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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in
Indonesia/South Sulawesi

Wakatobi Dive Resort, Jul, 2013,

by Jeremy Cohen, PA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 7069.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Diving for 47 years from California, Mexico and the Caribbean to PNG, Galapagos, Fiji and Komodo, we've experienced the good, the bad, the overrated and the very bad. Wakatobi is a diver's dream! Even better than you've heard. Healthy reefs, roomy day boats, "dive experience managers" (Wakatobi Speak for dive guides) who at once are unobtrusive, present, and respectful of each diver's wants, skills and needs. My new computer fizzled in 30 feet. Marco noticed, swam over and handed his back-up to me. I swim slowly searching for good photo ops. No problem. No guide had more than four divers. We sometimes had Marco to ourselves. Boat crew very attentive. Inflating a sausage we never had to wait for more than a few minutes for pick-up. As experienced divers, Catherine and I had all the room we needed to explore at our own pace and to our own liking. Marco was happy to help find critters, but also content to let us make our own discoveries. Too many guides deny divers the opportunity to learn by doing and the never ending thrill of finding species new to them on their own. Marco's treatment of divers as adults, rather than as submerged kindergarteners, appears to be a Wakatobi tenet among most of his colleagues. We experienced the same on Nai'a in Fiji. Refreshing, respectful, rare. Again, Wakatobi is a diver's dream. The dive team was patient and encouraging too to the newer and out of practice divers in our group. For experienced and new divers alike, five stars.

Ashore, the staff learned our names in a day. We felt like welcome guests in their home. Buffets provided for every taste preference making it possible to control our own portion size (we prefer small),eat healthy (most of the time), sample a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts (small guiltless bite-sized portions) and indulge in local as well as more traditional menus in a single meal. No televisions blaring (thank you!). Clean bungalows, very relaxing massage in the spa,the front desk always ready to answer a question or secure whatever guests need. We wanted to see the Wakatobi live-aboard, the Pelagian. It was moored a 1/3 of a mile away. Hwee Keng is one of the owners (one of the custodians for this generation, she said). She arranged it and accompanied us on a personal tour. She and her husband Valentin shared a dinner with us too and found time to meet personally with every guest who smiled. It's hard not to smile when you're with people who care about the sea and the environment, care about guests, actively work to contribute to the local villages, and believe that people will enjoy their dives, dive more comfortably, discover more, and appreciate the local community when they have no worries to distract them. Nitrox? Always 32-33%. Fills? Always 3100 or more. Lug tanks? Never. In the blue, black tip sharks. In the shallows a three foot sea snake. Big hump-head parrot fish, schools of midnight snapper and jacks, sponges, hard and soft coral, sea mounts, walls, reefs, blue striped fusiliers and Anthea everywhere, nudibranchs, turtles, and NEVER more than one boat at a mooring. Never. Not even a sister Wakatobi boat. Talk about uncrowded diving.

The VIP service in Bali before and after the diving? Worth every penny. They made Bali's hustle and chaos painless at the airport (no easy task!) and provided a deep discount for the wonderful hotel (ARMA) we stayed in outside of Ubud. Bali can be very hectic and loud - but after a couple of emails soliciting our interests and preferences as we planned the trip, Wakatobi VIP staffer Dharma arranged for us to stay in a quiet resort that houses a museum, provides cultural education for local children (we were able to watch them practice and later perform Balinese dance), has an art gallery, rice paddies, water treatments, very good food, and included the opportunity to head into the countryside with the owner just before sunrise one morning to meet local farmers, artists and others and to attend a cremation ritual,to walk through temples, and to get more than a tourist's entry into ancient Balinese tradition and contemporary respect for earth, family and community.

What, no negatives? Okay, I must have jumped five feet into the air from my breakfast table when I looked up and twenty inches away was a twenty-five inch head to tail monitor lizard thinking about a chance to share our freshly made pancakes and powdered jelly doughnuts.

cj and jc PADI - Instructor 6060

Websites Wakatobi Dive Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Belize, BVI, N.&S.California, Cozumel, Fiji,
Florida, Honduras, Galapagos, Kauai, Kona, Komodo Isl, Little Cayman, Ni'ihau, Papua New Guinea, Puget Sound, Socorro Isl, Sea of Cortez.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 79-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-70 Ft/ 12-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 70 minutes on boat dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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 Camera table & separate photo dunk tank on board, big tank ashore, dedicated camera room ashore with everything needed, including 220 and 110 charging. Dive board noted sites as Wide, Macro, or W/M.
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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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