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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in
Indonesia/Southeast Sulawesi

July, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Marc & Maureen Duggan, CA, USA
Report Number 2038
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Great setups all around. Resort featured a separate large camera room with
work benches & dual power (110/220). Large boats had rinse tanks, large
camera platform and attentive personnel. Dive guide very attentive to
photographers allowing plenty of time for everyone (non-photographers,
photographers & videographers) to see subject matter and get the shots
we wanted.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
For anyone wanting to "get away from it all", Wakatobi is a great
place to go. It is (to us), a diver's paradise with wonderful
accommodations, food, and diving. The resort has small, cozy bungalows
(maybe 20 or so) that are just the right size for two: comfortable bed,
sofa, writing desk, cabinets for clothes, A/C, and modern bathrooms, no
phones or TVs and the power is 220 volt (110v is available in the camera
room). All bungalows are accessed by shell-lined paths (we took the advice
of going barefoot the entire time we were there). The dining area is a
large, open area with long tables and chairs. Food is top-notch and fresh,
including the pastries after dinner each night, served buffet-style. A nice
mix of local dishes and traditional fare is usually provided each meal.
Beer, wine & mixed drinks available at an additional cost. Mixed drinks
and beer were fairly priced for an island in the middle of nowhere, but the
wine was priced noticeably high. We were told that the owners were working
on this. Out by the water were umbrella covered wood (teak?) tables for
playing cards, talking, eating or having drinks at sunset. There is a room
with a video monitor for kids to watch movies and a computer for internet
connection (with an additional fee). There is nothing else on the island
other than the resort and small village where most of the resort staff
live. The staff are incredibly nice and attentive, greeting you with smiles
(and the boat/dining area staff greeting you by name each day). When you
arrive at the resort, you are assigned a diver number and gear box, where
you place all your dive gear. Thats the last you will touch your gear
except for getting in and out of the water. Every morning it is placed on
the boats, set up on tanks and taken off at the end of the day by a staff
member. There are three separate rinse tanks for electronic gear (cameras,
computers), dive gear, and wetsuits. Boat crews were impeccable, offering
assistance in and out of the water & warm drinks (tea, hot cocoa)
immediately after each dive. There are three boat dives per day. Additional
shore dives are permitted at any time on a nice, very large house reef.
Very nitrox friendly. Thorough dive briefings are given each morning.
Divers are allowed to dive their own profiles, but its better not to (see
below). Every diver is required to do a checkout dive upon arrival, I
believe to group divers with similar experience/skills on one of the three
dive boats. Our divemaster, John, has a great personality and was very good
at finding exotic and small critters, including multiple blue ribbon eels,
a frog fish, a ghost pipefish, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, numerous
pigmy seahorses (that are even smaller than you would think), a rainbowfull
of nudibranchs, sea snakes, leaf fish, multiple large and small cuttlefish
(and their eggs nestled in corals) and more. We didnt see any large
animals during the week that we were there (a couple of bugs in crevasses,
but no pelagics). The corals, fans and other sea life were gorgeous, large
and undamaged (the resort has ensured that many reefs are not used for
local fishing and other non-diving activities). Vis was occasionally
reduced and darkened, as several brief rainstorms came through during our
stay churning up the sea. However, its a great experience to surface in a
downpour! Dives are slow paced and thorough with John scanning the reefs
and walls for things you could miss if you blink at the wrong moment.
Patience within the dive group is required for viewing so many small
critters with a magnifying glass, one person at a time, but it truly
remarkable at the diversity and sealife that you experience there. Patience
is also required in getting to Wakatobi, which took us two days from
California. The flight from Los Angeles to Singapore is 17 hours, and then
another 2.5 from Singapore to Bali. A night stayover in Bali is required
before taking their charter plane to Sulawesi the next morning (the Hotel
Intercontinental is very nice -- The
resort built the airstrip in Sulawesi (to cut down the time it used to take
to get there), where you take a boat approximately 15-20 minutes to the
resort. On our return home we stayed another 4 days in Bali at the Four
Seasons in Sayan ( We very highly recommend
Wakatobi Dive Resort and plan to return in the future. It is truly a place
to get away from it all, walk around barefoot and do nothing but dive great
sites, eat very good food, and relax at a nice, slow pace. Its website
contains a lot of useful information about the resort, diving and planning
a trip there.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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