Wakatobi Dive Resort - Click for Home
Wakatobi Resort FAQs

These FAQs should help answer your basic questions about Wakatobi Dive Resort. Questions and answers are organized by category, resort, diving, air transfers, Bali, health and safety and VISA information. Select a question from the drop down list and the web page will jump to the location where the answer to your question is found. You can also contact your travel agent or one of our travel consultants at info@wakatobi.com, with any additional questions or concerns.

Resort Questions

General questions about the resort, food, and accommodations.

Diving Questions

Questions about diving and diver services and amenities.

Air Transfer Questions

Questions on air transfers, charter flight, tickets and vouchers

Bali Questions

Questions about arrival and staying on Bali

Health and Safety Questions

Questions about health and safety

Indonesia and Visas

Questions about Indonesian VISA and travel in Indonesia



Resort Questions
What kind of clothing should I bring along?

Bathing suits and t-shirts are the order of the day. Dress is usually informal in Indonesia due to the warm, humid climate and lightweight fabrics are recommended. Light windbreakers, wraps, or sweatshirt should also be considered as it does cool down at night (or in case of the occasional rain storm).

Are drinks included in the price?

Water, tea, and coffee is available 24 hours and is included free of charge. Juices, Sodas, beer and wine as well as cocktails, mocktails and specialty coffees are available at an additional cost.


What kind of food can I expect to the served?

Our executive chef serves up an excellent and delicious mix of international and local dishes. Just about any special dietary need can be met, but please let us know in advance what if have specific requests or dietary restrictions.


Is the food good at Wakatobi?

Put simply it's great! Our team of top-trained Balinese chefs prepare delicious, ample and healthy meals using fresh produce that we fly in from Bali and overseas. Added to this, there are loads of day-fresh tuna sashimi, excellent soups, barbecued fish, fresh fruits, steaks and oriental specialties. Be sure to save room for one of the decadent desserts made fresh every day by our pastry chef. Meals are generally served buffet or family-style in the Longhouse dining area. We'll also host a beach barbecue or two during your stay. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know in advance. In the lounge, we supply complimentary instant coffee, black tea and cookies around the clock. Divers tea Herbal tea for Divers is also available for a nominal charge. 


Do all the bungalows have separate bathrooms?

Yes. All our bungalows have their own toilet and hot & cold fresh water showers. We supply towels and an exclusive range of Wakatobi aromatherapy toiletries.


Are the bungalows air conditioned?

Yes. However, air conditioning is generally not necessary as our resort is on an island far out from mainland which ensures there is always a gentle sea breeze to cool you down. All the rooms are cross ventilated and fitted with ceiling fans and mosquito nets (which are rarely ever being used). During part of the season we even have to provide blankets!


I am coming as a single traveler. What are my accommodation options?

You can either purchase a single space on a trip and be prepared to share room with another guest (of the same gender), or upgrade to single occupancy which comes at a premium of 75%.


Is the resort appropriate for families?

Absolutely. Children (and adults alike) can enjoy world-class snorkeling right off the beach in front of the resort. We also have babysitters available. Please ask a sales associate for more details. See more info....


What currency will I need while I'm at Wakatobi?

On the resort, we accept US Dollars, Visa or MasterCard, Rupiah (local currency) and Euro. However, you can pay everything on credit card - even the staff tips. We do suggest you change a little money while in Bali to cover incidentals along the way.

Please note that we do not accept travelers cheques. Also note that throughout Indonesia, the best exchange rates for US currency will be for $100 dollar bills printed after 2003.


Can my family reach me while I'm at Wakatobi?

Yes. Since 2007 there is a good chance, that your GSM phones might work in the resort through a public system on the island, which is however not always reliable. In addition, we have several satellite phones for use in an emergency.

There's also a PC available in our Lounge with Internet access in case you want to check your email. You can also have friends/family email Wakatobi at resort@wakatobi.com and our staff will forward any messages along. Refer to the resort's contact page for more information.

BTW, our internet access is possible due to a VSAT two-way 128 kb satellite internet connection. It's not broadband, but given the remote location, it works just fine. This connection powers both the resort's PCs and can also be used for guest's own laptops as there are LAN ports in every room! A WI-FI network is also up and running.


