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Dive Review of Wakatobi in

October, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by scott johnson, ca, usa
Sr. Contributor   (20 reports)
Report Number 3712
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Christmas Island, Galapagos, Sipadan, Hawaii, Cozumel, Truk,
Rangiroa, Fakarava and a few others.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 30    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
70 minute dives in Wakatobi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 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  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Arrived in Bali from LA at about 2pm with severe jet lag. Upon arrival at
the Bayou Cottages in Amed my over weighted 65 lbs dive bag was hoisted by
two men and put atop a young ladies head, which she proceeded to walk up a
couple flights a stairs. I told the two guys that was tooooo heavy for them
to carryThe response I got with a smile our women are used to it. I will
not get used to that custom! The Amed region is remote nothing fancy here
in this part of Bali. The Bayou Cottages was nice but not luxurious. Great
staff, great food and nice rooms. The one thing that bothered me a bit was
this hotel is built on a hillside with a road in front of it. Therefore,
you heard cars, motorbikes etc..but great view of the bay.

Our first dive was around the Liberty wreck. Saw a very large school of
Jacksa giant big fat Barracuda (at least 5- 6 long), big Napoleon Wrasse,
frogfish, scores of small marine life. Very good divethe second dive was
more of diving inside the wreck and looking for smaller stuff. Rest of the
diving was great saw a couple of Sharks, Rays, Cuttlefish, Sea Pens, Fire
sea urchins, Flounders, Ornate ghost pipefish etc. 

The Weather was wonderful and the water temperatures were around 81-82. If
you are going thru Bali, Stop and Dive! My suggestion is dive in Tulamben.
I also dove the Amed wall, which was OK, I found more stuff in Tulamben and
if you stay in Amed, it is a ½-hour drive daily. If you want to dive
with the Mola Molas or Mantas in Nusa Penida (much cooler water) perhaps
stay in a more central area as the daily drives to the sites are long. You
will not regret a couple days or more of the diving and the wonderful


Wow what an operation. The dive boat can hold up to around 30+ divers. Only
10 on board my boat, two Instructors and 4 crewmembers. My group has only 4
people and the other 3 are semi-professional photographers and they linger
on subjects. Thus, I have my own dive guide! You analyze you own Nitrox
tanks (they have 100s for air hogsBig smile) everything is put on the
boats in the AM. They will set up for you if you like but I prefer to do my
own. Excellent dive operation! The rooms are nice but basic and can get
warm in the afternoon.. The AC will get things cooled down by about
bedtime. My roommate was a retired Surgeon and a great guy. The foodagain
Excellent great Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners. 

Did our check out dive the first dive in the AM, which you have to do the
basic flood your mask and the air share buddy skill.

When comparing dive locations, I judge everything against Palau for
Pelagics plus overall best Bio-Diversity and East Timor for Corals and
just plain weird stuff like Carpet anemones and Spanish Dancers etc.
Wakatobi is most like Timor and overall probably better. Most of the diving
is wall diving. Unfortunately, the visibility was only about 20to 40 max
the entire time and the water temperatures were between 77 to 81
degreestoo cool for me. It looks as though there may sea life out there
i.e. schools of fish but unless they come close, you cannot tell. There are
plenty of Pigmy seahorses to see (if you can), many types of Nudibranchs,
Cuttlefish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Flounders, Crockfish, Eggshell cowries
etc. Corals both soft and hard of almost every imaginable shape and color.
Some of my favorite dive sites are the Zoo, Turkey Beach for the fish life
and Magnifica for the corals

You can pretty much dive all you want as they have a great house reef in
front of the resort. I tend not to dive to get wet and if all I am going
see pretty much the same thing it becomes a bit redundant to me. Being I
did travel all this way I did not miss a dive and added a 4th dive here and
there. I found on a 70 minute dive there was only about 10 minutes of
interesting diving to me, let me clarify I like to be entertained by the
diving. In Wakatobi, you have to look and have patience to find your
reward. There are people that are in Heaven with this type of diving. In
addition, I am diving a shorty with 100 tanks which I get around 70 minutes
bottom time. After the 3rd dive in waters of 81 or less up to 70 minutes,
it will takes me the end of the evening to start to break a sweatI get
downright chilledLOL..My own internal AC.   

Wakatobi is an excellent operation. I have visited about 20 to 25 different
dive or dive resort operations around the world, Nothing compares to
Wakatobi. The Indonesians take care of these boats like their own. One day
after coming up for a dive I went to make a cup of Hot Chocolate, the boat
captain waved me off. Not knowing what he meant, I soon learned that was
his job! After every dive, I had Hot Chocolate waiting for me. The dive
guides are mostly European coming from Germany, Austria, England, France
and Switzerland. Alex my dive guide was as good as the best I have dove
with anywhere. I cannot say enough about how excellent every facet of this
dive operation is.

If you are into small stuff and have patience to find it, this is the place
for you. You will not be disappointed! I prefer more action and warmer
waters and if that is what you are looking for.go to Palau, Tuamotus in
Tahiti, Kiribati etc.
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