Over a century ago, Somerset Maugham compiled a series of short stories on the colonial archipelagos of what
was then known as the South Seas. These were tales of Europeans from the perspective of a British writer,
but the allure of these exotic and wonderful islands resonate even when read today. Where the curious
traveler then would invest months of travel to find paradise, it can now be had with the purchase of a plane
ticket and the resolve to endure thirty-six hours flight time to Bali. At Wakatobi, no guest need be
concerned about any vestige of the colonial era. It is an eco friendly resort whose creators' mission
statement must be dedicated to diversity is inclusion of the Indonesian people in all levels and aspects
of the staff and operation. It's a barefoot and first name existence for all the guests as they walk the
sandy paths in the neat and unpretentious campus. It is a very unique summer camp and a great place to
forget just about everything
The most immediate question is whether Wakatobi is worth the trip to experience its wonders. Simply
put ... it really is. Any dive resort needs to provide the basics: healthy reefs and fish stocks; a top notch
dive operation with excellent personnel; accommodations and meals that reward the adventurous types who
travel there. Wakatobi delivers on all counts. If there is such a thing as too much service, then
Wakatobi sets the bar high for all competitors in the high end dive market. If a regulator was balky,
into the Dive Center it went for analysis. When my external monitor had a gremlin, it was diagnosed
and new wiring soldered in place. Each group of four divers has a dive guide assigned for each dive.
Some of us were resistant to such close contact, but the young and experienced eyes of the very
enthusiastic and helpful guides that we were assigned provided us with the chance to see far more
than we could have ever found on our own and with identification on slates and photo I.D. cards.
The reefs are healthy and alive with everything that a diver wants to see. To find two Cuttlefish
was worth the price of admission. The number of Nudibranchs strains Neville Coleman's photo
Wakatobi also offer one of the three Fluo night dive experiences in the world. It's too complicated
to adequately address here, but with the aid of special lights and lens over each diver's mask, it
allowed us to see the florescent qualities of the reef flora and fauna. To see a butterscotch colored
moray eel slide out of a dark hole is not something that I'll forget. It is an amazing opportunity to
experience a developing field of research.
The food at Wakatobi deserves its own review and is simply the best that I've experienced a dive
dedicated resort. The Pastry Chef is a treasure. The food is varied, beautifully prepared and
There is also a well stock wine list which went down well with the memories of the day's experience.
No one complained about the food or the service.
I've led trips for seventeen years to resorts and a lot of liveaboard dive boats and Wakatobi sits
solidly at the top of the heap when it comes to a great experience above and below the surface. I
try not to repeat myself, but this is a destination that deserves a return visit or two.