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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in
Indonesia/Southeast Sulawesi

Wakatobi Dive Resort, Jul, 2005,

by Marc & Maureen Duggan, CA, USA . Report 2038.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 100 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 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 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Great setups all around. Resort featured a separate large camera room with work benches & dual power (110/220). Large boats had rinse tanks, large camera platform and attentive personnel. Dive guide very attentive to photographers allowing plenty of time for everyone (non-photographers, photographers & videographers) to see subject matter and get the shots we wanted.

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 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments For anyone wanting to "get away from it all", Wakatobi is a great place to go. It is (to us), a diver's paradise with wonderful accommodations, food, and diving. The resort has small, cozy bungalows (maybe 20 or so) that are just the right size for two: comfortable bed, sofa, writing desk, cabinets for clothes, A/C, and modern bathrooms, no phones or TVs and the power is 220 volt (110v is available in the camera room). All bungalows are accessed by shell-lined paths (we took the advice of going barefoot the entire time we were there). The dining area is a large, open area with long tables and chairs. Food is top-notch and fresh, including the pastries after dinner each night, served buffet-style. A nice mix of local dishes and traditional fare is usually provided each meal. Beer, wine & mixed drinks available at an additional cost. Mixed drinks and beer were fairly priced for an island in the middle of nowhere, but the wine was priced noticeably high. We were told that the owners were working on this. Out by the water were umbrella covered wood (teak?) tables for playing cards, talking, eating or having drinks at sunset. There is a room with a video monitor for kids to watch movies and a computer for internet connection (with an additional fee). There is nothing else on the island other than the resort and small village where most of the resort staff live. The staff are incredibly nice and attentive, greeting you with smiles (and the boat/dining area staff greeting you by name each day). When you arrive at the resort, you are assigned a diver number and gear box, where you place all your dive gear. Thats the last you will touch your gear except for getting in and out of the water. Every morning it is placed on the boats, set up on tanks and taken off at the end of the day by a staff member. There are three separate rinse tanks for electronic gear (cameras, computers), dive gear, and wetsuits. Boat crews were impeccable, offering assistance in and out of the water & warm drinks (tea, hot cocoa) immediately after each dive. There are three boat dives per day. Additional shore dives are permitted at any time on a nice, very large house reef. Very nitrox friendly. Thorough dive briefings are given each morning. Divers are allowed to dive their own profiles, but its better not to (see below). Every diver is required to do a checkout dive upon arrival, I believe to group divers with similar experience/skills on one of the three dive boats. Our divemaster, John, has a great personality and was very good at finding exotic and small critters, including multiple blue ribbon eels, a frog fish, a ghost pipefish, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, numerous pigmy seahorses (that are even smaller than you would think), a rainbowfull of nudibranchs, sea snakes, leaf fish, multiple large and small cuttlefish (and their eggs nestled in corals) and more. We didnt see any large animals during the week that we were there (a couple of bugs in crevasses, but no pelagics). The corals, fans and other sea life were gorgeous, large and undamaged (the resort has ensured that many reefs are not used for local fishing and other non-diving activities). Vis was occasionally reduced and darkened, as several brief rainstorms came through during our stay churning up the sea. However, its a great experience to surface in a downpour! Dives are slow paced and thorough with John scanning the reefs and walls for things you could miss if you blink at the wrong moment. Patience within the dive group is required for viewing so many small critters with a magnifying glass, one person at a time, but it truly remarkable at the diversity and sealife that you experience there. Patience is also required in getting to Wakatobi, which took us two days from California. The flight from Los Angeles to Singapore is 17 hours, and then another 2.5 from Singapore to Bali. A night stayover in Bali is required before taking their charter plane to Sulawesi the next morning (the Hotel Intercontinental is very nice -- www.bali.intercontinental.com/). The resort built the airstrip in Sulawesi (to cut down the time it used to take to get there), where you take a boat approximately 15-20 minutes to the resort. On our return home we stayed another 4 days in Bali at the Four Seasons in Sayan (www.fourseasons.com/sayan/). We very highly recommend Wakatobi Dive Resort and plan to return in the future. It is truly a place to get away from it all, walk around barefoot and do nothing but dive great sites, eat very good food, and relax at a nice, slow pace. Its website contains a lot of useful information about the resort, diving and planning a trip there. www.wakatobi.com
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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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