Wakatobi is located at the world’s epicenter of coral reef biodiversity and is designated a UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve. This means that while diving Wakatobi you can see the greatest variety and diversity of marine life. You’ll not only see beautiful vistas or pristine coral reefs, but also abundant colorful reef fish and rare and unusual cryptic ‘critters’. New and undocumented species continue to be discovered at when diving Wakatobi.
Also known as the Tukang Besi Archipelago, the Wakatobi Marine National Park is the second largest Marine Park in Indonesia. Its four main islands of Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko each lend the first two letters of their names to give the area its name.
Fast attracting a reputation as one of the top diving spots in the world, it’s hardly surprising as the islands enjoy some of the healthiest coral reefs you are likely to dive.
The Wakatobi marine national park was established in 1996, a huge area that consists of marine biodiversity hotspot known as Wallacea. Wakatobi alone is said to have 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species make it a paradise for scuba divers, snorkelers, and freedivers. Karang Kaledupa is one of the largest reef systems in the world and has the most awesome soft-corals in Indonesia. Drop offs, overhangs and schooling black-tip sharks make Wangi-Wangi islands a highlight for divers. Thirty-five percent of species of marine fish have been found in and around this island.
Tomia Island and Binongko Island is the most remote and least developed island but is actually the home of the only ironworkers still found in the island chain. The people of Binongko have many mystical stories about the origin of the island and sacred places that can be found there. Wanci is the administrative center of Wakatobi. It is one of the busiest islands and there are lots of people here. It also has the most facilities just like any big town. For example, you can find ATM’s here which you can’t find on any of the other islands. There are also direct flights from local airlines (Wings air/Lion air and Merpati) that serve the route from Makassar and Kendari to Wangi Wangi (Wanci).
Travel and Activities
- Pickup from Bau Bau airport or hotel around 08:00 – 09:00am on day of embarkation
- Disembark at Bau Bau harbor and drop off to Bau Bau airport or local hotel, take a flight from Bau Bau onwards to your preferred destination.
Pristine coral reef systems, including some of the world’s finest wall diving. A chance to really ‘Get-off-the-map’ with uncrowded dive sites, and chances to see large schools of pelagic species, including some of the worlds most interesting macro.
- 3 to 4 dives per day
- Night dives included
- Dive guides on board
- village tours,
- floating village tours,
- Prices are per diver based on occupancy in the chosen cabin
- All rates include taxes
- Please make sure you check the visa and/or immigration requirements for your nationality
- Trip cancellation insurance recommended
- Children above 12 y. o. are accepted aboard La Galigo. During the cruise, children remain under the responsibility of their parents. Parents are required to ensure that the children respect all safety procedures, listen to all safety briefings, and do not disturb the peace and quietness of the other passengers, or the effective management of the cruise.
- To partake in any scuba diving activity with La Galigo, you must hold a certification from a recognised scuba diving society such as SSI, CMAS, BSAC, PADI or similar. It is the client’s responsibility, as a certified diver, to respect and follow the guidelines given by the La Galigo guides and instructors, and to follow the regulations stipulated by their certification agency.
- Clients are solely responsible to provide a diving medical statement or physicians medical dated within the last 12 months, certification card and log book. Ignoring the directions given by the guides, or not presenting certification card, log book or valid medical paperwork may cause a limitation or disqualification from scuba diving during the trip. The divers accept their responsibility to be technically capable of participating in the activity of scuba diving and fully accept the risks associated. We reserve the right, for safety reasons, and at the discretion of the La Galigo guides, to refuse access to one / several / all dives if the diver does not have the necessary competence to participate safely.
- We require all divers to provide us with a copy of their diving insurance that includes medical evacuation
- Diver must wear a dive computer
- Maximum depth: 35 m
- All meals, non packaged snacks, coffee and tea, and post dive refreshments.
- Diving services including tanks, weights, smb rental, reef hook rental, air fills (non nitrox), guides and dive tenders.
- Hotel or Airport transfers to and from Sorong Harbour / Labuan Bajo on the first and final day of your cruise, from a local hotel in Sorong / Labuan Bajo.
- Land excursions
- Ferry transfers to and from Sorong Harbour / Labuan Bajo to La Galigo on the first and final day of your cruise
- Airport to hotel transfers
- Flight tickets
- Visas and fees
- Airport taxes and extra baggage fees
- Travel, dive and repatriation insurance
- Alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, spirits
- Soft Drinks and packaged snacks
- Staff gratuities (preferred in local currency)
- La Galigo Merchandise
- Book now, pay later:You can easily place your booking online. We will then hold the spaces for you and you can confirm with a payment later.
