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Wakatobi’s Double Dip Diving Experience

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Wakatobi Dive Resort dive boat.
Aerial view of one of Wakatobi Dive Resort 's large dive boats near one of regions popular dive sites.
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This might be the perfect dive vacation: Start with a visit to one of the world's most iconic dive resorts, where you explore pristine coral reefs while enjoying impeccable service, world-class dining and first-class accommodations. Next, you board a luxury dive yacht voyaging through the Banda Sea, visiting underwater landscapes known only to a few while enjoying the same exemplary level of services and amenities you had on land. This double dip of exceptional underwater experiences and topside relaxation is available exclusively to guests of Wakatobi Dive Resort.

Wakatobi 1
Reefs of Wakatobi, Indonesia

“Very high standards are just the norm on Pelagian. The diving was breathtaking, the crew are simply awesome, the food and service on the Pelagian exceed expectations every time. I will certainly be booking another trip very soon!” ~ Simon Bowen, October 2022

IT BEGINS IN BALI

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The rice fields spread across Bali are interesting as they are beautiful. Typically built into the hill side in the shape of terraces, a method of agriculture almost 2000 years old, most of these fields were carved by hand.

Wakatobi is the epitome of “away from it all.” This idyllic beachfront resort sits on a small island in the waters of Indonesia's Banda Sea, far removed from the everyday. But though remote, it's surprisingly easy to reach by way of the resort's direct charter flights and concierge transfer services.

When guests touch down at Bali's international airport, they are met by Wakatobi representatives, who take care of all the details of arrival, transfers and overnight layovers. The Wakatobi team can also schedule accommodations and excursions for guests who want to spend a few extra days in Bali before heading on the Wakatobi. On the morning of the flight to Wakatobi, guests wait in a VIP lounge before boarding a large commuter aircraft for a comfortable flight to Wakatobi's private airfield. 

RESORT RELAXATIONS AND EXCEPTIONAL DIVING

Wakatobi Dive Resort
Aerial view of Wakatobi Dive Resort as seen during the approach into the airport on neighboring Tomia Island.

Wakatobi Dive Resort is located within a private marine preserve that is home to some of the most pristine and bio-diverse coral reefs on the planet. Directly off the beach is the House Reef, which has been named the world's best shore dive. Divers and snorkelers can explore this vast underwater garden day and night. Each day, a fleet of spacious, custom-built dive boats provide exclusive access to more than three dozen exceptional diving and snorkeling sites. Attentive dive guides provide concierge-level service both on the boats and under the water. 

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Reef life at Wakatobi. Photo by Marco Fierli

“The diving at Wakatobi can’t be beat. Pristine reefs and tons of life everywhere. This trip could not have been any better.” ~ Michael and Barbara Mayfield, September 2022

Ashore, guests can relax in traditionally-styled bungalows set in a beachfront coconut grove, or take in sunset views from the deck of a waterfront villa. Accommodations blend timeless Indonesian charm with modern comforts to provide a relaxing vacation experience. Topside activities include water sports, spa services and activities such as island tours and Indonesian cooking classes.

Dining by sea at Wakatobi
Dining by sea at Wakatobi

Wakatobi is known for providing the highest levels of personal service, and for its cuisine. The resort's talented culinary team elevates the dining experience to gourmet levels, serving a tempting mix of international favorites and regional offerings, along with bespoke menus for those with special dietary requests. The staff can create a private candlelight dining experience on the beach or prepare a special picnic lunch. The resort offers a range of additional special services such as private dive and snorkel guides or all-day charters on a private boat.

