9. WAKATOBI NATIONAL MARINE PARK
Arguably the best site on top of the rich and beauty level in the entire Sulawesi
Wakatobi is an abbreviation of the 4 main islands: Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. The only public way to Wakatobi is via long overnight ferry ride from Lasalimo in Buton, or via flight from Kendari. Both journey take guests to Wangi-wangi or Wanci, known for the charming Sombu Pier (snorkeling and diving), Waha Beach (sunset), Kapota Island (another sunset viewpoint), Liya Fortress, Kontamale Cave (fresh springwater cave for bathing), and fabulous night market. However, contrary to many’s imagination, Wakatobi is very sparsely populated with long stretch of wild fields between places. There is no restaurant in any of the islands, so guests must eat where they stay.
Two hours boat ride away is Kaledupa Island. The main island has no point of interest, but a small island offshore, Hoga Island, has fantastic snorkeling, diving, beach, as well as a modest resort. It is also a great island to go fishing and explore the better corals of Wakatobi. However, the best corals are found another 2 hours from Kaledupa, in the sleepy Tomia Island. World-class reefs in Marie Maboek, Magnifika, Table Coral City, Ali Reef, Roma and Kolosoha await all snorkelers and divers with determination to travel the long route. The mainland is also sparsely populated, although a beautiful hill serves as a fine sunset point.
There are no hotels in Tomia, so the only option is to stay in village homestay. However, offshore Onemobaa Island is an ultra-luxurious Wakatobi Dive Resort. It has its own private airstrip serving chartered flights from Bali, and the owner also runs luxurious Pelagian Cruise to discover the regions around Wakatobi (week-long cruise, schedule can be provided on request).