Macro: diving at Wakatobi on the island of Sulawesi is not the best known ofIndonesia and yet the dive sites present an incredible mix of splendid corals, competition macro and large pelagics. The reefs are preserved and you are alone in the world! You can some on liveaboards which go around the 4 islands of Wakatobi, which is the best way to enjoy the park. The journey to get there is still a bit complicated, but once there, it's really worth it!

Background: Wakatobi is part of my 3 month trip to Asia during which I wanted to do all the best diving spots in Asia. I stayed there for a week and did 8 dives.

# Overview 
# Presentation 
# Diving 
# Dive sites 
# Season and conditions 
# Dive centers 
# Accommodation 
# Get to 
# My diving review

40C&F - wakatobi-min


9Turtle - Green & bumphead (wakatobi)-min

  • Best Wakatobi diving season : April to November.
  • The best dive sites in Wakatobi are on Tomia island.
  • Common Marine Life : classic fish from Indonesia (angel, parrot, batfish, clown, etc.), wrasse, giant trevally, school of barracudas and trevallies.
  • Visibility : very good, around 30 m.
  • French diving club : no.
  • Dive center : Tomia scuba dive (the alternative to Wakatobi dive resort).
  • Access : quite complicated (see go to Wakatobi).
Logo-plongeur-baroudeurRecommendations by category of divers:

> New diver : not recommended.
> Confirmed : to do if you are in Sulawesi but complicated to access.
> Experienced : to do if you have already done Raja Ampat, Komodo, Alor and the banda sea.
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Where is Wakatoki?

  • Wakatobi is in the South East of Sulawesi, it is in fact a marine park national which includes 143 islands.
  • The name Wa-ka-to-bi is also a acronym for 4 main islands and repeat the first two letters of each: WAngi-Wangi, KAledupa, TOmia and BInongko.


Tomia island: far from the tourists!

Tomia is the best island for diving in Wakatobi. This is the kind of small island where iThere is not much (other than diving) to do!

  • Far from classic tourist circuitsI did not meet a single tourist!
  • Nobody spoke English, but suddenly, it was very "local".
  • Not a lot of restaurants, no distributors, no supermarkets
  • We can still go around scouting and visit the island!

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Where to dive in Wakatobi? on Tomia island!

  • Very important infothere are 4 main islands in Wakatobi Park, but the island of Tomia has by far the best area to dive.
  • Wangi wangi is the most developed, the easiest to access (it has a small airport) and also has dive sites, but Tomia is really better.

How is diving in Wakatobi?

A mix between splendid corals, exceptional macro and large pelagic!

Beautiful corals

1C&F - wakatobi (wakatobi)-min

  • The first thing that strikes you when you put your head underwater in Wakatobi is the quality and density of corals!
  • They are everywhere and all the colours, It's just wonderful!
  • Among the most beautiful ones I've seen in Indonesia with Raja Ampat and Alor.

From macro to Wakatobi

3Nudi - Doris Loch (wakatobi)-min

  • The macro in Wakatobi is spectacular!
  • Maybe not at the level of Lembeh Strait (which is still the capital of the world for that), but we see extraordinary things in Wakatobi: spotted and flamboyant cuttelfish, ghost pipefish, frogfish, hippocampus, blue-ringed and mimic octopus, harlequin shrimp, dozens of different nudibranchs ...

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Note: I also saw the biggest nudibranch there that I have never seen! I didn't even know it was in the nudibranchs category: long-cirri phyllodesmium (see photo below).

Large pelagics in Wakatobi

10Barracuda - chevron small school (wakatobi)-min

There is also large pelagic in Wakatobi! I saw some barracudas benches, some jacks, some batfish and of snapers on several sites. I also crossed napoleons, giant trevallies, groupers, sweetlips... on almost all sites.




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Wakatobi sharks

  • Wakatobi is not the most famous place Indonesia for sharks (it's better to go to Bira South West of Sulawesi for that)
  • But you can find white and black tip reef shark on some sites.

Very rare turtles: olive trees, ridley and lute

45Turtle - Green & jack (wakatobi)-min

In addition to the 2 common turtle species for Indonesia (green and hawksbill), in Wakatobi you can also have the chance to see the very rare olive turtles, ridley and lute!


Pilot whales in Wakatobi

  • Nothing is guaranteed of course, but November to April many pilot whales pass through the waters of Wakatobi!!
  • It is therefore possible to come across it during a dive!

Wakatobi diving video

Wakatobi diving photos

Sorry, the pictures are not the most beautiful I've done (I've improved a little since ...), but at least it allows you to realize the marine life!

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Map of dive sites Wakatobi island of Tomia

carte sites de plongee Wakatobi tomia island indonesie

What are the best Wakatobi dive sites in Tomia Island

  • Roma (huge pinnacle)

1C&F - wakatobi (wakatobi)-min

    • Roma is considered by all professionals that I have come across as being the best site in the region and I confirm, it was extraordinary!
    • Around this enormous pinnacle gathers benches of hundreds and hundreds of snappers and red tooth triggerfishes.
    • The site also has a coral just splendid, includinghuge sea fans where you will find suddenly on pygmy seahorses! I also saw turtle, napoleon, eagle ray, sea snake, leaf fish, nudibranch... to do absolutely!
  • Cornucopia (wall, overhang, fault ...)

