Situated in a small archipelago just Southeast of Sulawesi, Indonesia, Wakatobi has been called a slice of paradise in the middle of nowhere. The Wakatobi team make an effort to take care of their back to back and returning guests and as there was a vacant villa the week we were there we were granted the upgrade. Wow. With large outdoor decks, huge bathrooms, tons of storage and lots of privacy the place was beautiful. The resort has four levels of accommodations from Garden Bungalows to the Villas. All of them look very nice and even the Garden bungalows are only a couple more steps from the beach. One of the villas can accommodate two couples or a family and one even has a small splash pool. Click on the picture below for a 360 degree view of the villa we stayed in.
The restaurant serves three meals in buffet style with a lot of variety and options in entrees, soups, breads, local fare, and even dessert. There is a full bar with wine and beer (extra charge). The food was always good, always plentiful and the staff smiling. Usually the dive masters and resort admin staff would scatter throughout the dining room and chat with guests at mealtime. Coffee, Tea Water and cookies were available anytime.
There is a spa available, with a variety of services, though I did not take advantage of this, I did hear positive remarks about the massages.
At the end of the jetty is another bar where you can sit and watch the sunset or watch the bio luminescent shrimp string their glowing trails through the water below, a treat we were able to witness during our visit. It was a great place to hang out for happy hour before heading down to the dining room for dinner. Night shore dives on the house reef were always available if you preferred another dive to a early cocktail.
Each person was assigned a dive boat for the duration of their stay and you would dive with primarily the same dive master and group. We dove with a variety of dive masters the week we were there including Alex, Anton, Roel, and Dani. All were great, friendly guys. We were on Wakatobi VI and Anton and Roel were our normal DM's. The dive boats are huge and easily would hold 20 or more divers though we only had 14 divers so there was lots of room. All the dives were drift dives and the boat would always show up to pick everyone up, even if the group was scattered.
The gear area had assigned spots for each guest with hangers for wetsuits and a big plastic bin to keep all your other gear in. Each day your bin would magically appear on your boat and your BC hooked up to a full tank. If you were diving Nitrox you did need to analyze your tanks and hang tags on them with boat and 'guest' number before the morning and afternoon dive trips. Your Nitrox tank would be on the boat and hooked up to your regs ready to go.
On shore dives, either by taxi boat or walking in at the gully, all you have to do is, sign out and let a staff person (there are many around) know to watch for your return and they will meet you at the waters edge to take your tank off and haul it up the beach for you. Nice! On one dive, Bill and I did have to walk our gear back to the Longhouse as we didn't see any staff around when we exited and it was after dark so we probably weren't easily seen. Didn't really seem like a big deal to us but if you really need help you may want to make sure you let someone know to watch for you. We dove the house reef five times and it was a different dive each time from currents to fish and critters.
Here are a couple of movies from the house reef, just click the pictures to watch.
In addition to the bigger stuff, like those 2-3 foot Bumphead Parrotfish there is, of course, a lot of cool small stuff in the waters around Wakatobi. Here is a sampling, be sure to check out the dive photos for more.
At Wakatobi it was easy to dive as much as you wanted or lay in the sun, swim or snorkel or hide out in your room, it is totally up to you. I missed a couple dives on the Pelagian because I was congested and Bill seemed to pick it up the last couple days at Wakatobi. It was easy to kick back and relax even if you had to sit out a couple dives.
Over on the Wakatobi photo page are some additional pictures of the resort and the Cliff Villa we stayed in as well as the details and pictures from the dives.
Keep checking back to the website for our next trip report from the Nekton voyage to Puerto Rico and USVI this December.