wangi wangi island wakatobi

Wakatobi Islands Travel Guide: Itinerary, Boat Schedule, and Tips

Wakatobi is a paradise consists of four big islands: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko.

A marine national park in Southeast Sulawesi, Wakatobi is exceptionally rich in coral diversity and marine life. I would say it is one of the best islands I’ve visited, comparable to Raja Ampat or Derawan Islands.

The Wakatobi marine park boasts more than 750 coral species and around 942 species of fish, surpassing the Caribbean Sea (50 species) and the Red Sea (300 species).

Furthermore, Wakatobi has the second-largest barrier reef after Australia and the world’s longest atoll (48 km). It is part of Operation Wallacea, an organization dedicated to researching and conserving wildlife in remote locations around the world.

While information on public boat schedules is still not widely available on websites or in books, I encountered difficulties when researching travel in Wakatobi, specifically in obtaining exact information about boat schedules.

A trip to Wakatobi is not as distressing as it may seem. Based on my experience, if you can’t find a boat or if the original plan isn’t working as expected, simply take another boat. Regardless of the route you choose, it’s still possible to arrive on time.

Free Diving in Wakatobi
Don’t worry I didn’t touch the corals

How to get to Wakatobi Islands?

via Kendari

This is the fastest and most convenient way to get to the Wakatobi Islands. First, you’ll need to find a flight to Kendari. From Kendari, take a flight to Matahora Airport, located on Wangi Wangi Island (Airport code: WNI).

Currently, there is only one flight operated by Wings Air (Kendari – Wakatobi) with a departure scheduled at 10:50 WITA and a travel time of around 45 minutes. The ticket price is approximately IDR 1 million.

From Kendari, you can also opt for the KFC Jetliner, which departs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 17:00 WITA. The journey takes 13 hours, and prices for economy class start from IDR 98,000.

You can check the official website to make ticket reservations online.

via BauBau

It’s the more budget-friendly option but takes longer. I actually visited through this route and had a fun time exploring Baubau. Here’s the boat schedule from Baubau to the Wakatobi Islands; hopefully, it hasn’t changed much.

BauBau – Wangi Wangi

  • Public/Wooden Boat:
    Bau Bau (Murhum Port)- Wangi Wangi (Wanci Port) : Everyday 9 p.m.  Price Rp 105,000
    Wangi- Wangi (Wanci Port) – Bau Bau (Murhum Port) : Everyday 9 p.m. Price Rp 105,000
    (duration: more or less 10 hours depends on the waves)
  • Speed Boat:
    Bau-Bau (Murhum Port) – Wangi Wangi (Wanci Port): Mostly every day but check out the schedule on the port 1 p.m.  Rp 180,000
    Wangi Wangi (Wanci Port) -Bau-Bau (Murhum Port): Mostly everyday but check out the schedule on the port 8 a.m  Rp 180,000
    (duration: 3-4 hours)

BauBau – Tomia

  • Public/Wooden Boat
    Bau Bau (Murhum Port)-Tomia (Waha Port) : Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Monday 9 p.m. Rp 130,000
    Tomia (Waha Port)-Bau Bau (Murhum Port) : Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 9 a.m. Rp 130,000
    (duration: more or less 12 hours depends on the waves)

BauBau – Kaledupa

  • Public/Wooden Boat
    Bau Bau (Murhum Port)-Kaledupa (Buranga Port) : Day need to be confirmed at the port 9 p.m. Rp 55,000
    (duration around 14 hours)

Boat Schedule to Wakatobi

Once you’ve arrived on one of the larger islands, it’s easier for you to get around. The route can either start from Wangi Wangi – Kaledupa – Tomia or the other way around.

Let’s say the boat departs from Wangi Wangi at 9 a.m. It will reach Kaledupa (Taw Harbor) at 11 a.m., where you need to pay Rp 10,000 for the transfer by a small boat because the boat will not dock at the port. Then the boat continues to Tomia and arrives around 2 or 3 p.m.

