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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

Wakatobi Dive Resort, Nov, 2002,

by Kenneth Knezick, TX, USA ( 2 reports). Report 282.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Over the past 25 years, I have logged 2, 700+ dives. It has been my pleasure to visit and dive most of the world's most renowned diving destinations.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 80 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Experienced divers are treated as adults and allowed full latitude to enjoy the dives. On the boat, divers are asked to limit their bottom time to 75 minutes for dive. In my experience, this is most generous, and greatly appreciated.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales >2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Excellent opportunities for macro, fish faces, and wide angle. Right off the beach, on the house reef, one has a choice of anything from pygmy seahorses to lovely soft coral formations for wide angle shooting in clear, shallow water. There is no question but that I have made some of my best undewater photographs at Wakatobi.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments DIVING -- This was my sixth trip to Wakatobi, so you must know that I greatly appreciate this place, and the people who make it work. It is common knowledge among diving cognoscenti that Wakatobi has the world's finest house reef. This is a great boon to serious divers and underwater photographers. The diving, both on the boat dives and the unlimited shore diving, is superb and diverse. Wakatobi is not the place to go if seek luxury creature comforts, or if your interest is only in seeing big marine animals. But to experience a coral reef in its most pristine condition, fully populated with the beautiful fish and marine life of the reef, then there are few places in the world with diving to equal that of Wakatobi Dive Resort.

RESORT -- The resort and its amenities are indeed quite simple. The longhouse rooms are Spartan, but more than sufficient if you have come to dive. The bungalows are a good upgrade over the longhouse rooms spacious and attractive, with their own private bath. For me it is the staff, many of whom I have known for five years now, that make this a great dive resort. The local staff are all exceedingly friendly, helpful, and accommodating. There is always someone there to lend a hand, carry gear, cameras, etc. In my experience, if you need something, just ask and it will be donewith a smile.

SERVICE -- For a recent handicapped guest, the Wakatobi crew even added a boardwalk leading over the sand to her bungalow, and immediately upon request had carpenters add railings to both sides of the stairs entering her cabin. In the water, this woman was given her own personal divemaster on every dive. The divemasters and boat crew dressed her, helped her in and out of the water, and lead her on a personal dive each and every time. The Wakatobi staff is to be heartily commended for their professional and very helpful attitude.

FOOD -- As to the meals, they have improved markedly since my first visit in 1996and even then I personally was quite happy with the mainly local-style fare. Now, however, there is a professional European chef, who has established an effective supply line due to the new direct charter flight from Bali to the resort. I certainly saw no one go hungry, by any means. There was always plenty of food, and a good variety. Freshly made breads at every meal, homemade soups at each lunch and dinner. There were plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, and nice salads. Always rice or noodles, plus a main dish of meat, fish, or chicken. Three or four nights there was a huge plate of fresh tuna sashimi, hand made sushi rolls, wasabi, soy, and even the chefs own homemade pickled ginger. My own primarily vegetarian diet was also accommodated wonderfully well. The serving and kitchen staff are very sweet people, and always did their very best to accommodate our requests.

BOTTOM LINE Wakatobi is in a very remote place. Thats why we go there, because the diving is excellent. Wakatobi makes no pretension to being a luxury vacation resort. In my opinion, it is a superb DIVE resort, managed by a very knowledgeable and capable Swiss scuba instructor who loves diving as much as anyone I have ever met. The staff at Wakatobi wants you to have a great dive trip. If you want luxury, go to the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman. But if your primary interest is to gain unlimited access to the worlds best reef diving, then I suggest you seriously consider Wakatobi Dive Resort. But as I said at the start, Im a Wakatobi zealot -- Ive already scheduled my own (seventh) visit for next year!
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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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