East of Bali and accessed via private airstrip, Wakatobi Dive Resort is home to some of the healthiest and most biodiverse coral reefs in the world.
Set on a remote, private island in south-east Sulawesi, Indonesia, Wakatobi Resort promises guests exclusive access to more than 40 diving and snorkelling sites, all located within the surrounding UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve. The encasing waters nurture myriad marine life including 500 species of reef-building corals, called home by an abundance of macro life, such as nudibranchs and robust ghost pipefish. And that’s not all – more than 2000 species of fish, and thousands more varieties of invertebrates dwell here, including rare treasures such as pygmy seahorses, exotic mandarinfish and 15 species of frogfish.
The world’s best shore dive
Directly off the resort’s beach is the famous House Reef, which has earned the title of the world’s best shore dive. Its high species diversity and day-and-night accessibility make it a favourite with underwater photographers and marine-life enthusiasts. Snorkellers can spend hours exploring the shallow grass beds and coral heads close to shore, while the outer edge of the reef drops abruptly from less than two metres into the depths, with numerous critter-filled crevices and caverns throughout the area for divers to discover.
Dive further afield
Head out on one of the resort’s custom-built boats to access some of the 40-plus protected dive sites, and you can explore towering walls and fish-laden pinnacles, and swathes of shallows perfect for snorkellers. For a luxury diving experience, the Pelagian yacht makes week-long excursions through the Wakatobi Regency area, including the muck-diving mecca of Pasarwajo Bay.
Unique and enriching
Wakatobi is easily reached via direct charter from Bali to the resort’s own airstrip. A short transfer later to the resort, and you’ll find a collection of oceanfront and interior bungalows nestled into a landscaped palm grove. Choose to stay in one of these, or a waterfront villa complete with private access to the beach and reef. Each suite takes design cues from contemporary trends while staying sympathetic to the region, with rich woodwork and local craftsmanship throughout. Modern luxuries abound, such as air conditioning and outdoor showers, and pools on the deck of the two-bedroom villas.
Along with its untouched location and stylish lodgings, personalised five-star service and gourmet dining are Wakatobi’s hallmarks. Equally important is the resort’s commitment to sustainable tourism, with a portion of guest revenue used to protect some 20 kilometres of coral reef, and provide economic and social benefits to 17 area villages.