Wakatobi is a destination recognised the world over as one of Indonesia’s many excellent scuba diving hotspots. The name comes from the opening letters of the 4 islands: Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomea and Binongki. These islands are set in a national park where there are strict limits on fishing, and the local population is actively involved in maintaining and protecting their marine environment.
The reefs here are fossilised, uplifted limestone. This fact, and the dry climate, mean that soil erosion and run-off are very limited, leading to clear water with excellent visibility and pristine diving.
The scuba diving in Wakatobi promises a variety of topography, varied and impressive schools of fish, and an array of vibrant and healthy hard and soft corals. Diving here means a wonderful mix of macro delights and pelagic encounters within a relatively small area, so there is something for everyone!
Wakatobi liveaboard cruises visit a range of local islands including the 4 that lend their name to the archipelago, as well as Hoga, Wang Wangi, and Buton - Pasar Wajo. Dive sites you will experience include the walls, ledges and overhangs of Cornucopia, the incredible Wakatobi House Reef, and the extraordinary pinnacle known as Roma. [More details on these dive sites: Wakatobi].
The liveaboard routes used by diving charters here cover the area known as the Wakatobi Archipelago situated off the south east of the island of Sulawesi. This area consists of Tomia, Kaledupa, Binongko, Hoga, Kapote, Wang Wangi, and Buton - Pasar Wajo and Batuturoa.
Tours here are 7 nights and are aimed at the high end of the market. Wakatobi has a reputation as being one of the most pristine and diverse marine environments in the world. Visitors who enjoy Wakatobi are those that have a keen interest in marvelling at sea creatures in a vibrantly healthy habitat. It is also a destination where you can get away from the crowds.
The remoteness of the location means that the normal clientele on these tours are experienced scuba divers who have visited in many other countries before treating themselves to this much sought-after liveaboard destination.
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Situated a little south of the equator, Wakatobi experiences a steady, tropical climate. Air temperatures hover around 32°C throughout the year. The best time to visit is between March and December This is high season during which the scuba diving is consistently good. April/May and September/November are the busiest periods. July and August is spawning season so it is a good time for big numbers of fish. Temperatures may drop a little, along with the visibility, at this time and it would not be unusual to experience stronger winds and surface movement.
Water temperatures vary from 25°C (August) to 30°C (October). Wakatobi may not be the number 1 spot in Indonesia for big creatures, but certain times of the year are better than others. Any time of the year could see manta rays or whale sharks cruising by and November to April is the best time for pilot whales.
January and February are wet season months but rain is not as heavy as elsewhere in Indonesia. Indeed it is 4 times lower than the national average. Wakatobi is a dry place so visibility rarely, if ever, declines due to river run-off.
Liveaboard trips here depart from Wakatobi itself. The boat operator has charter flights direct from Bali.
You can view which ports the various boats use on their trips in the 'Departures & Prices' section of each boat's webpage. We will send you full departure details during the booking process. Whichever ports your boat uses, normally the boat operator provides a transfer to the boat from the local airport or hotels (if you overnight beforehand).
Most people fly into Indonesia to Jakarta (Java) or Denpasar (Bali). More information on: how to get to Wakatobi.
We recommend you take out insurance to cover diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programme for a competitive quotation:
If you plan on staying in Indonesia before or after your Wakatobi liveaboard diving safari, you can find a large range of accommodation options at hotelscombined.com, our affiliated hotel reservation specialists. Browse their website, use their on-line chat to ask questions, then simply use your credit card to make your booking:
All bookings carry a 'Low Price Guarantee' to ensure you get top-dollar value for money.
It's also possible to dive these sites by staying at a resort in the archipelago. Please contact us for details.
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