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Dive Review of Patuno Resort in

Patuno Resort, Oct, 2013,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 81 reports with 48 Helpful votes). Report 7370.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The Patuno Resort is located on the island of Wangi Wangi, the "WA" part of the Wakatobi marine park. The flights in/out of Wangi Wangi are quite limited so one must carefully plan one's itinerary. I flew out of Denpasar after a 2 day layover on Bali then spent the night in Makassar before getting a connection to Wangi Wangi. The Wangi Wangi flight stopped in Kendari.

If bringing dive and camera gear to this resort, be prepared to pay big-time Rupiah for excess baggage fees. Lion/Wing Air charged from 15000 to 25000 Rupiahs for each extra KG. The airline does not take credit cards or USD.

I was met at the Wangi Wangi air terminal by the resort shuttle driver who did not speak any English. We almost left the air terminal without my luggage. Upon arriving at the resort, I was "greeted" be a rather apathetic staff. There was no resort orientation. I found my way down the beach to my bungalow, which was quite spacious. Shortly thereafter, there was a power outage so no A/C. After about 3 hours of being assured that the problem was being remedied, I move to another bungalow that did have power. The rooms are pleasant and clean but a bit dark and with minimal electrical outlets.

As it turned out I was the only diver at the resort for 7 of my 8 dive days. But in spite of the resort having an excess of staff, the service and the food in the restaurant was usually disappointing. The service was extremely slow and the food was usually over-cooked. Although the drink menu offered a full bar, a wine list and several different beers, the only adult beverage available during my stay was Bintang beer. I ordered fried chicken with fries several times along with nasi goring.

The dive operation is interesting and in need of a wake-up call. Virtually none of the dive crew spoke English. The dive briefings were essentially: "25 meters for 60 minutes." No review of the dive profile or the critters we might encounter. After one dive, the dive guide and I were left standing on top of the reef for over 30 minutes attempting to get the attention of the dive boat. Fortunately, a local fisherman alerted the dive boat to our location.

Getting to/from and on/off the dive boat was an adventure. There is no boat dock at the resort, so we were vanned some 15-30 minutes to the dive boat's location, which varied. Then we either got in skiff and motored to the dive boat or jumped down from a jetty onto the dive boat or climbed under/around the jetty onto the dive boat. I was a bit anxious that my camera rig would not survive this adventure but no harm-no foul. Most of the dive crew smoked all the time. I believe that the dive guide would smoke while diving if he could keep the damn thing lit.

The diving is essentially all on walls. The reefs are in great shape and the viz was usually quite good. The best photo ops are wide-angle reef shots. Macro is limited to the usual suspects: common nudibranchs, banded shrimp, anemonefish, commensal shrimp, etc, I did spot a thin robust ghost pipefish on a vertical wall, which is a bit unusual. The dive guide was not particularly skilled at finding critters. He did do a decent job with the nudibranchs.

For most part, the dive crew was friendly and helpful and usually tried to accommodate but the language barrier was quite an impediment in this regard. I suspect that most of the guests at Patuno are foreigners with English as their common language not Indonesian.

All in all, I enjoyed my stay at the Patuno resort and do not regret my visit there but it is unlikely that I will return.

Websites Patuno Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Solomon Islands, PNG, GBR, Vanuatu, Palau, Philippines,
Indonesia, Yap, Kosrae, Truk, Fiji, Socorros, All over the Caribbean.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-125 Ft/ 15-38 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments The dive boat has a large area over the engine compartment for cameras but it is not covered with rubber mats so gear tends to slide around. There was no camera rinse on board although I asked for such at twice. Since the dive trips were for 3 tanks that required a change of camera battery an on-board camera bucket would have been good to not only rinse the camera between dives but also check the housing for water tightness.

The dive shop had a dedicated camera rinse tank but it usually was either empty or full of dirty water. There is no camera room.

The walls of Wangi Wangi are spectacular with great viz, large sea fans, sponges, soft corals and some schooling small fish. Good for wide angle shots. The mid-sized to smaller critter photo ops were a bit disappointing.
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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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