It is well known that Indonesia has many beautiful islands. Named after its four main islands (Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko), Wa-Ka-To-Bi is an exotic place that experienced beach lovers, adventurous backpackers, and (semi) professional marine biologists and anthropologists will never want to leave. If you plan to discover Wakatobi, here’s what you need to know.
See the Underwater World of Wakatobi at the National Park
Because of the rare coral reefs in Wakatobi, the entire area is protected as a national park, but it is technically a marine park. The Wakatobi archipelago is located in an area known as the “Coral Triangle,” a precious ecosystem. Over the last few decades, researchers have discovered hundreds of unique coral reefs in the Coral Triangle. Over 76% of all known coral species in the world are found in the Coral Triangle. It’s sure to be a snorkeling and diving adventure you’ll never forget! There is a principle that the island itself may already seem like a tropical paradise, but the underwater world of Wakatobi is even more breathtaking.
Introducing the Bajo People, Indonesia’s Sea Nomads
Aside from the natural beauty of Wakatobi, what makes this archipelago a particular place is the Bajo, a nomadic sea tribe from Indonesia. The Bajo has been living on the sea for centuries. They live near Wangi Wangi and Hoga in Wakatobi, building wooden buildings with tall poles in the ocean. The village has everything you would find in any other village – houses, mosques, schools – but in the middle of the sea.
But who exactly is the Bajo? They are master fishermen who make their living mainly from their daily catch. They were “real” nomads who never stayed in one place for long, so their villages were often new. This is an indication that the traditional culture of the Bajos is changing rapidly. As such, today, they are considered the last nomadic people of the Southeast Asian sea. Visiting their village is an exceptional opportunity to learn about their unique culture. From Wangi Wangi, you can take a boat to the town of the Bajo people.
Escape to Hoga Island for the Ultimate Tropical Experience
Do you know the typical postcards of exotic islands: brilliant sunshine, deserted beaches, sparkling water, and majestic palm trees? Believe us; such idyllic places do exist. That’s why you should visit the small but lovely island of Hoga. Hoga’s snow-white beaches are not only a great place to sunbathe and swim but also a great starting point for snorkeling and diving. Researchers from Operation Wallacea still visit Hoga twice a year to study its unique biodiversity. Hoga Island can be reached by boat from larger islands such as Kaledupa and Wangi Wangi.
Want to Plan an Exotic Trip to Wakatobi, Indonesia?
While a trip to Wakatobi is not the most obvious choice for many travelers, it is by no means impossible. Moreover, such an adventure is more than satisfying. Here are some practical tips to help you plan your trip down to the last detail.
Best time to travel: The best time to visit Wakatobi is from March to November, which is also the best season for diving.
Transportation: The best way to visit Wakatobi is to fly to Matahora Airport on Wangi Wangi Island. This can be done from Jakarta, for example. For transportation between islands (by boat), it is easiest to take a tour package such as the Wakatobi Dive Trip. Usually, you can specify the number of days in such packages yourself.
Have you ever been to Wakatobi? Share your experience with us in the comments below!