Is the water safe to drink at Wakatobi?

Yes. In 2003, we added a large capacity reverse osmosis water purification system that ensures ample supply of fresh, potable water at all hours of the day. Our water supply is routinely tested by a laboratory to insure it it clean and free of any contaminents. To view a lab report CLICK HERE!


What entertainment is available?

Wakatobi has a complete entertainment center including a TV, VHS, DVD and CD player, cassette deck and stereo. The staff will have slide and video presentations during the week and guests are encouraged to do likewise with the photos and videos they take. If you have a favorite movie, a slide show or a video to share, we encourage you to bring it along! You may also bring your own favorite music, movies, games, etc.


Are laundry facilities available while I'm at the resort?

Yes. We have two services available. One takes three days and is hand washed by our local staff. If you need your items back urgently we have a one-day quick turnaround service as well.

What is the air / water temperature?

Air temperature is in general around 30 °C (86 F) during the day and nicely cooler in the evening. Water temperature is a fairly cool 26-28 °C (79-82°F). We recommend a full body 5 mm dive suit, especially for divers making several dives in a day.


Do you have any facilities for photographers?

Yes. Located in the three-sectioned air-conditioned camera room with wall-length, padded work benches. Both 220v and 110v power strips are already set up for your rechargers. There is a fridge for 35mm film (not that anyone's using that anymore;) and various basic tools for adjustments of cameras, lights and housings.

Does the resort provide any toiletries?

We have hair dryers on request and in all rooms there is high-quality Wakatobi-branded shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, towels and everything else you would expect from a real resort. We also have electrical converters if want to bring your own electric razor or hair dryer.


I'm not a diver. Is there anything for me to do at Wakatobi?

Tolandono Island, which Wakatobi Dive Resort is located, is roughly 8 square kilometers (3 square miles), which allows for nice walks (or jogs / runs) across the island on the various foot paths that over the years have developed between the resort and the village that lies on the opposite end of the island. Behind the resort, one can find shallow sink holes that can be explored with snorkeling equipment and a dive light.

We offer volleyball and badminton as well as more leisurely pursuits such as board games, a selection of movies and a fairly extensive library. A television set with VCD and VHS players is located in the Longhouse lounge area, along with a CD/ cassette stereo system. Of course, there's always the beach that offers world-class snorkeling, or more simply, just a relaxing view.

We also offer daytours to neighboring villages as well as kayak tours to the mangroves, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding and more....


Do you offer massages?

Yes! We have both male and female local massage therapists with strong hands, a gentle touch and a real knack for providing relief to sore muscles and tension. Popular among both men and women, a massage session after a long day of diving can be a real blessing. And contrary to many other places in the world, a massage session in our resort is affordable!


Your conservation programs interest me. Will I contribute by going coming to Wakatobi?

Yes, you will. We set aside a portion of the funds you pay for your trip for conservation programs and community development.


What can I bring to help the local village and children?

For the local children, we recommend anything educational or healthy. Note pads, pencils, erasers, maps, rulers, craft supplies, crayons or basic school or coloring books would be greatly appreciated.


What type of electrical outlets and voltage do you have in the rooms?

All rooms are fitted with three-square-pin sockets (UK Standard) and the electricity is 220v 50 cycles. We have ample plug socket adapters and voltage converters (for 110v supplies) to lend to all guests. You needn't bring your own. The 24 hour power generated at the resort is generated by us at our in-house power-plant (comprising a number of generators). Each day, twice a day, we have to manually switch from one generator to another. This will cause a little blip in the power supply at the change-over times. We normally try to change the generators over at at 06:30h and 23:00h everyday. These are times that we believe will cause the least disturbance to our guests. Sometimes, this can inadvertently switch off battery charges that have been left running overnight.

110v outlets are available in the camera room.


Complete Wakatobi Hotel Directory

Click the link below to view our Hotel Directory that is available in all the accommodations at the resort. It give a complete description of all of the amenities and services available at the resort as well as a lot of other information you will want to know.