- Raja Ampat / Komodo tags or other marine protected area tags or anchorage charges.
- Port, Ranger and Marine Park fees.
- We charge the following additional fees to cover Indonesian national marine park fees, local area access fees, harbour fees, anchorage fees, and land based activities that require donations.
• Raja Ampat: $180 per person per trip.
• Komodo: $150 per person, per trip.
• Wakatobi: $30 per person per day.Raja Ampat national park tags are valid for 1 year, you will receive your tag onboard the vessel. If you still have a valid tag, please contact us directly for a discounted price for this fee. (This is only available when booking direct with La Galigo). You will be required to bring your old tag along to show to the authorities when they board the vessel. Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $5000 as dictated by the port authorities.La Galigo will organise all park fees for its customers, which are payable in local currency onboard the vessel.
We recommend that for comfort you bring your own personal dive equipment, including exposure suit (wetsuit/ rash guard), mask, snorkel, regulators and gauges, BCD, dive computer, safety markers, torch, and fins. Dive equipment is available to rent if you require, please make La Galigo aware at least 60 days prior to departure on the ‘Guest data sheet’ if you require rental.
Full equipment rental per day:
• $30, includes: BCD, Regulators, Wetsuit, Torch, Computer, Fins & Boots, Mask & Snorkel, Safety Marker Buoy (SMB) with reel, and Reef Hook.
Individual item equipment rental per day:
• BCD – $10
• Regulators – $10
• Wetsuit – $5
• Dive torch – $5
• Computer – $5
• Safety Marker Buoy with reel – $0
• Mask, Fins with Boots & Snorkel – $0
• Reef Hooks – $0
Wakatobi is home to some of the most amazing wall diving in the world, however, on our trip, we also offer the opportunity to take in some sublime submerged reefs. The trip itself also visits places like Batu Atas, where we have spotted hammerheads off the southwest wall in the past, and the amazing Pasarwajo, where the shore diving there offers the chance to dive where the fresh water meets the ocean, and large colonies of mandarin fish life, an Underwater photographers dream.
Wakatobi is fairly sheltered for the best part of it, offering relaxed diving throughout 75% of this trip. Batu Atas and some of the sites on the east side of Wakatobi have some stronger currents alongside its reefs to allow for some drift diving.
Wide angle 70%
Tomea offers the perfect opportunity to take some amazing wide angle shots. On its walls, you will often find amazing gorgonian fans surrounded by reef fish and showers of red tooth triggerfish on almost every dive site. Other sites in the area present you with an opportunity to look for pygmy seahorses and lembeh sea dragons. At the sites around Hoga, we will often find large schools of fish such as schooling snappers, barracuda, and tuna. Around Bau Bau and Batu Atas, you will have the opportunity to choose between your Macro Lens or wide angle dome, there really is something for everyone.
On average, the water temperatures around Tukang Besi fluctuate between 27-30 Celsius / 80-86 Fahrenheit, and previous guests have often felt comfortable wearing a 3mm shorty or long suit.
DAY 1 - Buton peninsula – Bau BauWe will pick you up from your hotel of choice or the airport around 8:00 / 9:00 am for a departure from Bau Bau harbor around 10:30 am.
Check out dive at Nirwana beach which is a sheltered slope out the front of Bau-Bau, followed by a short journey to 2 of the islands located west of Bau-Bau, Siompu Island, and Kadatua. Siompu offers the chance to dive ridges, pinnacles and walls, and some smaller caves where sharks and barracuda-like to hang out. The reefs here even though not still pristine, is home to vast amounts of reef fish, which in turn brings in some of the larger species. Reef sharks are common in the area, and we often the occasionally spotted eagle ray, dogtooth tuna, and turtles. Loba Loba is likely one of the unique dive sites in the Buton region, offering the chance for a wall dive covered with sea fans and also the opportunity for some cave diving with a twist. After entering the cave at around 20 meters, divers will start to be able to see light pouring into the cave, which opens up into a blue hole located in the middle of an actual forest!!
DAY 2 - Batu AtasBatu Atas is an island located around 6 hours sail south of the Buton peninsula. The island itself (to our knowledge) has not been dived so much, however in the past, La Galigo has been fortunate enough to witness Hammerheads alongside the walls surrounding this small inhabited island. The current around the island can be strong, but you will often find Napoleon Wrasse and Turtles nestling in the overhangs formed by the walls on the southwest point. Later in the day we move into the protected bay of Boeki where we shall try some exploratory diving around the peninsula, or in the bay, or take in a land tour to the local village.
