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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in
Indonesia/Wakatobi

Wakatobi Dive Resort, Dec, 2011,

by John Sommerer, MD, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6400.

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

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 83 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 70 minutes max time. Enforcement varied with dive guide.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments Staff remarkably careful with camera equipment. All the facilities you could want.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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