(back to top)


Diving Questions
Do you have Nitrox available?

Yes! We feature a state of the art Nitrox Technologies membrane systems, Atlas Copco low pressure compressors and water-cooled Bauer/L&W high pressure compressors. We also offer a full range of tech services including oxygen, helium, scrubber and pony/stage bottles.


Are we allowed to bring souvenirs up from our dives?

No, we do not allow anyone to bring corals, shells or animals out of the water and we make sure that our guests respect all aspects of our environment.


Is there a lot of reef damage from dynamiting and cyanide fishing?

No. Very little reef in our area is damaged by destructive fishing methods like dynamite bombing and cyanide fishing (for the aquarium trade). However, it is a fact that destructive methods of fishing are still being used in many parts of the world, including Indonesia.

In the remote areas around the Wakatobi resort, bombing is extremely rare. There have been instances of some reef areas being hurt by boat anchors and local fishermen walking on the reef top. These practices are effectively being minimized by our Collaborative Reef Conservation programs.


Has the Wakatobi region been affected by coral bleaching?

No. We have not detected bleaching of corals in the area.

The water temperatures in the area remain a cool 26-28 °C (79-82°F) and there are still healthy cooler currents refreshing the reefs continually.


Do your tanks have INT or DIN valves?

We have tanks with INT and DIN valves.


Should I bring all my own diving gear?

We recommend that all our guests bring their own equipment so they're completely familiar and comfortable with its operation. The basic diving equipment recommended is a regulator, depth and pressure gauge, watch or dive computer, buoyancy compensation device, mask, fins and snorkel.

However, we do have dive equipment available for rental. Please contact us before your trip to verify your requirements.

We recommend you to bring a 5 mm (1/4") full-body suit but some guests are even comfortable in only 3mm(3/16") shorties. It is all up to what you are used to diving with, just keep in mind that it is nice to be warm.


How do you handle decompression emergencies?

In case of a DECO emergency, our first-aid trained dive managers would immediately stabilize the diver's condition with non-baric medical oxygen. If deemed necessary, we would then evacuate the diver by a sea level cabin pressure flight (day-time only) directly back to Bali where there is a good re-compression chamber.

On board the dive boats, there is a good stock of medical gear and medication. Should that not be enough, there is a basic hospital on the island neighboring Wakatobi (sufficiently equipped for most general treatments).


Where is the nearest hyperbaric chamber?

Bali.


Do you allow solo diving?

We do for Instructor-level divers with a pony tank once they have been deemed suitable by our professional dive team as safe, responsible and competent. We rent pony tanks.


How long are the schduled boat dives?

The Wakatobi region is blessed with abundant marine life and dive sites that have both deep and shallow ares. This allows for long bottom times on most dives. Divers can enjoy 70 minute bottom times or more if they choose. We do not mandate that divers surface after 60 minutes. You may stay down as long as your air supply or safe diving limits allow. Generally, however, a group of divers on a boat may agree to surface after a suggested time limit so that other divers on the boat do not have to wait for long periods.


Do you have facilities to cater for rebreathers?

Yes. We carry sofnolime 797 and have an ample supply of medical grade oxygen for rebreather divers.

For semi closed rebreather divers we offer 7.5 L [50 cbf] aluminum tanks filled with NITROX up to 40%, these can be fitted with DIN or INT valves. Other valves (like Draeger) are not available.

For divers traveling with closed circuit rebreathers, we can fill tanks to 100% with our O2 booster if you bring your own clean 02 tank. Alternatively we have Faber Steel tanks 2 L and 3 L for rent, suitable for CCRs such as Evolution, Inspiration and KISS.

Bail out tanks are available in 3 L [19cbf], 4.5 L [30 cbf], 6 L [40 cbf], 7.5 l [50 cbf], all aluminium.

Note: Sodalime supplies are sometimes difficult to acquire due to logistics and supply constraints. Please contact us before your trip to confirm availability and any particular requirements.

Of course, we also have complete Nitrox facilities for open circuit divers.


What's the diving like in the Wakatobi region? What will I see?

