is available for 4 hours in the evenings. The food was delicious and the staff helpful and friendly.
The pristine and colorful coral reefs vary from dive site to dive site. The area definitely offers some amazing reef diving with walls, pinnacles and ridges and the biodiversity to be expected in the coral triangle.