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Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Indonesia : Sulawesi : South East Sulawesi : Wakatobi
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Wakatobi is a small archipelago in South East Sulawesi, Indonesia.


Wakatobi National Park is a marine national park situated south of mainland South East Sulawesi, Indonesia; it is well known among divers as one of the world's best dive sites. Its name is an acronym of the four main Tukangbesi Islands: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. Since 2005 the park has been listed as a tentative World Heritage Site.

Get in[edit]

Most travel to Wakatobi departs from Kendari and arrives in Wangi-Wangi, either by boat or plane. The first commercial flight was flown by Wings Air (a subsidiary of Lion Air) on 30 October 2012. (There are plans for Merpati to fly there as well.) Be aware that the airport is on the exact opposite side of the island to its only city, and that there is no public transport available. If you've booked ahead at a resort, they will probably have someone waiting for you. Otherwise, someone at the airport can call a taxi or ojek for you: you will have to wait for around thirty minutes for it to arrive before starting your thirty-minute-long journey into town. An ojek costs IDR 50,000.

From Bau-Bau: Three flights per day between Makassar (Ujung Padang) and Bau-Bau; two boats per day between Kendari and Bau-Bau (boats depart from both Kendari and Bau-Bau at around 07:00 and 13:00: journey time is five to six hours; fare is IDR 190,000). Bau-Bau is a lovely city that hosts the head office of Wakatobi National Park. It's well worth a few days visit on its own, with an amazing 16th Century fort, white-sand beaches with nice coral snorkelling, and lots of caves.

Slow boats to Wakatobi National Park depart from Bau-Bau most days with a journey time of around nine hours (overnight) to the nearest island, Pulau Wangi-Wangi. The Cantika fast boat departs Bau-Bau every two to three days at around 10:00, arriving at Pulau Wangi-Wangi at around 14:00, before continuing on to the islands of Pulau Kaledupa and Pulau Tomia. The fast boat costs around IDR 250,000 from Bau-Bau to Wangi-Wangi and is very safe and comfortable. Check the schedule a few days before you arrive in Bau-Bau.

Boats also depart from Bau-Bau for Pulau Tomia every day (except Fridays) at 21:00 and from Pulau Tomia for Bau-Bau every day (except Saturdays) at 09:00. The fare is IDR 200,000 each way (including a basic meal), and the journey time is approximately twelve hours. The boats that operate between the two islands are the KM Wisata Indah 1/2, the KM Permai, and the KM Wahyu Samudra 1/2/3: at Pulau Tomia, most boats arrive at / depart from Pelabuhan (Port) Usuku, but the KM Permai and the KM Wisata Indah 2 arrive at / depart from Pelabuhan Waha.

Some divers also arrive in Wakatobi via the exclusive Wakatobi Resort's scheduled chartered flights from Bali, but this is not a necessary precursor to diving at Pulau Tomia (see below).

Get around[edit]

The Cantika fast boat connects the main islands of Pulau Wangi-Wangi, Pulau Kaledupa and Pulau Tomia on a rolling schedule, leaving from each island every two to three days. There is no shortage of smaller boats connecting the various islands, so on any given day you should be able to move from one island to another. It's best to just ask around (for example, at your accommodation reception) a day or two before you want to travel.

On the main islands, ojeks (motorcycle drivers) are easy to flag down on any main road or harbour and usually cost around IDR 5,000 - IDR 20,000 for a short trip, such as from a hotel to the harbour.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

Diving at Wakatobi is excellent, with a high diversity of corals, rich marine life, and very few divers relative to more popular Indonesian marine parks such as Komodo National Park and Bunaken National Park. The best diving in Wakatobi is around Pulau Tomia, although excellent coral diving is also possible around Pulau Hoga, a small island near Pulau Kaledupa. People also dive from Pulau Wangi-Wangi.