The Indo-Pacific region is considered a biodiversity hot spot, benefiting from the currents and nutrients transported between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Within that area, the Wakatobi region is near the epicenter of coral reef biodiversity. The hundreds of kilometers of reef structure in the Wakatobi National Marine Park provide every imaginable marine animal, including whales, dolphins, sharks, rays, tunas, barracudas, marlin and more.

The area is teeming with hundreds, if not thousands of different fish species. For instance, Les Kaufman, Professor of Biology at the Boston University Marine Program & Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, counted 301 fish species on a 100 minute dive at Wakatobi Dive Resort's house reef in 2004.

For photographers, this means wide-angle, normal and macro opportunities abound.


Do you offer night diving?

Yes. Most certainly we do. Every day the "pool's open" (the ocean that is) for shore based night diving. Some days we also offer boat night diving (to see mandarin fish for example) and that schedule depends on conditions.


Do you allow spearfishing?

No. We encourage all our guests to respect the marine environment, leaving it untouched so others may enjoy in the future.


What sizes tanks do you have? Are they aluminum or steel?

We have 7.5 L (50 cbf), 10 L (63 cbf), 12 L (80cbf), 15 L (100 cbf). All are aluminium


Do I need to bring along my dive certification card (c card)?

Yes, if you want to dive. That said we of course can help you locate your certification number from your agency should that be necessary.


What type of electrical outlets and voltage do you have in the rooms?

All rooms are fitted with three-square-pin sockets (UK Standard) and the electricity is 220v 50 cycles. We have ample plug socket adapters and voltage converters (for 110v supplies) to lend to all guests. You needn't bring your own. The 24 hour power generated at the resort is generated by us at our in-house power-plant (comprising a number of generators). Each day, twice a day, we have to manually switch from one generator to another. This will cause a little blip in the power supply at the change-over times. We normally try to change the generators over at at 06:30h and 23:00h everyday. These are times that we believe will cause the least disturbance to our guests. Sometimes, this can inadvertently switch off battery charges that have been left running overnight.

110v outlets are available in the camera room.


Do you have any facilities for photographers?

Yes. Our large, three-sectioned air-conditioned camera room with wall-length, padded work benche has everything you need for your camera pampering. Both 220v and 110v power strips are already set up for your rechargers. There is a fridge for film and various basic tools for adjustments of cameras, lights and housings.


Do you have Nitrox available?

We feature two state of the art Nitrox Technologies membrane systems fed by multiple water-cooled Bauer compressors. Using Nitrox is highly recommended since it makes your diving experience even safer and more enjoyable, by extending your bottom times and shortening your surface intervals. Nitrox certification is available for those who are not yet certified and can be easily earned with Wakatobi Resort even before your holiday!


Do CCR divers do the same dive times and profiles as OC divers?
70 miniutes is not a long dive for CCR divers.

You are absolutely right - 70 min are short for CCR divers. We plan to conduct a different schedule for the CCR diving groups. Instead of 2 morning dives and 1 afternoon dive @ 70 min, we plan 1 morning dive and 1 afternoon dive @ 2 -2.5 hours for CCR divers. The profiles are of course different from the OC divers. At this level of proficiency CCR divers enjoy a lot of freedom and it is our pleasure to cater to the special needs of rebreather guests.


Can CCR dive buddies dive their own plan and not with the OC group i.e. not with bubble makers and all that noise :-) ?

There are 4 different scenarios:
a)A single CCR diver follows the regular diving group and their guide, with the option to dive solo if certified and equipped to so.
b)2 or more CCR divers share a dive boat with a group of OC divers. They dive their own profile, separately from the OC divers and enjoy peace and quiet ;-). The CCR group enters the water first and surfaces last. This extends dive times to ~85-90 min
c)1 - 3 CCR divers ask for a private boat and guide to dive their own itinerary. Additional cost may apply.
d)4 + CCR divers get their own boat and CCR guide assigned and do a long morning and long afternoon dive. No additional cost for the dive boat and guide, beside the mandatory CCR service package.


What if any are the restrictions on Sorb fills and O2 fills during the 7 day trip ?

