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Dive Review of Wakatobi Resort in
Indonesia/Onemobaa, Sulawesi

Wakatobi Resort, Oct, 2006,

by Henry and Carol Ziller, Colorado, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 25 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 3623.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Carribean, Central America, Mexico, Micronesia, Florida, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 70 minutes on day dives. 60 minutes on night dives. Kept divers within recreational limits.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 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
UW Photo Comments Large camera area on boats, nice camera room at longhouse, computers for downloading digital.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 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 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We have a lot to say about how great Wakatobi Resort is. The only negative is how long it takes to get there. From Colorado there is no quick way. We took Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles through Narita, Japan to Singapore to Bali. Singapore Airlines has spoiled us for using any US carrier. Not only is there more leg room, seat recline and foot rests (in coach) they never stop bringing food and drink and all with a smile. US carriers have a lot to learn about customer service.
We had a seven hour layover in Singapore where we got a room at the Transit Hotel inside the airport for $65US not having to leave the secured area was a great convenience. The Singapore Airport is truly world-class; it has a movie theater, swimming pool both free in addition to free internet access at numerous computer stations throughout the terminals. And more shopping than most people can handle. If you have a daytime layover they even offer a free city tour.
After leaving Singapore we enjoyed two and a half days in Bali which was a wonderful experience.
Upon arrival in Bali we were greeted by the Wakatobi staff who obtained our visas for us and escorted us through customs.
Escapes Ltd arranged for the Bali portion of our trip including airfare from LA to Bali and had a driver waiting to take us to the Ari Putri Hotel in Sanur.
The Balinese are friendly, kind people. The prices for lodging, meals, sarongs, carvings, and other souvenirs are extremely inexpensive and the Balinese are appreciative of the business. There is a lot to see and do in Bali from diving to visiting temples to elephant rides through the jungle. For a one hour massage you can expect to pay from $5 - $7US.
Our trek to Wakatobi Resort started with us meeting the Wakatobi staff at the Denpasar Airport, Bali where we were whisked through security, checked our bags and were taken to the VIP room where we waited for the rest of the divers and the Dash 8 to arrive. Unlimited appetizers and soft drinks were all complimentary.
Once at the resort we had a briefing then dinner and settled into our bungalows. The bungalows were spacious and clean. We always had hot water. We were glad to have a garden unit rather than one of the prime units located on the beach on the west side. While the sunsets were awesome from those units, the sun was always shining on them and the air conditioner had a difficult time keeping the rooms cool.
The four boats were 63 feet and could accommodate up to 24 people but they only put twelve to a boat plus crew. There were always two dive masters, each taking charge of 6 divers. The boat captain had a crew of two who were quick with assistance back onto the boat, checking gear, offering towels, snacks and hot and cold drinks after each dive. The boat had two rinse buckets, one for cameras only. The head was at deck level which we found to be quite convenient. Boat safety features included oxygen, GPS, radio, first aid kit and life preservers.
The strap holder on my wifes brand new mask snapped on the boat just before the first dive. The crew handed her a spare mask then attempted to repair hers it was unfixable but no dives were lost.
The entire staff knew each dive site thoroughly and was generous at pointing out critters to us along the way. We saw frog fish, pigmy seahorses, robust and ornate ghost pipefish, blue ring octopus, blue ribbon eel, and the granddaddy of all cuttlefish.
Shore diving was easy from the shore or a boat would take you out and let you drift with the current back to the resort or would come pick you up if the current changed as it did for us.
The food was always buffet but varied and delicious. We are not fond of buffets but this was the best food we have had at any dive resort, buffet or table service.
Every staff member was friendly and knowledgeable and mixed with the guests even when we were not on the boat. It was nice to meet so many people from around the world.
Wakatobi Resort is a trip of a lifetime. Every aspect of this experience was great and has spoiled us.
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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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