Updated: Feb 25, 2021
Where is Wakatobi?
Nestled in the southeastern corner of Indonesia's Southeast Sulawesi province, the Tukang Besi Archipelago, better known as the Wakatobi Islands, is a protected conservation area that few divers will have opportunity to explore. Officially comprising the four islands of Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko, the Wakatobi National Park region covers an area of 5,360 square miles in the Banda and Flores Seas.
What is there to see?
As the largest reef system in Indonesia, Wakatobi offers over 50 spectacular dive sites showcasing the region's pristine reefs. This includes 750 species of healthy, colorful corals and 940 different types of fish, marine mammals, turtles, critters, and other creatures. The region's underwater topography is also fascinating, with stunning vistas and unique coral heads featured on every dive.
Best time to visit Wakatobi
Indonesian weather is dominated by the monsoon seasons, and for Wakatobi, this means a wet and a dry season. While it's possible to dive year-round, the best time to dive is from June through September to avoid the rains.
How to dive Wakatobi
It is possible to dive Wakatobi from a resort or a liveaboard, but to explore as much as possible, a liveaboard is the best option. There is more than enough within the Wakatobi National Park to keep you interested for a 10-night trip, however, some operators also offer combination itineraries including some parts of Raja Ampat, Sulawesi, and Halmahera.
If you choose to remain land-based, there are plenty of choices, from homestays and bungalows to luxury eco-resorts. Check out some options for Wakatobi and other Indonesian dive resorts. Wakatobi is also a great option for first-time photographers looking to try their hand at a new skill.
How to get there
The main international gateway to Wakatobi is Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Bali. From there, a connecting domestic flight via Makassar's Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG) or Haluoelo Airport (KDI) in Kendari will take you to Matahora Airport (WNI) on Wangi-Wangi Island.