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With its reef flat covered with seagrass and its stunning reef drop off full of coral, Wakatobi Dive Resort’s house reef is a top snorkeling spot. Here, at the heart of Wakatobi National Park, snorkelers will discover vibrant marine life, including angelfish, sea turtles, Maori wrasse, anemonefish, sea snakes, and around 150 easy-to-spot colorful reef fish species.

Snorkeler over Wakatobi's reef
Wakatobi Resort’s reef flat offers perfect depth for observing sea life from the surface.

How to go snorkeling at Wakatobi Dive Resort?

Wakatobi Dive Resort is located on a small island, Pulau Tolandono, in the Banda Sea. Only the resort’s guests can access this spot. The resort will arrange transfers when you book.

Wakatobi Dive Resort snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling at Wakatobi Dive Resort

Access can be gained to the waters of the lagoon off the shallow, shelving beaches. The deeper water, reef edge, can be accessed using the steps at the end of the jetty. Be aware of vessel activity picking up and landing scuba divers at specific times of the day.

Wakatobi Dive Resort snorkeling exploration tips

The beaches of the Wakatobi Dive Resort are edged by a reef flat, about 80 to 150m wide, depending on the location. The 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). It comprises 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 allows observing different species.

Longnose butterflyfish in Wakatobi
The longnose butterflyfish is one of the nearly 150 fish species that can easily be spotted while snorkeling Wakatobi Dive Resort.

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.

A fantastic diversity of reef fish can be spotted on the drop off, including some 15 species of butterflyfish and bannerfish, angelfish (regal angelfish, majestic angelfish), surgeonfish (including the iconic palette surgeonfish), and several species of anemonefish.

Impressive groupers are found in the caves and below the outcrops. Off the reef edge is the area where more open water fish species aggregate as well as green sea turtles and yellow-lipped sea krait.

Maori wrasse in Wakatobi
A Maori wrasse encountered on the flat, scattered with corals.

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 180m south of the jetty, where several of the bigger fish species aggregate (see map for exact location).

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

This spot is the Wakatobi Dive Resort‘s house reef.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaWakatobi National Park
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m on the flats, +50ft/15m past the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom sandy beaches, or from concrete steps at the end of the jetty
  • Potential DangersCurrents, particularly to the south of the area, and vessel activity
  • LifeguardThe resort operates a well controlled, observation and recovery facility
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsCost of a stay at Wakatobi Dive Resort
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

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.