Wakatobi Regency as one of the World's Best Marine Tourism objects also one of then Best Diving Destination and one of the Regencies in South East Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. By operating the Matahora Airport, launched in December 2008, the island will give you more comfortable trip and spend the holiday at Wakatobi, the one of the most underwater destination in Sulawesi Island.
Wakatobi is also situated geographically at the world's coral reef triangle center with its 942 fish species and 750 coral reef species from total 850 of world's collection comparing to the two world's famous diving center like Caribbean Sea that owes only 50 species and other 300 coral reef species in the Red Sea, Egypt. The park is comprised of four large islands that located between 05°12’ – 06°10’S and 123°20’ – 124°39’E, between the Banda Sea to the North East and the Flores Sea to the South West.
Wakatobi National Marine Park established in 2002 and managed by the Wakatobi National Park Authority. It covers an area about 1.400.000 hectares, is the second largest marine protected area in Indonesia and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
The park is working with WWF Indonesia, supporting planning and improving efficiency throughout the park. WWF Indonesia helped Wakatobi become the first Indonesian national park to adopt a zoning system approved by both the central and local governments as well as the communities living within the Park.
Wakatobi is also home to Operation Wallacea, a UK based for non-profit conservation group looking at sustainable development of fisheries and coral reef research. An independent non-commercial website has been set up about the marine park. This website contains tourist and travel information about the wakatobi, with additional resources about the biodiversity, conservation and local people.
Wakatobi National Marine Parks is home of many marine species, including : argus spots (Cephalopholus argus), takhasang (naso unicornis), pogo-pogo (Balistoides viridescens), napoleon (Cheilinus undulatus), red fish (Lutjanus biguttatus), baronang (Siganus guttatus), Amphiprion melanopus Chaetodon specullum, Chelmon rostratus, Heniochus acuminatus, Lutjanus monostigma, Caesio caerularea. Also, it can also be found erasia king prawns (Alcedo atthis) and species of sea turtles often lay their eggs in the Wakatobi National Park, such as hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), jars of sea turtles (Caretta), cracked turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), and Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).
Various types of sea birds also can be found on Wakatobi National Park, such as goose stone brown (Sula leucogaster plotus) and kettle melayu (Charadrius peronii). Various kinds of birds can be seen from the close when assembled on the island as well as when flying snaking follow the natural rhythm of the song, and occasionally dip into the sea to hunt fish.
Beside the underwater beauty, Wakatobi has also other beauty and richness such as white sandy beach, clear sea water, sunset in every islands edge, historical ruins like ancient fortresses and cannon that spread out in the four main islands, old village with its pillar house, traditional waving, blacksmiths, Bajo tribe and various particular dances. This nature and culture heritages put Wakatobi as the world's famous marine tourism objects.
Wakatobi is well known as the Tukang Besi Island in the map and it is the abbreviation of four main islands name which are : WA (Wangi-wangi), KA (Kaledupa), TO (Tomia) and BI (Binongko), covers an area of about 1.400.000 hectares and the coral reef places about 90.000 hectares from the total area. The island is also famous as the second largest Barrier after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia consists of about 39 islands and 7 of them are inhabited with the total population of about 100.563, while the rest remain uninhabited.
Wakatobi consists of multi ethnic society and Suku Bajo or Bajo Tribe who lives in the seashore, having a particular building architecture connected by the bridge and boats as their main transportation and basic livelihood as the fishermen.
The culinary art of the region serves you a delicious natural tasted food, traditionally made from generation by generation.
Beside as the regency, Wakatobi is also known as the National Park, often called as Wakatobi National Park (TNKW = Taman Nasional Kepulauan Wakatobi) and it gives the unique characteristic of the regency in Indonesia even in the world having the same width with the National Park area. The unique of the island makes Wakatobi more strong and realistic in the effort of maintaining its underwater beauty and preservation as well as other heritages to place Wakatobi as the underwater marine tourism object and the prominent cultural tourism object that is incomparable with other marine tourism places to be visited by anyone.
Based these potential, makes this area is very comfortable for marine tourism activities such as Dive/Diving, Snorkeling, Honeymoon, Fishing, Swimming, Camping, Culture, Education, etc.
Best time to Visit.
April to June and October to December. Outside the range of that time, waves in Wakatobi is high enough.
Wakatobi Dive Sites.
Wakatobi well know as underwater paradise for divers. Its the one of the best World's Marine Tourism objects and dive site in Indonesia. Wakatobi offers many opportunity to expose a few thousand images there, both underwater and topside, its has gained a genuine love for this unique destination