Have you ever felt bored and dreamed of wanting to ‘escape’ for a moment from the advancement of modern technology, accompanied by clear seas and blue skies? If so, you need to visit Wakatobi Island in the southeast of Sulawesi, situated in the middle of the Banda Sea, Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko (Wakatobi) islands. Being a paradise for diving lovers, Wakatobi has one of the most beautiful coral reefs in Indonesia.
However, Wakatobi is not just a diving destination because you can still enjoy the richness of nature, culture, and the friendliness of the local people there. Starting from various traditional villages, ancient relics, to unspoiled forests can be found there. Curious where? Let’s check out the must-visit places on Wakatobi Island!
Wakatobi National Park
This diving lover’s paradise has 750 of the total 850 coral species in the world. No wonder this marine tourism is a mainstay tourism activity in the Wakatobi Archipelago National Park. Not only does Wakatobi Island have clusters of coral and various types of fish fill under the sea, but this tourism place also has loyal ‘guests’ who make the waters become their playground, namely sperm whales.
Herds of these animals usually can be seen in November when the waters are warmer than the seas in other parts of the world. In addition, you can also find manta rays which are only found in tropical waters. Surrounded by a 600 km long beach, Wakatobi National Park has great potential if its existence is well maintained.
Aopa Watumohai Swamp National Park
For those who prefer adventure on land, you can visit Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park. The 1,050 sq km area is filled with a variety of vegetation, from savannah to mangrove forest. If you come there during the rainy season, you can see the green expanse of the savanna with the background of Mount Watumohai.
For the lovers of camping and night photos, you can capture the view of the tent on the hills with the expanse of stars in the sky as a background. You can also find various types of birds there, such as eagles, maleos, and small yellow-crested cockatoos. If you want more of a challenge, explore the park on a high-speed dirt bike through challenging tracks and mounds.
Hendaopa Natural Bath
Hendaopa Natural Bath is located in Wawotimu Village, the peak of Mount Tomia. This bath is unique because it is in the form of a cave that goes into the ground. This place looks like an ordinary hole from the outside, but it forms a clear and beautiful freshwater pool inside. Hendaopa Natural Baths are still not widely known by tourists, so access to this location is also very limited.
This waterfall is 100 meters in height in a stepped waterfall, with more than seven main levels and 60 small levels. You can soak and swim in some of the natural pools based on granite rocks. The scenery feels even more special with the colors of the rainbow emanating from the foam of flowing water.
In addition, the limestone area there makes the stone walls not slippery because it is difficult for moss to grow so that you can climb it. Nature tourism on Wakatobi Island is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Indonesia and an area with the largest marble content in the world. Interesting right?
Tindoi Protected Forest
Tindoi Forest is one of the protected and sacred forests by the community members in four villages; Posalu Village, Tindoi Village, East Tindoi Village, and Waginopo Village in Wangi-Wangi District. This forest is located at an altitude of 800 m above sea level and is about 10 km from Wanci City. Here you will find many exotic and soothing tropical rainforest plants. The large trees also add to the freshness of this forest atmosphere.
Cave Lake on Wangi-Wangi Island
In addition to amazing marine tourism, Wakatobi Island also has a series of enchanting caves. The cave lake on a small island called Wangi-Wangi offers its charm with its clear and clean water. Some of the famous cave lakes are Air Gua Kontamale and Air Cave Tee Kosapi.
These places can be accessed by car or motorbike about 15 minutes from downtown Wanci, Wangi-Wangi sub-district. Although the local government owns it, residents often use the water as a water source. For those who like adventure, you can explore the vastness of this cave because there are springs, stalagmites, and stalactites adorn the walls of the cave.
Before you plan a trip to Wakatobi, be sure to read more about Wakatobi and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.