There are no restrictions on sofnolime or oxygen. A proficient CCR diver needs 1 tank fill a day and has to change the Sorb according to the safety rules, usually after 4 - 6 hours, depending on profiles, scrubber canister size etc. While safety is paramount, we ask not to waste the oxygen and sorbs. Especially with a tempstik used and an inspiration sized scrubber canister it would be unnecessary to change sofnolime after every 2 hour long dive, unless it was a very deep and long Trimix dive with the whole decompression done on the CCR.


Do you have an O2 booster pump ? Yes, we have 2 booster pumps, which can be used for oxygen and helium fills. (Additional charges may apply for TRIMIX fills.) Of course we have qualified staff providing the tank fills.


Do you welcome CCR groups?

We are looking forward welcoming more and more CCR divers. While we are well stocked, please allow us sufficient lead time for larger CCR groups (more than 4 divers) to coordinate your needs for us to prepare sufficient oxygen, scrubber, helium, tanks, bailout tanks, special services etc.


(back to top)


Question about air transfer, tickets and vouchers
When do I need to check in for the flight from Bali to Wakatobi?
To fly from Bali to Wakatobi, you will be required to check-in at the domestic departure terminal of the Airport in Bali at either:

07:00h (First Plane) OR 11:00h (Second Plane)

Your check-in times will be communicated to you by email in advance of your trip by the staff in our Bali Office.

It would be very helpful if you could call our office upon arrival in your hotel in Bali to confirm the details. (Bali Logistics Office 759 669 or Crispin 081 2381 1084)


Which ticket counter do we check in at in the Domestic Departure Terminal?

The Denpasar airport is relatively small and does not have very many terminals. As long as you find the Domestic Departure Terminal you are set.

Our staff will meet you at the taxi drop point outside the domestic terminal door with entry passes, they will help you find porters and direct you into our staff inside the terminal.

Inside, our team will assist you through check-in and escort you to the VIP lounge where there will be a short wait before you board the flight.

Additional pointers: Head for the Wakatobi Counter, Ask the porters (grey uniforms). Our team will be there all wearing Wakatobi shirts, carrying sign boards and a smile.

You really can't miss us if you know the name "Wakatobi/Pelagian"!


Do I need some kind of voucher or ticket for the Wakatobi charter?

No you don't. As long as you have paid in full for your Wakatobi of Pelagian package, you are welcome onboard :)

We have our own check-in counter and our staff is in charge of luggage handling and boarding.


When will I return to Bali on the last day of my Wakatobi trip?

The Wakatobi air charter now returns back to Bali by 16:00h.


What time can I book my flight home

We recommend that you plan to leave Bali no earlier than 17:30h.


If I miss the flight from Bali to Wakatobi, what will happen?

You will get the opportunity to go by public transfer via Sulawesi to the Wakatobi.

It involves a two and a half day air - land - sea journey that will certainly be an experience you can tell your friends about back home. This is the route that the first divers to Wakatobi Dive Resort followed and is the reason for Wakatobi building its own airstrip. Our Bali office can help with all the routing details should this occur.


Is the flight from Bali to Wakatobi (and back) included in the price?

No, it's charged separately.


What is the flight like to Wakatobi?

The flight lasts approximately two and a half hours and is very scenic along the way.

We work with TransNusa / Trigana Air for guest air transportation to the Wakatobi resort and the Pelagian liveaboard. TransNusa operates commercial domestic routes within Indonesia as well as exclusive charters for Wakatobi.

To ensure maximum reliability and space for our guests and their luggage, we use a pair of French Built ATR 42 for our charters. The aircraft's maximum capacity is 44 seats (or about 35 divers and their heavy luggage).

The plane is spacious and nicely appointed. The restroom is small but still very serviceable. However, you might be more comfortable using the facilities at the airport prior to departure or at the resort.


Are there weight limits for luggage on the charter flight?

On international flights, International Travellers who begin their travel in the USA, and travel Economy / Coach Class, are entitled to check in a total of 45 kg per person (2 x 50 lb); International Travellers who begin their travel in any country in the world EXCEPT the USA, and travel Economy / Coach Class, are entitled to check in a total of 20 kg (44 lbs).