Similarly, if the boat starts from Tomia at 9 a.m., it will stop in Kaledupa around 11 a.m. and continue to Wangi-Wangi around 2 p.m. The boat price is Rp 50,000 until Kaledupa, Rp 100,000 from Wangi Wangi to Tomia or Tomia to Wangi Wangi.

A fast boat costs Rp 80,000 to Kaledupa and Rp 120,000 to Tomia/Wangi Wangi. The boat departs around 8 a.m. from Wangi Wangi or Tomia.

However, I suggest you take the normal boat because if you use the fast boat, they’ll drop you at Usuku Port (Tomia) while all the main diving centers are in Waha Port. It’s better to take the regular boat.

Where to stay in Wakatobi Islands?

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort is a luxury eco-friendly resort located in Tomia, the accommodation choices at the resort are diverse, featuring bungalows and villas meticulously designed to provide a comfortable and luxurious stay.

Additionally, the resort is well-equipped with cutting-edge dive facilities, hosting a PADI 5-star dive center.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, Wakatobi offers a variety of diving programs and courses to cater to different skill levels.

They deeply involved in marine conservation initiatives, actively participating in research, coral restoration projects, and community efforts to safeguard the local marine ecosystem.

Patuno Dive Resort

Located in Wanci, Patuno Dive Resort is another higher-end accommodation that you can find in Wakatobi Island, also offering diving center for the guests.


There are some homestays located in each island, will share more about it below.

Sea Fan at Wakatobi
Sea Fan

The Islands

These are some islands to visit in Wakatobi:

Hoga Island, Kaledupa

Actually, Kaledupa was not our first destination. Typically, people will start by visiting Wangi-Wangi, then Kaledupa, and finally Tomia, or vice versa. After considering our circumstances and timing, we opted to go to Kaledupa first.

Our ultimate destination was Hoga Island. The boat departed at 9 p.m., and all boats to the Wakatobi Islands are equipped with simple mats on the deck.

The journey to Kaledupa took 14 hours on a wooden boat.

Hoga Island Kaledupa Wakatobi
Hoga Island, Kaledupa Wakatobi

There are four piers on Kaledupa Island. We arrived at Buranga Pier, were picked up and transported to Hoga Island by a small boat, and then headed to Hoga Island, about a 30-minute ride.

It was cloudy and rainy at that time, but it didn’t stop us from experiencing the underwater beauty of Hoga Island.

We went snorkeling in front of the pier. Visibility wasn’t too good due to the rain, but we could still enjoy the corals. Many fish swam around, creating the feeling of being in a huge aquarium!

It was the first time I saw such a vast array of fish. As a freediver, I truly enjoyed exploring the wall and diving down to appreciate the corals.

There are about 22 diving spots around Hoga Island.

Corals in Hoga Island Kaledupa
Terumbu Karang Wakatobi

Tips in Hoga Island

  • Avoid coming to Hoga Island from June-August because students overseas especially from Europe are coming to Hoga Island for research.
  • There are 200 bungalows cost Rp 400,000/night where you can stay. You’ll also have to pay for the food but you will very satisfy because they serve delicious fish, crab, vegetable, and other sea food.
  • Contact Mr. Jufry (085395303993), he’s the coordinator of the island. He will arrange the boat from Kaledupa-Hoga, homestay, food, diving everything.
  • Normal prices to dive in Wakatobi is Rp 350,000 (license) Rp 450,000 (no license). Price for boat transfer from Kaledupa-Hoga : Rp 50,000 (one way).

Bajo Sampela

Suku Bajo Sampela

Not far from Kaledupa Island, wooden houses on stilts where Bajo people live are commonly seen. The Bajo people, also known as sea gypsies, still adhere to their traditional way of living by adapting their lifestyle above the sea rather than on the land.

Most Bajo people are fishermen, residing in the islands of Sulawesi, such as here in Wakatobi and the Togean Islands.

Instead of using fishing poles or nets, they use spears to catch fish. They are capable of free-diving and holding their breath for extended periods.

