Wakatobi Sets the Global Standard for Resort Diving | Sport Diver
Building’s lining the beach with a dock

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Courtesy of Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Resort has earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier diving and snorkeling destinations. Five-star reviews from guests often cite their reasons for providing these high marks as the pristine condition of the reefs, the relaxing and idyllic small-island setting, the warm attentive service provided by the staff, the ease of travel to the resort and the gourmet dining experiences.

A group of people in front of a plane

Direct charter flights from Bali bring resort guests to Wakatobi’s own airstrip.

Photo courtesy of Wakatobi Resort

The resort sits on a small island in Indonesia’s Banda Sea. Though remote, this location is easy to reach because Wakatobi maintains a private charter flight from Bali that reduces travel time to less than three hours. When guests arrive in Bali on an international flight, they are greeted by Wakatobi’s concierge team, who facilitates all details of international arrival, transfers and layovers. Guests can enjoy a one-night layover, or extend their time in Bali to include island tours, shopping and relaxation.

Prior to their morning charter flight to Wakatobi, guests are able relax in a VIP airport lounge and enjoy breakfast. Flights aboard a large turboprop aircraft go directly to the resort’s private airstrip, where the staff once again takes care of everything, leaving guests free to relax on arrival at the resort and prepare for an afternoon dive or snorkel excursion.

A bed overlooking the ocean and pool

Wakatobi resort features 20 Ocean Bungalows, 9 Palm Bungalows and 4 Villas.

Courtesy of Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi offers an iconic collection of luxury oceanfront villas and traditionally styled bungalows set in a waterfront coconut grove. These traditionally styled accommodations were built by local craftsmen using sustainable methods that feature stone and rich woodwork. All bungalows and villas provide a suite of modern amenities that include air conditioning, with some offering added features such as Asian-style garden showers, waterfront decks and plunge pools.

Many guests have described the dining experience at Wakatobi as a highlight of their vacation. Meals are served in a beachside dining room with open and alfresco seating. Each day, the resort chefs prepare a diverse range of culinary offerings that include international and Indonesian favorites. The kitchen can accommodate bespoke entrees and fulfill special dietary requirements, and there is a dedicated pastry chef who creates memorable dessert creations.

Tables overlooking the ocean in the evening

Wakatobi serves chef-prepared cuisines in an oceanfront setting that delights the senses.

Courtesy of Wakatobi Dive Resort

One of the most acclaimed attractions of Wakatobi lies directly in front of the resort beach. The House Reef has been named the World’s Best Shore Dive. This expansive shallow plane stretches for more than a mile to each side of the resort and is available to divers and snorkelers day and night. Entries can be made directly from shore or via steps descending from the resort jetty. More-distant areas of the reef can be reached via the dive center’s taxi-boat service, which provides drop-off service on request. Taxi boats can also take divers up-current of the jetty to enjoy long drift dives along the face of the reef.

Two scuba divers looking at a coral fan

Exploring the house reef at Wakatobi

Courtesy of Wakatobi Dive Resort

The site includes seagrass meadows and patch reefs that are home to sea turtles and thousands of species of invertebrates and macro marine life, including unique finds such as pygmy seahorses and ghost pipefish. Some 80 yards from shore, the site transitions from depths of 4 to 6 feet into deep water. Beginning at the outer edge of the reef, the terrain descends with a series of precipitous slopes, overhangs and walls. The area around and under the jetty is a favorite place to view clownfish and their host anemones, and several species of ghost pipefish have been found there as well. Divers who follow the reef downward into open water will find a wealth of marine life tucked away in the many crevices and overhangs.

Ghost pipefish

Ghost pipefish can be found in the seagrass and other areas around the jetty.

Courtesy of Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi’s fleet of 70-foot custom-built dive boats provide daily access to more than 40 dive sites within Wakatobi’s private marine preserve. These vessels are designed for stability and comfort underway and at rest, and offer expansive and fully shaded seating, large deck-level bathrooms, freshwater showers and convenient midboat water entries. All dive sites are fitted with moorings to prevent anchor damage, and many begin at depths of less than 10 feet. Coral plateaus close to the surface drop into deep water in a series of slopes and walls. This juxtaposition of shallow and deep formations creates ideal conditions for long multilevel dive profiles and allows snorkelers to enjoy the same sites as divers.

School of large fish

School of Trevalle

Courtesy of Wakatobi Dive Resort

In addition to exceptional diving and snorkeling opportunities, Wakatobi provides a relaxing atmosphere for a tropical beach vacation. The resort is family-friendly, with nanny services and supervised children’s programs. Intro-to-diving programs for young and new divers encourage everyone to experience the underwater treasures of the reefs, and private boat charters are available for small groups or families who wish to dive and snorkel together.

The resort grounds include an on-site spa, and a watersports center offering kayaks, paddleboards and seasonal kiteboarding. Guests can hike nature trails, take local island tours, and enjoy private beach dinners, day trips to an uninhabited island, and programs such as Indonesian cooking classes. A favorite spot for evening relaxation and libations is the over-water Jetty Bar, which perches at the far end of the resort pier, with unobstructed sunset views.

Fish swimming around coral

Waitii Ridge dive site

Courtesy of Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi is recognized as a global leader in private-funded conservation efforts. The resort’s Collaborative Reef Conservation Program is funded by a portion of guest revenue. This innovative resort-sponsored initiative supports the marine preserve, sponsors mooring projects, makes direct lease payments to area villages and fishermen in exchange for honoring “no-take” zones, and provides a full range of additional social benefits to the local community. Wakatobi employs more than 100 local people, operates on sustainable principles, supplies fresh water to a local village, and has taken the lead in creating a solar electricity network for the community.

Thanks to an unrivaled combination of socially responsible operation, scenic beauty, top-rated service and exceptional diving, Wakatobi remains a first choice for many divers and enjoys a high rate of repeat visitors.

Come enjoy the tranquility and secluded location of Wakatobi, for more information visit wakatobi.com

Wakatobi Dive Resort earned an award for Quality of the Resort in this year’s Readers Choice survey.


More Stories