Paddleboarding on the Wakatobi House Reef

Surface Intervals

Published November 11, 2023 in Non-diving Activities, RESORT

There’s even more to Wakatobi than just world-class diving and snorkeling

Wakatobi Resort has earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier diving and snorkeling destinations. Travelers come from around the world to explore the thriving coral reefs found within the private marine preserve that surrounds our upscale oceanfront retreat. But even the most avid of underwater enthusiast has to surface at some point. When they do, they can enjoy a wide range of additional activities, along with a level of scenic beauty, personal service and amenities that create a premier vacation experience, even for those who rarely dip their heads below the surface.

Sand art at Wakatobi, Resort in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia

The views from the shore and beach provide a picturesque backdrop for relaxing activities such as meditation or yoga. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

Beach time

Wakatobi is located on a small island in Central Indonesia’s Banda Sea, and it overlooks a beautiful white-sand beach. The resort’s founder, Lorenz Mäder, chose this scenic location not only for immediate access to the stellar reefs that lie just offshore, but also for the beauty of the shoreline itself. From most any point at the resort, the beach is just steps away, providing both a picturesque backdrop and a setting for a wide range of water sports and leisure activities. The uncrowded beach scene is ideal for sunning, reading, barefoot strolls and maybe even a nap in the shade.

The beach provides both a picturesque backdrop for relaxing activities such as meditation or yoga. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

Active minded beach enthusiasts can practice sunrise or sunset yoga, go for a jog, or strike up a game of volleyball, badminton or frisbee toss. Stand up paddleboards are available for excursions just offshore, where marine life can often be seen in the clear, shallow waters. Guests who want to venture a bit farther afield can make use of the resort’s kayaks to explore the island’s shoreline or visit a lagoon that provides habitat for resident bird populations, invertebrates and colorful fish life. Paddlers can glide over these calm waters in a self-guided kayak tour, or arrange to be accompanied by an experienced guide who knows the sights and sounds of this saltwater forest.

Kayaking at Wakatobi_photo by Didi Lotze

Resort guides are available to accompany guests on kayaking excursions to nearby islands and lagoons. Photo by Didi Lotze

Days when there are light to moderate breezes are ideal for learning the sport of kite surfing, and Wakatobi now has a dedicated kiting center with equipment and instruction provided by resort staff. Beginners can master the basics right off the kite beach, where there are instructors and chase boats standing by.

Novice and experienced kiters often practice right in front of the resort.
Photo by Jason Wolcott

For some fast action on the water try wake boarding in front of the resort or around nearby Sawa island. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

More experienced kiters can move to the eastern lagoon for speed runs inside the reef, or head into the channel to play in the chop. For additional fast action on the water, the staff can fire up one the fast launches to tow wake boarders.

Natural attractions

Wakatobi’s commitment to preserving the wildlife and the natural beauty of the region extends to the land as well as the protected reefs that surround the property. Green and sustainable operating principles are among the resort’s key values, and the surrounding lands are maintained in an undisturbed state that provides guests with numerous opportunities to enjoy nature. From the resort, the Onemobaa Nature Trail leads into a world of pristine greenery.

“Even as non-divers there were plenty of activities to choose from. This place is so amazing that just simply sitting back to admire the nature and ocean was one of the many great things to do.” Francesca Furlani & Marc Zeitouni

Here, paths crisscross the island’s interior, and lead to a local village on the northern shore. Walkers can make their way to secluded shores, or to interior thickets that provide habitat for a variety of birds and butterflies. Also native of the island are monitor lizards, which can often be seen around the grounds behind the resort and act as habitat for these intriguing animals.

Female hawksbill turtle heads back to the ocean after laying eggs on Wakatobi's beach_WDR

It is not uncommon for guests to see female turtles on the shoreline, like this hawksbill, which was spotted heading back to the ocean after laying eggs on Wakatobi’s beach. Photo by Wakatobi Resort

At night, the resort maintains soft lighting along the beach. This not only allows for inspiring views of the star-lit sky, it also encourages nesting turtles to come ashore. Wakatobi’s beaches are a favorite nesting site for several species of sea turtles, which come ashore each year to bury their eggs in the soft sands. Resort staff marks and monitors each nest to ensure it’s safety. When the hatchlings emerge, a few lucky guests may be on hand to watch the youngsters make the short crawl to the water. As the turtles grow, they can often be seen feeding on the grass beds and shallow reefs around the resort.