Growing up at sea has endowed them with exceptional abilities, enabling them to see better underwater and hold their breath for longer durations.

Some Bajo intentionally rupture their eardrums when they are young to facilitate diving and hunting in the sea.

Tomia Island

After having enough fun in Kaledupa, we were taken to Ambeua Pier. To get to Tomia, we needed to go to Tau Pier, which is around 30 minutes from Ambeua Pier.

Our options included catching an ojek (Rp 15,000-20,000). Instead, we decided to walk on the street and find a pickup to take us to the pier, allowing us to pay only Rp 35,000 for the three of us (after bargaining).

Tau Pier had a unique setup. We had to take a small boat to the middle of the sea and jump onto the boat coming from Wangi-Wangi, heading to Tomia. The transfer cost was Rp 10,000 per person.

Tomia Island is unbelievable! That’s all I can say. The underwater experience, oh gosh! I’m speechless right now. It was a very wise decision to spend two days on Tomia Island, and fortunately, the weather was good.

On our first day, we did a discovery dive, which was a first for me. I was so nervous that it took me around 10 minutes to adapt to the regulator.

Some favorite dive spots in Tomia include Marimabuk, Fan Garden, Roma, Teluk Waiti, Table Coral City, and many more.

Most of the spots are covered by soft corals. Visibility was perfect, and again, I love snorkeling by the wall. I’ll just show you guys the pictures.

We did a visit to a Puncak Kahianga and Benteng Patuha as well. View from Puncak Kahianga is beautiful. Nothing much to see at Benteng Patuha.

Corals at Tomia Island Wakatobi

Marimabuk Tomia Island Wakatobi

Marimabuk Tomia Island

Soft Coral at Tomia Wakatobi
Soft corals
Puncak Kahianga Tomia Island
Top view from Puncak Kahianga

Tips in Tomia Island

  • There are two diving centers in Tomia. I contacted Pak Ade (081234767854 / 085341300675) as our coordinator in Tomia. He is a very nice and humble guy.
  • There are some homestays in Tomia. We stayed at Pak Ade’s family homestay. If you can afford a luxurious diving resort, particularly on Onemobaa Island, try Wakatobi Dive Resort.
  • The discovery dive costs Rp 450,000. If you have a license, you can dive for only Rp 350,000 per dive or ask for more information about diving packages from Pak Ade.
  • Car rentals for a city tour start from Rp 300,000, and motorbike rental is Rp 100,000. We asked for Pak Ade’s help to get us the cheapest pick-up, and his neighbor agreed to take us around the city for only Rp 150,000

Wangi Wangi

Our last destination in Wakatobi Islands was Wangi-Wangi. We only spent one day because we needed to leave for Bau Bau at night. Wangi-Wangi is the capital region of Wakatobi Islands.

Our boat from Tomia took us to Mola Pier for about 2 and a half hours.

There are Bajo people who live in Mola. We took a walk to the station, not too far, and took an angkot (public car) to Waha Beach.

I didn’t expect too much from Wangi-Wangi island in Wakatobi because from most sources I read, the best places to dive are Tomia and Hoga, with not much mention of Wangi-Wangi.

I was disappointed at first when I jumped into the water because there was nothing to be seen. As we swam further and further, the closer we got to the wall, and believe it or not, it was totally amazing.

I would say that this spot is my favorite so far! I like it more than Hoga and Tomia. The wall is so deep that you can’t see what’s underneath. The corals are breathtaking, and the fish, thousands!

More groups of fish swim here. I got more beautiful pictures here on Wangi-Wangi island in Wakatobi.

I still couldn’t forget how we were free-diving until 10 meters and took photos with the sea fan and also sponges. So far, it’s the best experience.

Not far from Wanci Harbor, there’s a night market where you can find local foods and fruits.

