Beyond Diving

Published May 11, 2017 in Non-diving Activities, RESORT

At Wakatobi Resort, there’s even more than mind-blowing diving

Wakatobi Resort was founded by an avid diver to provide equally avid divers with unique access to some of the world’s finest coral reefs. In the twenty-plus years since, our dive operation has evolved into a premier and secluded eco-lux destination, and established a precedent-setting conservation program that has earned the resort broad recognition for community service and environmental stewardship. Although we are in a remote location in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, we’ve managed to continuously expand and improve on the various components that make for a luxury dive resort. In fact, we often hear from guests and industry professionals that we set the benchmark for what a five-star dive resort should be in terms of services, infrastructure and of course, the diving. But while diving will always remain the key component of our hospitality mission, it is by no means the only activity our guests can enjoy. Here are just some of the ways that Wakatobi Resort delivers a five-star memorable vacation experience beyond the diving.

Whether you're jumping in on the House Reef or from our dive boats snorkelers are offered the same full support services provided to divers.

Whether you’re exploring the House Reef or going out on our dive boats, snorkelers are offered the same full support services we provide to scuba divers. Photo by Walt Stearns

Tanks? No thanks.

With miles of shallow reefs to explore, the waters surrounding Wakatobi Resort are equally as compelling for those who choose to snorkel rather than dive. In recognition of this, we have never treated snorkelers like second-class citizens, and instead offer the same full support services we provide to divers. When exploring the seagrass beds and coral formations of the House Reef, snorkelers are under the watchful eye of our shore-based staff.

“We love that we can go out on the dive boats with the children, and they can snorkel with the guide while we dive,” says guest Sarah Bettle. “I think we all agree our favorite site was Zoo.”

Because a majority of the sites visited by our dive boats have shallow coral formations adjacent to deeper water, snorkelers are welcome to ride along while also benefitting from the services of a snorkel guide. This is an especially enjoyable option for couples where one dives and one does not, or families with younger children, who can explore the shallows with their parents, or under the supervision of one of Wakatobi’s attentive guides while mom and dad don tanks.

“We love that we can go out on the dive boats with the children, and they can snorkel with the guide while we dive,” says guest Sarah Bettle. “I think we all agree our favorite site was Zoo.” “We love the style here at Wakatobi, where we can get a bit of luxury on the beach and of course the great food,” says husband and dad, James Bettle.

Skimming the surface

With clear waters flowing right up to our beaches, the shorelines of Wakatobi Resort provide an aquatic a playground for water sports enthusiasts. For a serene experience, guests can hop aboard a kayak or grab a stand up paddleboard, skim across the lagoon or explore alongside the island’s coastline.

Beginners can master the basics of this exciting wind-powered sport under the guidance of our experienced instructor.

Beginners can master the basics of this exciting wind-powered sport under the guidance of our experienced instructor. Photo by Didi Lotze

Faster times and bigger thrills await at our kiting center, where novices can master the basics of this exciting wind-powered sport under the guidance of an experienced instructor. More advanced riders can make speed runs in the long lagoon east of the resort, or head into open water to play in the waves.

Kiters of all levels enjoy the thrill of Wakatobi’s waters during season from June through September.

Kiters of all levels enjoy the thrill of Wakatobi’s waters during season from June through September. Photo by Jason Wolcott

“It’s just you in nature, flying over this beautiful water of all different colors,” says kiter Toby Brauer. Beneath you are stingrays, dolphins, turtles, and along the shore it’s all white sand and palm trees.”

No wind? No problem. Grab a towrope and go for a wakeboarding run. For the ultimate in family time, arrange for a private boat charter for the day, enjoy lunch, hang out at favorite dive/snorkel sites, relax and return when you wish, perhaps after taking in an incredible Wakatobi sunset. More about private boats here.

Natural attractions

Wakatobi Resort sits in a coconut palm grove, surrounded by native foliage. A network of trails lead guests into a natural landscape that includes groves of maritime hardwoods. Hidden freshwater sinkholes provide sustenance for an intriguing range of flora and fauna.

Birdwatchers can discover a variety of species all around the resort, like this nest of Olive-backed sunbirds seen in front of villa three.

Birdwatchers can discover a variety of species all around the resort, like this nest of Olive-backed sunbirds seen in front of villa three. Photo by Mathis Weatherall

Birdwatchers can discover a wide variety of species of land and sea bird. “We didn’t realize there were so many beautiful birds right on the island at Wakatobi,” says guest Mathis Weatherall. We had a beautiful nest of Olive-backed sunbirds right in front of our villa and I was able to take some great photos of mom feeding the babies.“

A closer look at tree branches along the trail may reveal a collection of Wakatobi’s endemic fruit bats hanging like upside down hood ornaments.

A closer look at tree branches along the trail may reveal a collection of Wakatobi’s endemic fruit bats hanging like upside down hood ornaments. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

On the ground, the dragon-like profiles of monitor lizards provide great photo ops for those who approach quietly. Unlike their infamous cousin, the Komodo Dragon, Wakatobi’s lizards tend to be a bit on the shy side, and despite their sometimes impressive size, they will usually skitter away when discovered.

Cultural immersions

Guests seeking an authentic sampling of Indonesian culture will appreciate the atmosphere at our resort. All of our structures are created and built by local craftsmen using native methods and materials. A majority of the staff come from local villages, where traditions of hospitality are ingrained into daily life. Their greetings are sincere, and their warmth is genuine.

Take the guided tour, or follow the trail to nearby Lamanggau village; you're sure to be welcomed with a smile and a warm greeting.

Take the guided tour, or follow the trail to nearby Lamanggau village; you’re sure to be welcomed with a smile and a warm greeting. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

More welcomes await for guests who take guided village tours, or those who simply follow the trail to nearby Lamanggau village.

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