By Joe Laing – (Airdrie, Alberta, Canada)
Has anyone ever been to Wakatobi in Indonesia for snorkeling, if so how do you rate it, compared to other places you have been?
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Anonymous – Feb 3, 2019 – Wonderful Snorkeling in Wakatobi
Wakatobi is the best place we’ve snorkeled and we’ve been to Belize, Maldives, Andamans, Palau, Raja Ampat, and the Caribbean. Well maybe not better than Raja Ampat, but the service, food and accommodations can’t be beat! We liked it so much we are returning in March. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Divo from Brazil – Feb 3, 2019 – Wakatobi Snorkel
Hi, I have been staying for a week at WAKATOBI Dive Resort and found this fantastic region a perfect snorkeling spot. For me the best I’ve ever experienced. I’ve already traveled to Cozumel, Curacao, Cayman Islands, French Polynesia, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Maldives. Many hard and soft corals, colorful and abundant marine life. A perfect place for underwater photography.
Debol – Feb 3, 2019 – Wakatobi Snorkeling
Yes, we stayed 10 days at Wakatobi in October 2018. The coral is fantastic, head and shoulders above anything we have seen elsewhere and probably the closest we will ever get to a pristine reef. Not as much big stuff as we’ve seen in other places, but we knew that when we booked. Lots of interesting macro life on the Wakatobi Dive Resort house reef too. We’d go back in a heartbeat.
Helene – Feb 3, 2019 – Wakatobi
I went to Wakatobi in April of 2018 and it was absolutely fantastic. I’d not snorkeled in the Coral Triangle before so I have nothing to compare it to in that part of the world but I have snorkeled in Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, St. John, and other places in the Caribbean.
I’m more interested in fish than reefs but these coral reefs were simply breathtaking. The diversity of shapes and colors was astounding. And the fish! To look around you and see, literally, thousands of fish at any one time was incredible.
The house reef is amazing and all of the sites you can access by boat are close to the resort – and each with its own personality. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and carry long silver pointers and whiteboards to dive down and point out what you might otherwise have missed. The giant clams, sea snakes, turtles, triggerfish (of many varieties), and moray eels, were some of my favorites. It really was a trip of a lifetime.
As an added bonus, there are Komodo Dragons strolling around the island (anywhere from 3-8 feet long) and you’ll likely have a chance to spot them and some beautiful birds, too.
Wiliam Benjamin – Feb 3, 2019 – Good Vibes at Wakatobi
My wife and I have snorkeled at Wakatobi twice, once about 15 years ago and more recently, three years ago. Both of us enjoyed both times greatly. The more recent one was better because there was a “snorkel master” assigned to us and the other two snorkelers with us, although we were in the boats with scuba divers and were treated equally with them. In contrast to one such trip to Fiji where we were barred from going with the scuba people by the dive master, without any previous warning. As a result, we were limited to a rowboat in the shallow bay in front of the resort!
CS – Feb 3, 2019 – Great House Reef
I spent a week at Wakatobi several years ago and it was wonderful. Best house reef I’ve ever seen. To our surprise the fish seemed almost oblivious to snorkelers so it was possible to get quite close to species that are usually very shy. Not many big pelagics but huge variety of every other creature you’d want to see. You can also go out on the boats for daily guided snorkels to nearby sites. The guides are good but a little too obtrusive, they keep drawing your attention to the obvious (look, a parrotfish!). But that’s a minor point and they are mostly very nice and helpful. Resort is very comfortable and food is great. Highly recommended.
Doug – Feb 3, 2019 – Great Coral, Great House Reef, Great Resort
As of 2012 Galapagos was our best snorkeling experience. Maldives in March 2018 was far better; lots of fish, some areas with good coral, opportunities to see Manta Rays and Whale Sharks, and an excellent house reef at Vilamendhoo.
Wakatobi in August-September 2018 was by far our best snorkeling experience. We want to go back and spend more time snorkeling the house reef with a guide. I know we missed a lot of the small creatures. Don’t expect to see pelagics, though. We dived three days and snorkeled most of the rest of our 10 day stay. We saw much more color and life while snorkeling.
The guides are very good at keeping people from damaging the reefs while pointing out and identifying things of interest. And the reefs are fantastic! Since we were snorkelers on a dive boat we went where the best diving was – maybe not where the best snorkeling was? I would be excited to be there on boats where snorkeling is the priority. Our experience was great; if snorkeling had been the priority I believe it would have been even better.
Anonymous – Mar 3, 2019 – Best Ever So Far!
We just returned from Wakatobi Feb. 28, 2019. So far it has been the best snorkeling we have ever experienced.
This was our first time to Indonesia and it won’t be our last. They look after the snorkelers very well. We had a boat with nine snorkelers on it.
Definitely worth a return trip to!
John, Vancouver, Canada – Oct 29, 2020 – Snorkeled Wakatobi in Nov 2018, May and Oct 2019
Wakatobi is my top rated location for coral and fish abundance and diversity. Good quality budget accommodation is available, and so are knowledgeable, unobtrusive boat owners and guides. There is no need to go to high end $5K/week resorts. The biggest challenge is getting there, but which worthwhile place isn’t difficult to access?
I find the snorkeling at least on a par with Raja Ampat, better in my opinion than the Maldives or the Banda Islands, much better than Hawaii and other Indonesian sites such as Bunaken, Gili Islands, and Pulau Weh.
Let me know if you want more specific info on Wakatobi Islands sites.
Meerkat – Dec 18, 2020 – Wakatobi – Best Time
We have visited several islands in the Maldives, the Seychelles, Ko Lipe, Koh Kradan, Kauai, etc. We had a brilliant time but despite our best efforts we have never really experienced colorful soft corals. Angsana Ihuru had the best coral we have seen but there was very little color. I am considering a visit to Wakatobi. Can anyone recommend the best time of year to visit Wakatobi for snorkeling?
Galen and Nicole – Oct 20, 2022 – Newer Wakatobi Post
Check out this community Wakatobi snorkeling trip report for more info and to ask any more questions.