  • Tomia Scuba Dive, Kampung Waha, Pulau Tomia, +62 821 8787 7751, [1]. This dive centre opened in 2011, and is operated by Dokter Yudi (he works as a doctor on the island, as well as running the business and guiding dives). The centre is located in Kampung Waha: boats to Pulau Tomia arrive at either Pelabuhan Waha or Pelabuhan Usuku; for visitors arriving at Usuku, an ojek to Waha costs around IDR 25,000. Two dives per day cost IDR 900,000, and three dives per day cost IDR 1,300,000 (all prices are per person, based on two certified divers diving together; prices are correct in August 2015). These prices do not include equipment hire (IDR 300,000 per day). Note that prices are based on two people diving together due to the island's remote location and high fuel-transport costs (and taxes). It is also possible to arrange a package that includes food and accommodation at a local, high-standard homestay (Penyelam Abi Raya). Packages range from two nights / three dives (IDR 2,100,000 per person) up to seven nights / eighteen dives (IDR 10,600,000 per person), including an A/C room for two people, three meals per day, mineral water, tea and coffee, and snacks on the boat. These packages do not include equipment hire (IDR 300,000 per day). Additional dives then cost IDR 400,000 (if customers wish to perform dives in addition to the packages that are made up of multiples of three dives). For more information, contact Dokter Yudi by telephone, SMS, or Whatsapp on +62 821 8787 7751, or email him at [email protected]  edit
  • Mawadah Dive Centre, Wisata I, JL. A. Yani. (Just to the left of the large pink hotel as you face the ocean on Pulau Wangi-Wangi. You have to walk back a little bit), 040421128. Dive shop that wasn't affiliated with a resort. The dive master, Asrul, doesn't speak much English and isn't very professional. They'll go diving literally any time you want. Most of their prices are for a minimum of 3 divers but they'll go with fewer it just costs more. All inclusive with a light snack for 3 people, here are their prices: 1 dive: IDR 600,000 2 dives: IDR 1,000,000 3 dives: IDR 1,200,000 That includes the boat, the gear and the dive master. You must already be dive certified. They do just gear rental if you're interested. [email protected]  edit
  • Tour the islands by motorbike, Tomia, WangiWangi, Kaledupa. You can rent motorcycles at Jelly in WangiWangi as well as Laborestay in Tomia. Its fund to cruise the islands and see village life. In Tomia there are serveral forts that can be visited and some nice beaches. You can get a map of Tomia showing all attractions at Laborestay. 50000.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

A good warung offers meals for around IDR 20,000 all day in Kampung Waha, Pulau Tomia. Visitors staying at Penyelam Abi Raya (also in Kampung Waha) can also eat at the homestay.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Penyelam Abi Raya, Kampung Waha, Pulau Tomia, [2]. IDR 150,000 per night for one person in a double room with a fan (A/C rooms also available). This price includes tea, coffee and water; packages including meals are also available.  edit
  • Wakatobi Dive Resort, [3]. Seven-day packages from US$2,640, including all dives and meals, but excluding transfers.  edit
  • Jelly Homestay, (Kitty-corner the main square, opposite the hospital. Anyone can tell you where it is). The staff doesn't speak any English but they're super friendly and helpful. Cheapest good rooms in town. There's one cheaper place but the staff are rude and the rooms are terrible. The price listed is for a double room with a traditional bathroom and fan. IDR 100,000.  edit
  • Hotel Wakatobi, Wanci town, Wangi-Wngi Island (On the main road). Three-story hotel with a range of rooms, all with air conditioning and showers, on the main road in Wanci town (Wangi-Wangi Island) about five minutes drive from the main harbour. Standard room with air conditioning, cold shower and squat toilet for IDR 182,000. Deluxe room with hot water and Western toilet for IDR 350,000. Small dive shop attached.  edit
  • Laborestay, Tomia, Kampung Waha (after leaving the pier in Waha just turn left and walk 20 meters), +62 823 9308 3595. The very friendly owner speaks English well and can give you a lot of tips about what to do on Tomia. He also rents out motorcycles for 50000 a day. start at 50000 per person or so.  edit

Stay safe[edit]


Get out[edit]

See above.

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