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Want to explore a really unique snorkeling spot? Leave the coral reefs of Wakatobi for a while and sink into the lush forest of Kaledupa Island. There, in the middle of the jungle, you will discover the surreal beauty of Sombano Lake, inhabited by thousands of inquisitive blood-red shrimps.

Sombano Lake, Wakatobi
Sombano Lake, Wakatobi.

How to get to Sombano Lake for snorkeling?

Sombano Lake, also known by locals as Akku’a Nu-lumu, is located at the northwestern tip of Kaledupa Island, in the heart of the Wakatobi Archipelago. The easiest way to reach the lake is to book a boat tour from Kaledupa different villages or Hoga Island.

Once dropped off on the beach, you’ll get to the lake in a short 10-minutes walk. A road, steep and in poor condition, also connects the lake to Sombano Village.

Sombano Lake snorkeling map, Wakatobi

Entering the water in Sombano Lake

You will enter the water from the lake shore.

Sombano Lake snorkeling tips

The whole lake, which is approximately 500 meters-long for only 10 to 40 meters-wide, can be explored. The average depth in the lake is 3ft/1m, without exceeding 6ft/2m in the deepest areas.

Snorkeling with red shrimp in Somabno Lake
Sombanoi Lake red shrimps.

Sombano is a saltwater lake edged by mangroves. It is home to a very specific ecosystem. The seabed is mainly covered with moss and green algae, and in places with some polyps of coral and small sponges. Sombano is the kingdom of red shrimps, which are met by thousands in the lake.

Blood-red, they are usually busy feeding in the seaweed meadows. As locals never try to catch the shrimps (the lake is considered as sacred by Kaledupa’s inhabitants), they are extremely tame. Apart from shrimps, the lake is home to few other species, especially small water snails.

Red shrimp in Sombano Lake
A red shrimp feeding on green algae.

Snorkeling this crystal clear lake, surrounded by mangroves, is a unique experience. The contrast between green algae and red shrimp is amazing and will delight underwater photographers.

Restaurants and accommodation near Sombano Lake

There are no restaurants or accommodation near the lake.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaWakatobi National Park
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m
  • Water entranceFrom the lake shore
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.