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Dive Review of Wakatobi Dive Resort in

Wakatobi Dive Resort: "Seventh Time Is Most Magical", Mar, 2020,

by paul moliken, DE, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 11473 has 2 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I have visited Wakatobi Dive Resort 6 times previously (see a couple reviews I've posted on Undercurrent). There are plenty of reasons to return quite a few times: Pristine corals, abundant and healthy fish, a multitude of macro critters, fantastic food, incredible service, very little effort required for the elderly divers (among which I consider myself, at 74), great weather, spectacular staff, lovely accommodations, problems quickly taken care of. Of course, getting there from the US is long and difficult, but well worth the effort and the cost. I flew Qatar business class, which is above any other I've used (Singapore, Korean, EVA) in terms of food/comfort/attention. While everyone on the island knows me by name, it's the same for newbies. The always-smiling staff makes a concerted effort to call each guest by name. It was rare to see a chunk of bleached coral and there seemed to be MORE fish than on past trips. Wakatobi's conservation efforts bear fruit.
The last review was primarily about service. This one will be a list of what I saw that I remember. I did 33 dives and 5 snorkels.
Pinnate batfish (my favorite fish of all)
Cuttlefish (6 different Broadclubs, 1 dwarf) I had a twenty-minute encounter with a very good sized broadclub that had its sperm packet delivery apparatus out. He never put up a defensive posture and we aligned horizontally as well as face-to-face. His intelligence was obvious, as he appeared curious and inquisitive. He touched my fingers once for a second, which was a total thrill.
Frogfish (three different ones)
Jawfish (none with eggs, though)
Damsel with eggs
Racing stripe flatworm
Spaghetti worm
Pleurobranch (two)
Hairy squat lobster (in crevice of a barrel sponge)
Two pistol shrimp with gobies
Juvenile bi-color parrot
Squat shrimp
Spearing mantis shrimp(3 different times)
Saron shrimp (twice)
Crinoid squat lobster (I looked in about 50 crinoids before finding 1)
Zanzibar whip coral shrimp (two on one coral)
Bubble coral shrimp (many)
Orangutang crab (at least a half-dozen)
Four different porcelain crabs (one on a snorkel)
Coral crab Paguritta
Tiger cowrie
Halimeda ghost pipefish
Mushroom anemone pipefish
Shortnose pipefish
Ringed pipefish
Pontohi pygmy seahorse
Severn's pygmy seahorse
Denise’s pygmy seahorse
Blue dragon
At least ten other different nudibranchs
Nudi eggs
Electric file clam
Spawning starfish with emperor shrimp (Night dive was incredible, a couple days after full moon with spawning all over the place)
Spawning anemone
Morays (3 different kinds)

Basket, feather, brittle star
Banded coral shrimp
Three different kinds of urchins
Sea snake
Huge moray
Sea cucumbers
Pyrosomes (hundreds)
Blue spot rays
Octopus (three)
Decorator crab
Slipper lobster
Thousands of planktonic floaters, worms, shrimp, etc attracted to my torch.
I'm sure there are loads I didn't list.
Returning March 17-18 proved to be a boring COVID adventure. Overnight in Denpasar was like a ghost town. I walked for a mile or two through the city, which is usually packed with motorbikes, locals, and tourists, but I saw about 6 other tourists and only a few locals. Traffic was nearly non-existent. Boarded my Qatar flight and had to stay in the Doha airport for 18 hours, as no foreigners could leave. My flight to JFK was one of the last to leave. Upon arrival, I had to fill out a short page saying I had not been in affected countries, had my temperature taken, got my luggage amid a nearly empty airport, and went through customs within 5 minutes. The checking for COVID seemed very weak. Wakatobi closed due to Indonesia restrictions a week after I left, but they will reopen when they can. I highly recommend one of the best dive resorts in the world!
Websites Wakatobi Dive Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving mexico carribean lembeh, wakatobi
Closest Airport Denpasar Getting There JFK to DOHA to DPS, then Wakatobi charter flight to their island

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-60 Ft/ 15-18 M

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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