DAY 3 - TomeaAfter a late night sail from Batu Atas, we will enter the marine park of Wakatobi, made famous by Wakatobi Resort. We will commence diving around the southern part of Wakatobi, called Tomea. Our first dive will take in another very unique dive site, aptly named Blade due to the top of its reef mimicking a bread knife. This site actually spans up to 4 km, the lowest point of the ‘blade’ is around 25m whilst the top comes up to around 5m, perfect for a safety stop. After a large breakfast, we set sail for our next stop, Magnifica, a highlighted site for the area, where we can encounter sharks and other large species playing in the blue water hugging the walls of the site. The afternoon offers us a chance to dive Fan 38 East, an astonishing wall dive, where almost every inch of its 3-mile stretch is covered in various sea fans and whip coral. Come the evening, we will head across to a small beach located close to the Wakatobi resort, which is home to a dive site named The Zoo. The Zoo is a great little macro dive site, housing various types of nudibranchs and other small critters, and in the past, we have found reef cuttlefish hunting here at night, juvenile pineapple fish, as well as huge crabs and baby reef sharks.
DAY 4 - TomeaIn the morning we dive the site named Cornucopia, a lovely deep wall that offers much for the wide angled photographer, home to some larger fish such as barracuda, Spanish mackerel and various types of reef sharks. After Cornucopia we head to the north of Tomea where we will attempt to dive the fantastic Ali Reef if conditions allow. This deep seamount is home to all kinds of pelagic species, visible at all depths, from 40m up to 20m. After lunch, Dive 3 takes place in the almost always fantastic Mari Mabuk, a submerged reef on the west of Tomea island. Dives here in the past have included schools of bumphead parrot-fish, snappers, and barracuda and also thousands of small schooling catfish which you may swim through for some epic videos! Our night dive here takes place at a site named Roma, which takes it’s name from it’s stunning topography,
DAY 5 - HogaWe awake in Hoga island for a day which is likely to include some heavy current, but also the chance to take in some large schools of big fish. KDS and Kaledupa channel are some fantastic sites where it is likely that you will be surrounded by massive schools of barracuda or snapper, just don’t forget to take your reef hook. In the afternoon we will choose between 2 dive sites dependent again on conditions, Outer Pinnacle is a fantastic submerged pinnacle with an opportunity to experience some swim throughs at depth, however, if the current is roaring, we will choose to do a drift dive on the equally impressive North Wall. Most of the diving around Hoga is usually great for encountering larger fish species as the island is exposed to the Banda Sea to the east. There is also a chance here to skip a dive and visit our friends at Hoga Island Dive Resort and maybe share a local juice / cheeky beer, or just relax in a hammock watching the amazing sunsets from this picturesque little island paradise.
DAY 6 - Kapota and Wangi WangiAlso, know as Pulau Komboje, we spend the morning diving around Kapota at two sites, Tanjung Kapota Barat and Kamponuone. Both sites offer the chance to see reef sharks and large moray eels, as well as some more macro subjects such as the elusive Lembeh Sea Dragon and also Pygmy Pipehorses. After lunch, we head to the island called Wangi Wangi, which translates to ‘very good smell’. Here we have the opportunity to dive at the site Pintu Kota masuk where we are greeted by a small reef system which lays in front of a long jetty which is the entrance to the town. Here we can find such species as blue spotted stingrays, lionfish, and the occasional shark. A short afternoon sail north takes us to our night dive at a significantly shorter jetty named Sombu Jetty. Here we can find small black tip reef sharks at night, or even watch them as the sunsets from the boat. Sombu jetty has previously provided us with a Blue Ring Octopus and Mandarin fish sightings, as well as nudibranchs and pygmy seahorses.
DAY 7 - PasarwajaOn our penultimate day we wake up at Pasarwaja, which is fast becoming well known as a formidable muck diving area, however, it manages to also be home to some very healthy coral and also some wreck diving. For an early morning dive, we will take in a site named Mandarin madness, where it is almost guaranteed you can spot Mandarin fish. Along with a small rubble area, a large colony of these usually elusive fish calls this place home, alongside other interesting critters. Our later morning dive commences around 10 am, and we will look for some shallow caves at a site named Brackish streams. The coral here is fantastically healthy, and the topography of the site is littered with small caves, where fresh water from Pasarwajo enters the ocean. An array of critters and unusual fish inhabit these areas, such as the brackish stonefish. Wasage divers based in button often visit this site, and their guests often give them feedback that this was a particular favorite of theirs.
DAY 8 - Bau BauFrom 09:00 am the vessel will enter the harbor of Bau-Bau, where you will be provided with transportation either to the airport or your local hotel of choice. Guests are welcome to share breakfast up until 11:00 am onboard prior to disembarking