For this reason, we see a disparity in the average luggage weights of our guests depending on their nationality, with American guests frequently travelling with twice as much luggage as those who visit us from elsewhere in the world.

Due to the luggage capacity on our charter flight, and our need to supply the resort from Bali on the charter flight (food / technical supplies etc), we try to incentivize clients to carry a little less, and travel light.

For guests travelling with a total check in luggage weight of 20 kg (44 lbs) or less, we offer a resort credit of USD 100 per person.
For guests travelling with a total check in luggage weight of between 20 kg (44 lbs) and 45 kg (100 lbs), there is no charge.
For guests travelling with a total check in luggage weight of 45 kg (100 lbs) or above, there is an excess luggage weight surcharge of USD 100 per 20 kg (44 lbs) above the 45 kg (100 lbs) limit. (so guests travelling with 45 – 65 kg would pay USD 100, guests carrying 65 – 85 kg would pay USD 200.)

Resort Credits offered are calculated based on average luggage weights for guests travelling together!

(back to top)


Bali Questions

Do I need to stay in Bali one night before flying to Wakatobi island?

Yes, on the first day of the package, you will need to check in to the Domestic Departure Terminal in Bali before any international flights arrive on the island. This will mean an overnight stay in Bali before the trip is required.


Diving recommendation while staying on Bali?

The most popular diving in Bali is Tulamben (north east Bali) where you can find a beautiful drop-off accessible from the shore as well as the famous Liberty wreck. The area is a good 3-4 hours from the airport by van so you'll need at least a couple of days in Bali to have the time for a visit there. Some people combine a visit to Tulamben with a stopover in Secret Bay (north Bali, muck diving). It is also possible to dive Nusa Penida island off Sanur as a 1 day or 1/2 day excursion.


When I arrive in Bali, what should I expect?

Upon arrival from overseas, there will be a Wakatobi/Pelagian representative at the door of your plane. Our representative will whisk you through Immigration at high speed avoiding all those queues (a wakatobi/pelagian exclusive). You'll still need to pay USD 25 each here for your visas - no photos necessary. See the Indonesia visa FAQ for more information. After getting your visa, you'll be taken through baggage reclaim, past customs, and out to meet the guide and driver (if you have one arranged). Alternatively, the rep will assist you in arranging a taxi from a reputable firm.

Make sure you give us your flight and arrival times beforehand so we can arrange this special greeting.

One other note: We recognize that this is your holiday and you'll be out and about enjoying all that Bali has to offer. However, we do request you give our Bali office a call after you arrive in case there are any last minute details, requests, or travel coordination needed. Crispin can be reached at his cell : 081 2381 1084 or the Bali office is at 759 669 (local numbers).


Do you have a recommendation for hotels in Bali?

Yes, We now offer our new "Best Friends in Town" (Bali VIP) services. We have knowledgeable Wakatobi concierges in Bali who can assist you with all the details of planning a stay in Bali.

Why not begin or end holiday by spending a few days on Bali? Bali is a small island with spectacular geographical diversity and delightful cultural attractions. Private guides and drivers are available to transport you to towering volcanoes, emerald green rice paddies, Hindu temples, dazzling beaches or a cultural dance performance - to name just a few. Bali also offers incredible values in art, furniture, silver jewelry, accessories, and tropical fashions! Did you know that Bali also offers high-quality yet inexpensive health care? After a long day of touring or shopping, you can rejuvenate your body and mind with a luxurious spa treatment before departing for an evening of 5-star dining. After visiting Bali's chic night clubs, return to a room at a large international hotel, a private boutique villa or a bungalow overlooking a rice paddy. Bali offers resources and accommodations to match your taste and budget! Click Here for more info on our "Privilege Service"


Can I use US dollars in Bali?

Yes the US dollar is accepted by most merchants in Bali. However, while in Indonesia, it is always cheaper to use Rupiah rather than US Dollars. This is because the merchant will apply an exchange rate to convert your US Dollar to rupiah. He may not be giving you the best rate available at banks and authorized moneychangers .


