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Dive Review of Wakatobi -- Pelagian in
Indonesia/SE Sulawesi at Wakatobi

Wakatobi -- Pelagian: "The Wakatobi Dive resort and the Pelagian Dive Yacht", Jun, 2014,

by Peggy and Bill Goldberg, FL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 7810.

No photos available at this time

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 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We had been wanting to come to Wakatobi for some time and finally had the chance to go- once you get over the sticker shock of the cost, this is a trip of a lifetime.
The resort runs the Pelagian dive Yacht- and as we are die hard live aboard divers, we wanted to experience that. Because of the time and distance invested to get there, we also decided to stay a week at the resort...for one thing their charter plane's schedule did not allow one to leave right after the charter, anyway. However, you must also experience the resort- as it is as close to a live aboard as a resort can get for diving and service- plus you have the other amenities of a first class resort. Both the Pelagian and the resort offered top notch service and food. The chefs rotate between the boat and resort, and the Indonesian dishes were superb- they even made our dishes extra spicy- the way we like it. The staff went above and beyond to make sure your stay was memorable, and tried to anticipate your needs.. We highly recommend doing both the boat and resort, as the diving experiences are really different- we got a chance to muck dive, in addition to the reefs and walls, from the boat...where the resort does not have the muck diving option.Plus, you really got to dive a large area, as opposed to the local reefs.
Wakatobi offers a Concierge service- and we highly recommend using that. With that service, they met us at the Bali airport, handed us an international cellphone and Balinese money to get us by until we could exchange our money. They whisked us through Customs and Immigration in just a few minutes- they had hired a guide for us for the 5 day stay in Bali- and he was there to take us to our hotel (we arrived at 1am)- and then he picked us up in the morning to take us to the B&B (Villa Saraswati)in Ubud- spending the next 5 days taking us all over Bali. They also picked us up to take us to the charter plane, and on our return, whisked us through Customs and check in- with no lines,and use of the VIP lounge. It made the trip so much easier.
However, the purpose of the trip was the diving and the photography- and it was really fabulous. The reefs and walls are healthy, massive corals and schools of many species of fish. No large pelagics are here. We joked the large 3' pufferfish were really pygmy whale sharks! (Whale sharks do come into the area- but not during the season we were there).Best diving we've seen since the did 4 dives from the Pelagian, 3 dives from the resort, with unlimited shore diving. At the resort, you could sign out anytime to dive the house reef wall- they assigned a spotter to watch the divers, and if there was a strong current- shuttle you up current to do the drift dive.
So, if you do the live aboard, be prepared to eat , be pampered, dive 4 dives a day, and sleep really well- you will be exhausted - with 70-80 min dives you are spending almost 5 hours a day in the water. The resort is a little more relaxed, but you can dive even more if you wish, or lay in your hammock by your bungalow by the sea.
We did not have the best weather, with cloudy, windy, rainy weather the whole 2 weeks we were there. It did not make the viz great, and we had to fight stronger currents and higher waves. Of course, the last day was sunny and gorgeous.
Go to my website for an article and photos on Wakatobi at Scroll down to the articles you want to access.
Websites Wakatobi -- Pelagian   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]All over the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida and its caves, Cocos, Socorro, Hawaii, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and SE Sulawesi, Indonesia
Closest Airport Bali Getting There We flew Korean Air from Atlanta- 15 hours to Seoul, then 8 hours to Bali. From there, you take Wakatobi's private charter for 2.5 hours to the resort and dive boat.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 79-82°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10-100 Ft/ 3-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions From the Pelagian, you dove from a tender- with your buddy & guide- 70-80 min dives. Dove own profile.
The resort boat had 2-3 divers per guide- 70-90 min dives- dove our own profile- take your safety sausage.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
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 The Pelagian had a massive A/C camera room, and the resort also had a large A/C camera room available 24/7. Staff would carry all your photo equipment back and forth, but I chose to do that myself. Resort boats have large camera table and dip tanks.
The staff took great care handling my housings on the tenders.
The guides were invaluable in finding subjects,(found a Denise pygmy seahorse) and really listened to how you wanted to dive (slow? shallow/deep?) and what subjects you were looking for. You could sit on a subject for the whole dive if you wanted. We did not feel rushed to "follow" anyone, as it was just us and our guide. We only had 6 people on the live aboard, they used 2 tenders and we had the same ratio on the resorts boats.
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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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