Wakatobi dive boats
Three of Wakatobi Dive Resort's large spacious dive boats rafted up at the jetty.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF LIVEABOARD

Pelagic dive yacht
Pelagian luxury dive yacht

The perfect complement to a stay at Wakatobi Resort is a trip aboard the Pelagian dive yacht. Seen from afar, this gleaming-white 36-meter vessel might seem like one of the private pleasure ships that line the quays of glamorous ports such as San Tropez or Newport. And unlike most liveaboard dive boats, Pelagian doesn't cater to the masses, and is configured to take a maximum of just ten guests. This allows for comfortable yacht-like accommodations more akin to a hotel room than a cramped cabin. The crew of twelve includes an executive chef and stewards, which allows for a fine dining experience and five-star service.

mandarinfish
Part of the Pelagian’s itinerary includes visiting Buton Island’s Pasarwajo Bay where at a dive site called Magic Pier, a dive at dusk provides a great opportunity to photograph mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) mating.

“Very high standards are just the norm on Pelagian. The diving was breathtaking, the crew are simply awesome, the food and service on the Pelagian exceed expectations every time. I will certainly be booking another trip very soon!” ~ Simon Bowen, October 2022

But though its spacious cabins and social areas showcase an upscale yacht interior, the Pelagian is very much a dive boat. The vessel cruises a broad swath of the Wakatobi archipelago and ventures to the southern portion of Buton Island. Seven-day itineraries and seasonal 10-day trips take in a diverse range of underwater environments, from the walls of Karang Kaledupa and Karang Kapota to the exceptional muck diving opportunities of Buton Island’s Pasarwajo Bay. The Pelagian's route also skirts the southwestern edges of Wangi Wangi and Kaledupa Islands, providing another round of magnificent reefs, dramatic vertical drop-offs and pinnacles, each revealing a kaleidoscopic menagerie of marine life.

Diving activities are conducted from a pair of custom-fabricated dive tenders, with the crew handling all gear management. Dives are led by one of Wakatobi’s experienced guides, who provide in-water support when requested or needed and are experts at locating rare marine subjects. Because dives are conducted either in shallow-water muck sites or on structures with significant vertical reliefs that are ideal for multi-level profiles, bottoms times routinely exceed 70 minutes, and the schedule allows for up to four dives a day, including night dives.

MAKING THE CONNECTION

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Pelagian dive yacht passing in front of its home base, Wakatobi Dive Resort.

Because all Pelagian cruises begin and end at Wakatobi Resort, connecting land and sea itineraries is easy. Flights from Bali typically arrive at the resort before noon, giving resort guests ample time to enjoy lunch, settle in and get in their first dive of the trip before dinner. Divers who are scheduled to go directly aboard Pelagian also have the chance to relax and enjoy lunch at the beachfront dining room while the staff transfers luggage and dive gear to cabins and lockers. By early afternoon, all is in place and the Pelagian departs for a local reef, where guests can perform a checkout dive to ensure all is in order. But even this first dive often stretches to 70 minutes or more, setting the tone for the week to come.

When Pelagian arrives back at Wakatobi's dock at the end of each cruise, departing guests are free to relax and enjoy the resort's amenities before catching the afternoon flight. Guests transferring to the resort can keep racking up bottom time by hopping on a late-morning or afternoon boat or making a dive on the House Reef. For all of these transfers, guests never need to bother with transferring luggage or equipment, as Wakatobi's staff handles all the details, removing the hassles of travel and leaving only the relaxation.

Want to create your own Wakatobi Double Dip vacation experience?, visit wakatobi.com where you can complete a quick trip inquiry to start planning your trip.

To go directly to the Inquire page for booking at Wakatobi Click Here

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Mike Mayfield
Mike Mayfield
10 months ago

Such as surprise to see my own quote in “print”, but I can totally confirm the great trip we had to Wakatobi. My wife and I celebrated our 50th anniversary there and the Wakatobi staff made it wonderful. From the romantic dinner on the beach to the private dinner on the Pelagian, it could not have been better. One of the Pelagian crew even composed and sang a song for us at dinner. All I can say is “magical”.

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Walt Stearns
Walt Stearns
Editor for Scuba Diver Magazine's North America edition, Walt Stearns, has been involved in the diving industry for more than 30 years. As one of the most prolific photojournalists in diving media Walt’s articles and images have appeared in a wide range of national and international diving, water sports and travel titles.
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