Both raw fish and grilled fish are sold in the market. Beautiful decorations of tomatoes and chilies on the stall. Try to visit if you have time.

corals in wangi wangi island wakatobi


snorkeling in wangi wangi island wakatobi
beautiful corals in wangi wangi

Tips in Wangi Wangi Island

  • Contact Pak Sudirman (085241857674) He’s the one who in charge taking care of Waha Beach.
  • Snorkeling package is only Rp 50,000/person/90 minutes minimun 4 persons including: Guide, Snorkeling set (fin, mask, snorkel, life jacket, swimsuit), if you only want to rent snorkeling gear it only cost Rp 10,000/item/90 minutes.
  • Last public transportation from Waha Beach to the town or the Wanci Harbor is at 4 p.m. If you snorkeled to long and passed 4 p.m. like what we did, walked out to the main road and hopefully there are cars willing to take you to the harbor, or else, ask Pak Sudirman, maybe he can ask some guys with motorbikes taking you to the harbor or wherever you want.

Some tips to visit Wakatobi Islands

  • Ask and ask.
    The boat schedule can be changed anytime and not fixed. Spare your time to ask people around about the schedule.
  • Use the regular boat.
    Using the regular boat is a challenging thing, not only the long journey but the wave can be so rough sometimes. Don’t expect too much on regular boat. It is the cheapest so the condition is average. There’s mat where you can sleep, it’s better to put some of your belongings to mark your place few hours before so you have mat to sleep. It’s quiet safe, just put everything except valuable things.
  • Price for diving is about Rp 350,000/dive (license) and Rp 450,000/dive (non license) contact the person I mentioned above.
  • Contact Person for diving/snorkeling:
    Wangi-Wangi (Waha Beach): Pak Sudirman (085241857674)
    Kaledupa (Hoga Island): Pak Jufry (085395303993)
    Tomia: Pak Ade (081234767854 / 085341300675)
  • You’ll spot snakes in Wakatobi sometimes.
    Don’t worry they won’t attack you unless you threatened them.
  • Extra time and energy.
    You need extra time and energy but believe me, it’s way too beautiful to be missed. So it’s totally worthy.


We try to provide the most accurate information; however, conditions and prices might have changed. Do let us know so we can update this article, thanks for contributing to help other travelers as well! 



8 responses to “Wakatobi Islands Travel Guide: Itinerary, Boat Schedule, and Tips”

  1. Frenky Man Avatar

    Nice artikel dan tips buat gw yang belum kesampaian kesana 😐

    Kalau mau kesana pake jasa trip organizer punya lu aja kali ya :))

    Cheers (n_n)/

  2. Treasured Odyssey Avatar

    Thanks for the info yah! bermanfaat banget buat nanti ngetrip kesana 🙂


    Thank you for info!!

  4. Monique Picaud Avatar
    Monique Picaud

    Thank’s for the infos but there is somethong strange with the schedule of the Tomia-Kaledupa-WangiWangi boat: yous say it starts from Tomia at 9a.m. (OK) stops at Kaledupa around 11 p.m. then continues to Wangi Wangi to arrive
    at 2 p.m. How is it possible? 11 p.m. is later than 2 p.m., maybe you did a mistake and wrote 11 p.m. instead of 11 a.m. ?
    Can you confirm that? And the fact there is such a boat, because I didn’t find it on the official tourism website of Wakatobi they just talk about a Tomia-WangiWangi boat and don’t mention the possible stop in Kaledupa.
    Thank’s for all the answers, regards, Moniqe

    1. Velysia Zhang Avatar

      Hi Monique,

      Yes sorry, I made a mistake, it should be 11 a.m. 🙂 Hope you had great time in Wakatobi.


      1. monique Picaud Avatar
        monique Picaud

        Thank’s a lot. I can’t find the telephone number of “hoga island resort” (different of the hoga dive resort) do you have it because they don’t answer to their email?

        1. Velysia Zhang Avatar

          Not really sorry, I just know the number of Pak Jufry the one that manage accommodation in Hoga Island.

  5. Jussa Avatar

    Information about Hoga island is not valid anymore. Just called the number given and Mr. Jufry told that stay in Hoga costs IDR 400,000 per person.

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