From $ 299 a day
Wakatobi Having some of the most pristine reefs and wall diving on this planet, Wakatobi liveaboards offer a unique, world-class diving experience in the world.
This remote island in Sulawesi, Indonesia, is four islands Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko islands in the Banda Sea, and is home to some outstanding coral reefs and biodiversity. If you choose the Wakatobi archipelago for liveaboard diving, you will find plenty of critters and other fish species.
Wakatobi has been preserved under UNESCO Marine Park, which has dramatically helped protect and, in turn, expand marine life and diversity. Due to this, there are not many activities on this island other than scuba diving and snorkeling.
Unlike Raja Ampat, Wakatobi does not have substantial aquatic creatures, but it still has Blacktip Reef Sharks, Whitetip Reef Sharks, and Grey Sharks on several dive sites.
You can quite easily come across Eagle Rays and Turtles too. However, this group of islands is heaven for wide-angle and macro photographers, who come here from worldwide to capture some breathtaking shots of exotic and rare marine life such as pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, and newly discovered species of the Ghost Pipefish.
These waters consist of unique reef systems, which attract around an astonishing 700 species of fish and 400 species of hard and soft corals. If you are lucky, you can even find rare fish like manta rays and whale sharks any time of the year.
There are over 50 dive spots in Wakatobi, out of which the most popular ones are:
It is not often a house reef is in the top dive sites in a dive destination, but Wakatobi’s house reef is a spectacular dive to start your liveaboard cruise.
The healthy reef and seagrass beds are full of marine life just meters away from the shore. Under the jetty, you can find some amazing macro life and turtles grazing on the seagrass.
Where you dive 70 meters away from the shore, the reef leads in a dropoff where schools of fish hang around in the current while you drift past.
The combination of shallow reefs with an abundance of marine life and plenty of ambient light makes this dive site an ideal place for underwater photographers.
A favorite muck diving site in Wakatobi is Cheeky beach, where you can find some extraordinary macro life.
During your dive, you can see harlequin shrimps, blue-ringed octopus, Bobbit worm, coconut octopus, and a lot of other macro life that make macro lovers’ hearts beat a little bit faster.
This patch reef dive site is a favorite for night dives, where you can find plenty of macro in the staghorn corals and mushroom corals.
Look for small shrimps and crabs hiding in the reef patches and lionfish that start to hunt when the sun is down. Often you can spot octopus and bobtail squid looking for prey.
During the day, this dive site is as good as during the day with reef fish everywhere. Also, have a look at the mushroom corals for the white pipefish.
The best-known dive site in Wakatobi is Roma that gets its name from the fringing ring of potato corals that resemble the Colosseum in Rome.
The beautiful assortment of corals all over the pinnacle allows reef fish refuge from barracuda and jacks that hang around in the blue. Damselfish and anemonefish are always present at the top. With a little bit of luck, eagle rays appear out of the blue.
Wakatobi is one of Indonesia’s more dry regions, which has resulted in immaculate underwater conditions on this island, along with its brilliant preservation over the years. This makes these waters dive-able round the year.
Wakatobi receives rains in January and February, which are not too bad to avoid diving. The best season to dive around is from March to December, and especially in July and August. The water temperature in these months is reasonably warm, marking up to 30 Celsius. Sometimes the weather in Wakatobi is so accommodating that you can even devise your own Asia Liveaboard route according to your liking.
Because of the no rivers or rains, there is little to no erosion of soil underwater, which keeps the visibility outstanding, ranging up to 60m, making the Wakatobi liveaboard experience exceptionally amazing.
If you are looking specifically for pilot whales, you should book your Wakatobi liveaboard somewhere from November to April.
The most straightforward way to Wakatobi is to fly from Bali. To get to Bali, you will have to take either a direct or a connecting international flight, considering where in the world you are flying from.
A Domestic flight will take you from Bali International Airport to Wangi-Wangi, which will take around 2-3 hours and add to your liveaboard costs.
Wangi-Wangi is the capital of the Wakatobi, and this is also the liveaboard port of the islands from where your only means of roaming between the islands is by dive yacht.
The Wakatobi dive resort offers guests private charters to join the Pelagian liveaboard for an exclusive dive holiday.
Another way to reach this island is by taking a flight from Jakarta or Makassar to Kendari. You can either take another plane or a boat to Wangi-Wangi, depending upon your budget and travel preferences.