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Last updated on January 14, 2024
With its reef flat covered with seagrass and its stunning reef drop-off full of coral, Wakatobi Resort’s house reef is a world-class snorkeling spot. Here, in the heart of Wakatobi National Park, snorkelers will discover coral gardens filled with vibrant marine life, including angelfish, sea turtles, Maori wrasse, anemonefish, sea snakes, and about 200 easy-to-spot colorful reef fish species.
Wakatobi Resort is located on Pulau Tolandona, a small island next to Pulau Tomia, in the Wakatobi Archipelago. Only resort guests can access this spot. The resort will arrange transfers to the resort, basically a 2:30 charter flight from Bali, a 10 minutes car ride to the boat, and a 15 minute boat ride to the resort’s jetty.
For an even more intense experience, join Snorkeling Report’s Wakatobi trip, from October 27th to November 4th, 2024. The trip will include 12 snorkeling sessions on remote coral reefs from our dedicated boat, unlimited snorkeling on the house reef described on this page, as well as a nighttime snorkeling adventure.
Access can be gained to the waters of the lagoon off the shallow, shelving beaches. The deeper water, reef edge, can also be accessed using the steps at the end of the jetty. Be aware of the frequent vessel activity picking up and landing guests at specific times of the day. The house reef is monitored all day long by staff present on the jetty.
The beaches of the Wakatobi Resort are edged by a reef flat, about 87 to 164 yards wide, depending on the location. The reef flat ends with an almost vertical reef drop-off to the open sea. On the flat, the depth varies from 2 to 10ft (0.5 to 3m). You can snorkel throughout the area, but don’t go further than the buoy lines found north and south of the jetty, which marks the limits of the monitored area.
Wakatobi Resort’s house reef is made up of several different habitat types, including sandy areas, seagrass meadows, and a mixture of corals and seagrasses. A large patch of shallow-water corals is found on the north of the area (see map above). Each of these environments gives you the opportunity for observing different species.
Join our Wakatobi 2024 Snorkeling Adventure! Click here for more info
At the end of the flat, you’ll explore the drop-off. Its near-vertical face is well below normal snorkeling depth, but the upper areas have numerous caves, ledges, and an array of hard corals, soft corals, sponges, sea fans, and sea lilies. It is precisely this pristine coral environment that makes the Wakatobi Resort a world-renowned snorkeling destination.
A fantastic diversity of reef fish can be spotted on the drop-off, including some 15 species of butterflyfish and bannerfish. You can also see angelfish (regal angelfish, emperor angelfish, majestic angelfish), and surgeonfish (including the iconic palette surgeonfish). Additionally, at least five species of anemonefish have been counted in the area surrounding the jetty and Jetty Bar (see the list below).
Impressive groupers are found in the caves and below the outcrops. Off the reef edge is the area where more open water fish species congregate, along with green sea turtles and yellow-lipped sea krait.
On the drop-off, two specific features are also worth visiting: the area around the jetty, which encourages numerous different species seeking shelter, and a large canyon-like feature, some 200 yards south of the jetty, where several of the bigger fish species gather (see map for exact location).
Around the jetty, the rubble areas are great for spotting scorpionfish and stonefish, as well as seeing visiting octopuses.
The seagrass shallows on the house reef are refuge to species such as filefish, octopus, and ghost pipefish, as well as the bluespotted ribbontail ray, very common in the shallows.
You can easily spot these fish from the jetty, resting in the shallows. Keep your distance from the large titan triggerfish present in the shallows, as they are probably guarding their nests and can be aggressive if snorkelers approach them.
The Wakatobi Resort‘s has villas and bungalows along with all-inclusive meals and snacks.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Shallow saltwater lake with thousands of red shrimps
Vibrant reef flat and drop off with a great diversity of fish
Small island fringed by a coral reef
Vibrant reef drop off with corals and colorful fish
Free shore access
Coral reef and sandy flat with seahorses and colorful fish
Free shore access
Vibrant reef drop off with turtles and shallow seagrass meadows