26C&F - Wakatobi-min

    • A great site!
    • In addition to the beautiful coral Wakatobi and classic fish, this site can sometimes offer reef shark and feed as well as the passage of rays eagles and mobulas!
  • The zoo (macro)


    • A priori the best macro site in Wakatobi!
    • There are frogfish, of the ghost fish, of the pygmy seahorses, of the leaf fish, of the funky hairy squat lobster and sometimes even bobtail squid.
    • Creature the most unique of this site is the mushroom pipefish (which has a rather triangular head) that is found in anemone mushrooms.
  • Coral table city (sea mount)

4Jack - Bigeye school (wakatobi)-min

    • I really enjoyed myself there!
    • A site with superb coral everywhere and the "big" : schools of barracudas, of kingfish, of midnight snappers, giant trevally, napoleons
    • More sea turtles, octopus, frog fish, nudibranchs
  • Fan 38 East (cave, fault, canyon ...)

7C&F - wakatobi-min

    • I did not do it, but according to my information it's a site with a particular configuration
    • Composed of canyons, faults, overhangs and caves


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You can almost dive all year round in Wakatobi But the best diving season in Wakatobi is from April to November.

When to dive in Wakatobi?

16Crab - Anemone (wakatobi)-min

  • Avoid thea rainy season in Wakatobi from December to February even if it rains 4 times less in Wakatobi than in the rest of Indonesia.
  • Wakatobi pilot whale season : November to April.

Diving conditions Wakatobi :

  • Visibility in Wakatobi : very good, between 20 and 30 m.
  • Wakatobi water temperature : 25-26 ° in July-August and 28-30 ° the rest of the year.
  • Current Wakatobi : not known to have strong currents.
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The best dive centers in Wakatobi


  • There is a ten diving clubs in Wakatobi on the island of Wangi wangi (which is the most developed).
  • The best dives are on the other hand on the island of Tomia, but there are almost no centers!


Diving club on Wangi wangi in Wakatobi

The best centers of Wangi wangi: Rekan dive, Wakatobi Oceania, Mawada dive center.

The Wakatobi dive resort

  • It's simple, if you type "Wakatobi dive center" you will always fall on the Wakatobi dive resort, so this center is known and has been there for a long time.
  • It is a dive resort (a luxury hotel that offers diving) for an affluent clientele.
  • If you have the budget, it's probably perfect, but I don't think everyone can afford it !!

Diving club on Tomia in Wakatobi: Tomia scuba dive

Boat - Tomia scuba dive (wakatobi)

  • Apart from the very luxurious Wakatobi dive resort, there is only one dive center on Tomia : the Tomia scuba dive ! Of course this information is likely to change!
  • Held by a local family, it's a little 'roots', but the divemasters were good and the big boat and in good condition.
  • They offer 3 dive days with lunch included (on a beautiful little beach!).


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  • As with diving clubs, if you are looking for accommodation on Wakatobi, you are bound to come across the Wakatobi dive resort (a 5 star resort has 3000 € the week!).
  • There are not many hotels on Tomia island: best recommended here.
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  • Wakatobi is still a bit hard to access and there is full of different possibilities.
  • The route will therefore depend on where exactly you are going (Tomia, Wangi wangi ...) and the comfort you want (boat or plane).


Getting to Makassar


  • In any case, the first thing to do will be to reach Makassar, the largest city of Sulawesi.
  • You can access it from many cities in Indonesia and even since Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or others major cities of Asia.

Makassar trip to Wangi wangi by plane: le faster 

  • Wakatobi has a small airport on the island of Wangi wangi.
  • 1h30 drive from Makassar, 1 departure per day (Lionair).
  • If you go to Tomia: one boat a day at 8am (120,000 RP) or private boat.

Note: there is an airport on Tomia, but it only serves for a charter flight from Bali to the Wakatobi dive resort (impossible to take if you do not spend the week there).

Baubau to Tomia by boat: the most economical

  • trajet bateau 2Land at Baubau (departure every day from Makassar at 9am) and take a wooden boat at night until Tomia.
  • Departure every day at 21h, arrival around 6-7h of the morning (about 10h).
  • It's not not the most comfortable ride I made10am trying to sleep on a small mattress in a room in the open with twenty people (see photo), to do only if you are in backpack and economical mode
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He is still a bit complicated to get to Wakatobi, but what a treat on the spot! If I could, I would go back in the blink of an eye. Wakatobi offers a very high level mix with a quality of coral comparable to Raja Ampat and a macro almost as varied as Lembeh, all of this with large pelagic with each dive !! Wakatobi is definitely in Indonesia's top 10, to do before it becomes too known !!

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