The most well known islands are Kadidiri and Melange. Kadidiri is reached by private speedboats from Waikai, provided free by the three resorts on the island. Melange can be reached by public ferry from mainland Sulawesi. Some of the islands that have been visited in the past now have abandoned hotels. Note that all the hotels charge per person (not per room!!), and there are no ATM's, so bring enough cash.
Flora and fauna
The public ferries that run between Ampana and Waki leave every second day, although sometimes all on the same day. The schedules often change due to breakdowns and weather. (4hrs to Waki, where resorts will offer free connecting speedboats to Kadidiri, Ferries fare is 40,000Rp). Some of the boats stop in Melange which is another 1.5hrs from Waikai. The boat from Gorontalo was leaving on Wednesday and Fridays Evenings and takes 12-14hrs to Waikai.
Private boats of varying types can be chartered at anytime to and from the islands and usually cost 1-2 million rupiah upwards.
Resorts offer boats for charter
Kadadiri is home to an indigenous population known as the Bajo colloquially called "Sea Gypsys". The Bajo are semi nomadic and rely on fishing for their income. Tours from Kadidiri Paradise will take you to visit them. Selling fresh lobsters to tourists at a fraction of what you would pay in the US, Australia or Europe is an important part of their income, so if you visit them make sure you bring cash to buy some fresh lobsters. The young people love foreign visitors and will show off their humble village and school rooms.
There is a long jetty outside of the Paradise Resort that has good snorkelling right off of it. It is possible to swim to the island directly across from Kadidiri, but it takes a few hours. There are sea kayaks for rent from Black Marlin and it takes about 30 minutes to row to a nearby island that has good snorkelling. There are many trails around the island, but some are easy to get lost on. The walks are through dense growths and are not particularly picturesque. Fishing is not allowed in the no take zone so fishing trips must be outside this area. naturally there is diving at Black Marlin (more boats and equipment) and Paradise, check equipment etc carefully.
There are no shops on Kadidiri. The resorts all include three meals per day in their prices. Paradise and Black Marlin have a small shops selling snacks and cigarettes.
Beer runs about 30,000 Rp to Rp 35.000 for a large Bintang at the resorts. A large bottle of water costs 8,000-10,000 Rp In Paradise. Boiled water and tea are Coffee are provided Free by all the Resorts
Kadidiri has only three resorts located right next to each other on the very small beach. They all charge per person, per night and include all meals.
Pondok Lestari Kadidiri .. Offers Bungalows for singles or doubles with shared toilet/mandi. The only budget Accomodation on Kadidiri at 75,000 Rp per person per night including all meals and free coffee and tea all day . As of April 2009, there were only 5 bungalows but they were in the process of building several more. It is to the right of the Black Marlin Resort when facing the Island. Included are free snorkeling trips to nearby Islands and Reef with the owner who is a Bajo fisherman. You can also join him on fishing trips also for free. You can go for great walks on the Island to other uninhabited beaches .There are lots of birds including two kinds of Hornbills Babirusa Coconut Crabs and lots of other wildlife Pondok Lestari does not have a dive center, but both the Black Marlin and the Paradise are happy to take on extra business.
Black Marlin Dive Resort Located in the middle of the three resorts with the longest stretch of beach, all rooms are right on the water with amazing sea views and have attached western bathrooms, ceiling fans too. All rooms have double spring beds with mosquito nets. Water runs 4 hours per day, two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. Cold water only. They are presently creating a rainwater recycling system to supplement the freshwater bought in from Wakai. Standard rooms are 160,000 Rp per person, and Deluxe rooms are 180 -200,000 Rp per person. Delicious food buffet style with fish, chicken, pasta and vegetables on the menu. Has very well equipped dive center with all new equipment (30 sets) and 2 compressors, 4 speedboats (oxygen on all boats) and very experienced staff. Highly recommended for doing a course or just diving the local reefs or B24 Bomber plane wreck. Are some extra fees for some of the further away dive sites but well worth it. Laid back fun atmosphere with professional back up. Now has some sea kayaks for rent so can get to nearby islands to snorkel or just bit of afternoon fitness.
Kadidiri Paradise Offers bungalows of different sizes and quality ranging from 150,000-300,000 Rp per person. They are all relatively new. They usually have 24hrs of running water in the rooms, but the system seems to break down sometimes. Its beachfront is very good with a wide variety of coral and fish near your door. The food is predominantly fish and salad but very fresh and tasty. Diving available. Eftpos available at times but bring plenty of cash to be on the safe side. The owners have another establishment in Ampana and you can pay via Eftpos there.