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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in

December, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by John Sommerer, MD, US
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6400
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Polynesia, Micronesia, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Revillagigedos,
Caribbean, Maldives, New Zealand, Easter Island
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
70 minutes max time. Enforcement varied with dive guide.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Staff remarkably careful with camera equipment. All the facilities you
could want.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
White-glove service from the moment you arrive. The immigration/customs
streamlining was mind-blowing. Incredibly helpful and friendly staff. We
tried to guess how staff we hadn't seen before knew and used our names the
first time they helped us. The frequent questions about how could they make
our experience better were almost funny; the fact that every request is
treated seriously, and most likely granted is amazing. Want another end
table? They'll have one built that day!

The resort staff is trained to ensure you have the best possible
experience, whether you say anything or not. Some incompatibility with
another diver (an aggressive videographer and animal chaser), never
remarked on by us, was observed and resulted in our assignment to another
dive guide. And when multiple divers opted out of morning dives, there was
no effort to consolidate the groups to operate with fewer dive guides.

It's clear that the staff operate well as a team. When we analyzed our
nitrox tanks, each tank was taken to the boat by the next staff member
walking by, whether they were crew for our boat or not.

Many of the staff and guides have been with Wakatobi for years, so it seems
that their working environment must be good, which is certainly good for
the guests.

Both Marco and Jimmy, with whom we did all but a few dives, were
outstanding dive guides, and marvelous companions on the boat.

The resort tour, given by founder Lorenz Mäder himself, was both
interesting and made you really appreciate the effort and ingenuity
required to operate such a fine establishment in this remote place. His
effort to operate sustainably and in partnership with the local people is
impressive and commendable.

Food is excellent, and carefully prepared. There are many small-plate
appetizers and deserts, which has two advantages. 1) You can try a few more
things without excessive caloric damage (though I did gain a few pounds)
and 2) food isn't sitting around in the tropical climate for very long,
since they replenish as it's consumed.

The diving itself is very, very good. The reefs are fantastic, with plenty
of fish, though if big animals are your thing, you're unlikely to find them
here. And while there are plenty of critters, and our guides were very good
spotters, Wakatobi falls short of Lembeh for the macro photographer with a
jones for the weird.

The welcome dive is interesting; we had to demonstrate clearing our masks
and sharing air. I don't know what they do about guests not doing the
welcome dive on arrival day. That dive was our only underwater look at the
house reef, which I regret at this point. Although there are
well-thought-out procedures for substituting a house reef dive for a boat
dive, as well as for adding a night dive or dawn dive, I found the
logistics and timing too challenging to make more than the three boat dives
scheduled every day.

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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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