Wakatobi Calling: A Superpower in the Southeast Sulawesi

Wakatobi Calling! School of Barracudas (Image Courtesy of Meity Nadia)

Traveljunkieindonesia.com – According to Jacques Cousteau, the Tukangbesi Islands offered ‘possibly the finest diving in the world’ when he surveyed the area in the 1980s. Most of the islands are now part of Wakatobi Marine National Park. Positioned remotely off the far southeast coast, the islands are difficult to reach, but they do offer superb snorkel ling and diving, a blaze of corals and marine life, isolated beaches and stunning landscapes.

Located right in the heart of the Asia-Pacific Coral Triangle, in the province of Southeast Sulawesi, the Wakatobi Islands offer crystal clear pristine waters and a rich bio-diverse underwater life, a true paradise for Divers, as this is one of 3 hearts in the World Coral Triangle that stretches from the Solomon Islands in the Pacific to Wakatobi, and North to the Philippines.

Wakatobi alone is said to have 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species from a total of 850 of world’s collection, which, comparing with the two world’s famous diving centers, the Caribbean Sea  owns only 50 species with 300 coral reef species in the Red Sea, in Egypt.

Situated  at the end of the south eastern “petal’ of the orchid shaped island of Sulawesi and separated by the deep Banda Sea to its north and east and the Flores sea to its south,  the name Wakatobi is in fact an acronym of  its four main islands, which are: Wangi-wangi (WA), Kaledupa (KA), Tomia (TO) and Binongko (BI).

Travel Junkie Indonesia will call Wakatobi home: a superpower in the Southeast Sulawesi. Due to its magnificent underwater life, Wakatobi is fast gaining worldwide attention for its quality dives that can be made by beginners to professionals. Small wonder, therefore, that many liveaboards make this one of their main ports of sojourn.  Aside from its dive sites, Wakatobi has many superb beaches.

Getting to Hoga is the big headache. From Bau Bau, take the daily boat to Wanci on Pulau Wangiwangi, which usually leaves in the evening and arrives very early the next day. Wait around for another boat, or more likely charter one, to Hoga. The smoothest option is to time your arrival with the Pelni liner Tilongkabila from Makassar.

Since the opening of the Matohara Airport on Wangi-Wangi, these remote islands are now more accessible and can be reached by flights from Jakarta or Makassar.  There is also another landing strip on Tomia island, which receives charters from Bali.

Happy Green Travels!

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