Where's the best place to get money exchanged in Bali?

For some reason, although the exchange rate is currently hovering around USD 1 = Rp 9,000, a one dollar bill is only worth about Rp 8,000 at the banks / money changers. The higher denomination bills (20, 50 and 100) are worth the actual exchange rate as published.

It is tough to find banks or money changers willing to accept hundred dollar bills from 2003 (1996 notes are particularly difficult due to the Indonesian market being flooded with counterfeit 1996 bills a few years back). People are simply not willing to take the risk in exchanging notes that they consider have a high chance of being forgeries. If you think you might be doing some serious shopping while in Bali, make sure you bring with you crisp, clean, newer notes--it actually does make a difference!

ATM machines are the best way forwards for taking money (exchange rate wise) as these will use the exchange rate at your home bank, and this will favor your home currency.

However, machines here are limited in the number of notes they can spit out at one time, and this can mean that you have to insert your card repeatedly to withdraw a worthwhile amount of cash. With most currencies, the machines here dispense the equivalent of 2 dollar bills, 5 dollar bills or 10 dollar bills! Depending on how your bank charges you for use of ATMs overseas, you could end up paying large bank charges to withdraw fairly insignificant sums of money, thus negating the benefit of the higher exchange rate.

There is an ATM machine within the Domestic Arrivals Hall, and also just outside the International Arrivals Hall (turn right as you come outside and the ATM is just before the pre-paid taxi window.)

Money changers abound. There are money changers at the airport, at your hotel, at the banks and in little shops by the side of the road. The rates at the airport and the hotel are unlikely to be the best you can get, but as we're talking about 1 or 2 percent, the convenience cancels the slightly lower rates.

The Authorized Money Changers (displaying signs) in specialist money changing shops and kiosks are the best way to change cash to save time and get a good rate.

Note: Some money changers are a little less than scrupulous. You should always count your money before leaving and not just rely on watching them count it.

(back to top)


Health and Safety Questions


Are there doctors and/or medical resources close to Wakatobi?

As for the resort, we have a good stock of medical gear and medication. Should that not be enough, there is a basic hospital on the neighboring island (sufficiently equipped for most general treatments).

In case of a serious medical incident, we have access to a medical evacuation plane service in Bali and worked out clearly defined procedures.

Add to this Swiss perfection in maintaining all equipment, thoroughness in managing and training on-site security, and a highly qualified international dive staff (currently with an average of over 3000 dives)--you can rest assured that every possible effort is made that you'll never need this service


Is it safe in the area around Wakatobi?

Yes. Though several areas of Indonesia (an enormous country spanning over 3,500 miles) have gone through some rough times in the past few years, many other areas - that are separate from the trouble spots - remain very safe to visit.

The situation in Bali and Wakatobi (your only two stopovers) is that of peace, friendliness and stability.

People are sometimes a little hesitant before they come here but immediately upon arriving they discover how calm and happy they feel here.

Not going to Wakatobi due to safety concerns in other parts of Indonesia is like avoiding Orlando because of crime problems in New York! The two places are far, far away from each other and a problem in one place doesn't really translate to a problem in the other.


Do you recommend any special insurance?

Every effort is made to make sure your trip is holiday and carefree. However, we do recommend you purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance in the event of unexpected changes in your travel plans.

You should also have adequate medical insurance to cover any incidents. Check with your medical insurer before the trip to verify you're covered while traveling abroad and scuba diving.

We also recommend you consider purchasing supplemental dive insurance, offered by many firms such as Divers Alert Network (DAN), PADI, and Dive Assure. These companies offer specific dive-related policies that often include travel, gear and accident coverage all in one comprehensive policy.


Is there malaria in the Wakatobi region?

The risk of getting Malaria in the Wakatobi region is very, very low.

There have been the odd cases among the locals who's been bitten by mosquitoes imported by transiting sailors, but none of our clients or staff have, as far as we can determine, in over a decade ever contracted Malaria.

We normally don't recommend that divers take medication as it often creates mood swings and drowsiness and other discomforts. However, we leave the final decision entirely up to the individual.

