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Dive Review of Wakatobi in
Indonesia/Sulawesi

Wakatobi, Oct, 2004,

by Laura, CA, USA . Report 1435.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, Niue, Tahiti, Sea of Cortez, Bahamas, Bay Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No gloves; no solo night diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Adequate rinse and storage on all boats. Gear handled with care by all staff. Two big rinse tanks at the resort. Two huge air conditioned camera rooms at the resort. Good E-6 processing on site.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 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 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments All the fabulous things you've read about Wakatobi are true and then some - just go! Seriously their very thorough web site will answer just about any question. All aspects of the stay from airport greeting in Denpasar (ask the Bali office to arrange for you) to farewell are exceptionally pleasant and organized. On the whole, the package price feels a little steep, but good value for the money. Prices at the resort are quite reasonable: $16 for a T-shirt, $10 per massage, $5 for 20 minutes of emailing home. I chose to go in October for the combination of warm water and calm seas and was very happy. The sea was amazingly, completely flat and I was warm enough in a shorty. Bring rubber if you go other than Sept-Nov. We had mild to nonexistent currents most of the time. The current did change direction during more than one dive, though. Also experienced my first down-current (also luckily mild) here, felt like a wind blowing down over the reef. Three boat dives are offered daily along with unlimited shore diving. Some maniacs got in 6 dives a day and the rest of us were cotinually torn between the more distant sites and the truly awesome house reef. The boats are big and shady, with heads, lots of storage, safety gear (they will loan you a sausage if you come without) and great snacks. The dive guides are more than happy to take requests and are patient with those of us not used to looking at the tiny critters that are so common here. (Try looking for the teensy coiled tails of the pygmy seahorses and then you will be able to see the rest.) They are not interested in your air consumption - dive times are routinely about 75 minutes and if you are not around they assume you know what you are doing. I am usually not much interested in the background, but the reef here, is the most diverse, healthy and prolific I've seen. Here's just a partial list of the critters seen: Mobula ray, eagle ray, blue spot sting ray, hawksbill turtles, crocodile fish, scorpionfish, clown trigger, long nose hawkfish, leaf fish in at least 3 colors, octopi (mating!) eels of several species, including adult and juvenile blue ribbons, frogfish, robust ghost pipefish, cuttlefish including baby, jawfish (one with eggs) mandarin fish (mating), juvenile yellow boxfish, sea snakes, nudibranchs of all descriptions, peacock mantis shrimp, squat lobster, spindle, egg and tiger cowrie shells. Not to mention the lionfish, four species of clown fish and the gorgeous reef fish that are everywhere. We were also lucky enough to come across huge pods of dolphins both bottlenose and spinner on the surface three times.
Some folks have complained about a lack of creature comforts at the resort, but I found the rooms and food just fine. The lighting in the rooms is insufficient at night and the bath towels are not very absorbent, but that's hardly a crisis. The only real fault I could find is an alarming lack of hammocks :( Folks with non-diving partners need to know there is not much to do on land - no sightseeing or shopping, etc. The night life consists of stargazing and of course, more diving. Snorkelers will be kept happy for days right in front of the resort though. And many of the boat dives are adjacent to shallow reef areas. All in all, a wonderful visit to a truly stunning underwater world. Consider your airline for this long haul flight carefully. Cathay Pacific's wonderful staff (happy to see you, just as accomodating during hour #14 as hour #1) made up for the tiny seats and questionable food.
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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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