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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

November, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Kenneth Knezick, TX, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 282

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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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 done…with 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 1996…and 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 chef’s 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.  That’s 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
world’s best reef diving, then I suggest you seriously consider Wakatobi
Dive Resort. But as I said at the start, I’m a Wakatobi zealot -- I’ve
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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