If you're planning a trip to other parts of Indonesia, please consult a good traveler's health resource like the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/travel/ for the latest information on medicine recommendations.


Do I need vaccinations before I travel to Indonesia?

When travelling in the tropics, it is wise to be up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis and a current Polio protection. As parts of Indonesia are in a malaria zone (not Wakatobi), please check with your physician or medical center on the type of prophylactic you should use and ask:

What are the known side effects?
Make sure you take the appropriate medications in time before you start the trip.


Do I need to worry about avian/bird flu when I travel to Wakatobi?

The simple answer is no, for several reason. Let us explain.

In recent news reports, you may have heard warnings or concerns about the avian flu and travel to Southeast Asia. While there is concern in regards to the avian flu, the great majority of concern is directed toward the possibility of the flu mutating into something that could spread from human to human. To this date, that has not happened.

Here are some facts: Avian Influenza H5N1 (bird flu) is not a human epidemic. Travelers or tourists have never died of bird flu in Asia. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) has not recommended that the public avoid travel to any of the countries affected by the bird flu.

The CDC does recommend sensible precautions when traveling abroad. Most of the known cases of bird flu involve farmers and livestock workers in direct contact with poultry, so avoid touching chickens and ducks (even those that appear healthy) and surfaces that might be contaminated with poultry feces or secretions.

Wash your hands often to kill potentially infectious material; if soap isn't available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.

If you're going to eat chicken, make sure it's been thoroughly cooked; flu viruses are destroyed by heat.

Just remember, bird flu is not confined to Asia. Outbreaks have been reported in Africa and Europe where poultry has been culled on a mass scale to stop its spread to other birds. Most recently, the bird flu was reported in Canada.

The Centers for Disease Control web site is an excellent resource for more bird flu information, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/. In addition, the World Health Organization has a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/avian_faqs/en/index.html.

At Wakatobi, your safety and well-being are our foremost concerns. We are closely monitoring the situation and we will take proper precautions as events warrant. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

(back to top)


Indonesia and Passport Questions

Do I need a passport or visa to visit Indonesia?

Your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months after your entry into Indonesia and must have at least one totally clear page for the visa sticker.

The current regulations in full are thus:

11 countries and territories are eligible for a "Visa Free" facility. Those holding valid passports from the following countries will be granted a non-extendable 30-day Visa-Free Short Visit Permit upon arrival at an Indonesian international gateway without charge:
 
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Macau SAR
  • Malaysia
  • Morocco
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Singapore

Nationals of the following 65 countries are now eligible to purchase an extendable visa on arrival for USD 25 (for a maximum of 30 days). All Wakatobi and Pelagian guests require a 30 day visa.
 
  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China (PRC)
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Suriname
  • Taiwan (ROC)
  • Timor Leste
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

If you are staying in Indonesia for longer than 30 days, you can extend the 30 days visa-on-arrival for another 30 days at the nearest immigration office for IDR 250.000 (approximately USD 25 depending on the exchange rate) which has to be paid in local currency. Alternatively you can also apply for a 60 days tourist visa in advance of your arrival in Indonesia.

All other nationals should apply for visas in their home country before departure for Indonesia. There will be no leniency for nationals of countries not listed above should they arrive without a valid visa - they will be sent home immediately.

US citizens are entitled to buy a visa upon your arrival for 30 days for $25 USD.

Since visa regulations change quite frequently, we strongly suggest that you check the above requirements with your travel agent, or with the airline you intend flying with.

Although many taxes and security fees will be included in the cost of your air ticket, Indonesia levies an international departure tax of Indonesian Rupiah 200'000 (about USD 17.00) at Denpasar airport. Please ensure that you have enough Indonesian currency available to pay this fee on the day of departure from Indonesia.


What is the time zone at Wakatobi?

GMT UTC +8 hours (Bali, Nusa Tenggara, South & East Kalimantan and Sulawesi)


Was the Wakatobi region affected by the Asian tsunami The Wakatobi region was NOT AFFECTED by any tsunami. The tsunami's that have impacted Indonesia were in Western Indonesia about two thousand miles away from Wakatobi.

(back to top)