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You float weightlessly in a warm, liquid embrace that mutes all distractions of the outside world while surrounding you in a vibrant flow of life and kaleidoscopic colour.

Coral reefs are the ocean’s most bio-diverse ecosystems and the reefs of Indonesia’s Wakatobi Regency are considered among the best in the world.

A protected reef – Wakatobi Collaborative Reef Program protects 20km of reef

Snorkellers can experience the magic of Wakatobi’s pristine coral reefs with a visit to the region’s namesake resort.

Divers come from around the world to explore the private marine preserve surrounding Wakatobi Resort and many of the same underwater sites that wow divers are equally as rewarding for snorkellers.

The crown jewel of these coral gardens is the resort’s House Reef (pictured below).

The Wakatobi House Reef is a vast expanse of shallow-water coral heads and seagrass meadows that begins right at the resort’s beach and stretches for more than a mile to either side of the entry point.

It has been named the world’s best shallow water dive and snorkel site, where clear, sunlit waters are home to thousands of species of fish and other intriguing marine life.

Resort guests often spend entire days discovering the treasures of the House Reef.

Experienced snorkellers are free to explore at their leisure and can take advantage of dedicated “taxi boats” to reach more distant parts of the reef for a leisurely snorkel back to the resort jetty.

Novice snorkellers and others seeking in-water guidance can engage the services of a private snorkelling guide.

Guides not only offer assistance; they are also experts at identifying the many fascinating and rare types of marine life hidden among the corals. For added security, the resort’s dive centre monitors the site throughout the day and evening.

In addition to the House Reef, snorkellers are welcomed aboard Wakatobi’s fleet of large, comfortable day boats.

The fleet visits dozens of sites where coral reefs begin within a metre of the surface, providing a wealth of additional snorkelling opportunities. Guests can also take a private boat for ultimate comfort and a one-of-a-kind itinerary.

While snorkelling and diving are prime attractions at Wakatobi, the resort is equally rewarding ashore.

It is a boutique property where beach bungalows and waterfront villas deliver a relaxed and private setting that combines five-star service, fine dining and bespoke indulgences such as private beach dinners, spa services and private boat experiences.

Wakatobi Villa at sunset

Though the setting is remote, Wakatobi is quite easy to reach. When arriving at Bali’s international airport, guests are greeted by a Wakatobi representative who assists with baggage, transfers and layovers.

On the morning of travel to Wakatobi, guests relax and enjoy complimentary breakfast before boarding a direct charter flight to the resort’s airstrip.

On arrival, guests are greeted by name and provided warm, attentive service throughout their stay.

Wakatobi is known for providing a five-star guest experience and a ratio of five staff members for each guest ensures that the highest level of individual attention is provided.

Resort accommodations include bungalows set in a palm grove facing a white-sand beach and oceanfront villas with sunset views of the reef.

Buildings are hand-crafted in regional Indonesian style from sustainable local materials and carefully sited to ensure both privacy and views.

Though traditional in appearance, these spacious accommodations offer a full range of modern comforts, including air conditioning, private verandas and details such as Asian-style outdoor showers.

Many guests consider dining to be a highlight of their Wakatobi vacation.

At the resort’s beachside restaurant, a talented culinary team prepares an ever-changing menu of both international and regional flavours, blending locally sourced ingredients with delicacies from around the world.

Dining on Wakatobi patio

Chefs and serving staff learn each guest’s personal preferences and are more than happy to fulfill special requests or dietary needs.

Wakatobi supports one of the world’s largest privately funded marine preserves and is committed to programs that provide proactive environmental protection and social benefits to the local community.

Known as the Wakatobi Collaborative Reef Conservation Program, this landmark initiative protects 20km of some of the finest reefs in the world, while also channelling a portion of guest revenue to fishermen and residents of 17 area villages in exchange for honouring no-fishing zones within the marine preserve.

These benefits extend beyond direct monetary rewards to include infrastructure programs to supply electricity and clean water to the local community, materials for schools and more.

Sunset at the Wakatobi jetty bar

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