Indonesia,  Reviews,  SCUBA diving

Wakatobi, Indonesia: Best Micro SCUBA Diving in the World

Nudibranch Wakatobi Indonesia

Nudibranch: Photo credit Serrhel Adams

If you want to have the most amazing SCUBA diving experience possible, then you should logically head to an area of the world touted as “the world’s best diving.” Many locales stake the best diving claim. If you were to map all of these claims, you would see spatterings in the Caribbean, The Red Sea, The Indian Ocean – to name a few. However, you would notice that the highest concentration of “best dive sites” lies in the Pacific. In fact, The Coral Triangle is one of the most ecologically rich and biologically diverse regions on Earth, so much so that six countries and seven NGOs (including my former employer, TNC) and government agencies have formed The Coral Triangle Initiative in an effort to protect this important region.

Coral Triangle Map

Coral Triangle Map

Sulawesi, Indonesia lies in the heart of The Coral Triangle, and the marine life there consistently makes the top-dive lists across the board.

Clownfish Wakatobi Indonesia

Photo credit: Serrhel Adams

Wakatobi Dive Resort is one of the best dive claimants (and one of the top-ranked on Google “world’s best diving” searches), and I would personally have to agree with their claim.

Diver at Wakatobi Indonesia

Photo credit: Serrhel Adams

Clam at Wakatobi Indonesia

Photo credit: Serrhel Adams

Like anything in life, it’s hard to claim to be “the best” of anything. I think it’s more realistic to say something is “one of the best” in it’s respective category. It’s just like traveling to many different countries and being faced with the question upon your return, “Which was your favorite place?” My answer is invariably “They were all so different. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I like x country for the food, y country for the architecture, z country for the striking landscape.” You get my drift.

Diving is very similar. If you want experience the best wreck diving in the world, you should head to Yap in Micronesia. If you wanted to see the most brilliantly colorful soft corals in existence, jump over to Fiji’s Somosomo Strait. Shark diving? Again, Fiji (Beqa Lagoon) or Australia’s Coral Sea (especially the Scuba Zoo site).

Micro Crab Wakatobi Indonesia

Photo credit: Serrhel Adams

Tiger Shark Fiji

Me and Alan diving at Bega Lagoon, Fiji

Wakatobi emphasizes the fascinating variety of micro marine life. Does this seem anti-climatic to you? Many divers may feel the need to see big marine life, but if you think about viewing micro marine life as a scavenger hunt, it becomes very fun and interesting!

White Nudibranch Wakatobi Indonesia

Photo credit: Serrhel Adams

It definitely helps to have a dive master with a keen eye. Muji was probably one of the best dive masters I’ve ever met. He was not only a great guide and navigator, but he wasn’t an overbearing, micro-managing dive master (i.e. he didn’t constantly monitor your depth and tell you to ascend, etc.) Most importantly, it seemed that every time we hit the water, Muji would take us straight to a hidden treasure. I can’t tell you how many (rare) pygmy sea horses he found (the largest one being no bigger than a pinky finger nail).

Dive Boat Wakatobi Indinesia

Me and Muji- the best dive master ever!

Pygmy Seahorse Wakatobi Indonesia

This pygmy seahorse is so tiny. It is wrapped around a microscopic piece of a sea fan. Photo credit: Serrhel Adams

The best underwater photographer I’ve ever known, Serrhel Adams’ photography is heavily featured in this post. Although a hobby and not a profession, I consider Serrhel’s photos to be of the highest caliber, both in their artistry and composition. Serrhel and his wife Patty were part of our Louisiana Underwater Adventures dive group.

Diving at Wakatobi Indonesia

Serrhel’s on the left with the glasses and colorful shirt, his lovely wife Patty beside him. What a great group we had!!

Here’s a map of Wakatobi Resort’s dive sites. 

Dive Sites of Wakatobi Indonesia

Dive Sites of Wakatobi

Of the 17 dive sites that we explored, my favorites were Sawa Utara, Roma and Starship. Our night dive was on Sunia Baru, which was a very colorful wall.

White Nudibranch Wakatobi Indonesia

Nudibranch- the prettiest snails. Photo credit: Williem Gingnagel

Eels Wakatobi Indonesia

Photo credit: Williem Gingnagel

For my next Wakatobi post, I’m going to dig up (and attempt to edit) some of the underwater video I shot using my brother’s GoPro camera. There’s a pretty cool segment of me swimming with a (extremely venomous) sea snake, much like the one below in Serrhel’s shot (maybe it’s the same guy I swam with!).

Sea Snale Wakatobi Indonesia

Sea Snake! Photo credit: Serrhel Adams

I’m curious, what is your favorite SCUBA diving location? Please let me know in the comments section!

♥ Lindsay

Related posts:

World Class Wakatobi Dive Resort in Indonesia

Why I Went to Indonesia to SCUBA Dive and My Life Under the Sea

Bali Indonesia: En Route to Sulawesi’s Dream Dive Destination – Wakatobi

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