Wakatobi National Park


Wakatobi National Park is part of the Tentative list of Indonesia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Wakatobi is a marine national park mostly known for its coral reefs. Its underwater life is very biodiverse with 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species. The name of Wakatobi is derived from the four main Tukangbesi Islands: Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. The island group comprises 143 islands of which 7 are inhabited.

Map of Wakatobi National Park

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Zoƫ Sheng

Chinese-Canadian - 11-Apr-23 -

Wakatobi National Park (T) by Zoë Sheng

You may have seen my previous review but after my second, much longer visit I am not negative about it's chances to be WHS and while I don't think feel it is unique enough to be added I certainly don't mind if it does. I seriously doubt it will be ever get inscribed though.

So from the four islands you will only be on Tomia no matter what resort you stay. Previously I thought you can only stay at the Wakatobi Resort which is a five star luxurious dive/snorkel retreat and very pricey at that, but you can potentially stay with local guest houses and dive with a local operator. However, that means you will need to fly in via domestic flights that requires at least 3 legs from Bali or Jakarta plus another boat ride across to the final island. Think 30h easy, potentially more, and that's only for getting here. In all honesty you do yourself a disfavor to save a buck and if you are really desperate to get to Wakatobi on a smaller budget and have lots of time then be prepared for some disappointments. So you did the smart thing and went with the resort option that includes a private charter from Bali. 3h later you will arrive, get transported to a small ferry to the adjacent island (still Tomia) where the resort is. The max guests are just over 100.

So before I away from the resort and without reviewing it directly I want to say that it's definitely worth your money. They surely manage to get everything right from the bungalows (aircon heats your water, excellent outdoor shower etc) to the restaurant and the dive operator. I didn't snorkel but it sounds like it's really great and they organized it really well too, taking you out for the entire day. The dive center will split you into groups for their own spacious boats that leaves after breakfast and usually comes back to exchange guests only diving once. Afternoon dives are after lunch. You can do unlimited dives at the house reef as long as you have a buddy. Otherwise you are stuck with 3 dives per day and at one day a week they will not return back to the resort. You can also choose to stay on the liveaboard which only has 5 cabins and max 10 guests, which costs a lot more than the resort cabins but this is the only way you actually get around the four islands and even outside of the park. I personally cannot recommend this over the regular diving. The dive sites aren't far from the resort with maximum 30 minutes and you will never share a site with another boat, meaning you will be the only group around for the entire dive. Sites are also large, usually slopes or walls, that you will hardly see your fellow divers of that same group around.

Moving on to the reef. Wakatobi Resort manages to be an exclusive operator aside from the odd one nearby because it has a deal with the local government. It keeps the reef and island super clean, pays money of course, and also provides a livelihood to the locals. So the reef is indeed super clean. You will find the random candy wrapper or even plastic bag but clear blue waters and healthy reefs all around. The reef life is also healthy with a large variety from turtles to ghost pipefish and the regular reef guests like octopus, cuttlefish and so on. You will not find mantas or sharks around these waters. I don't think diversity can surpass other places like Raja Ampat, Palau or even Komodo and I think the inclusion of world heritage will also put more pressure on the site to be more accessible when the privatization of the park does wonders to keep it clean. While it sounds like an elitist resort for the superrich it really isn't and while it's naturally not cheap it gives you lots for your money. Keep in mind that the weekend trip is going to cost you a lot due to the flight alone so make it worth your time and money.

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Full Name
Wakatobi National Park
Natural landscape - Marine and Coastal
2005 Added to Tentative List

Unesco Website: Wakatobi National Park

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Wakatobi National Park (T)


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