Wakatobi consists of four big islands named Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. A marine national park in Southeast Sulawesi, very rich in coral diversity and marine life. Wakatobi marine park has more than 750 coral species and around 942 species of fishes. More than in Carriebean Sea (50 species) and Red Sea (300) species. Furthermore, Wakatobi has the second biggest barrier reef after Australia, and the longest atol (48 km) in the world. Part of Operation Wallacea, an organization that do research and conserve wildlife in remote locations around the world.
Actually Kaledupa was not our first destination. Normally people will start doing Wangi-Wangi-Kaledupa-Tomia, or vice versa. After thinking about our conditions and all the timing matters, we decided to go to Kaledupa first. Our destination was Hoga Island. Our boat departed at 9 p.m, all the boats to Wakatobi are facilitated with simple mat on the deck. 14 hours long with the wooden boat to Kaledupa.
There are four peers in Kaledupa Island. We arrived at Buranga peer, picked up to Hoga Island by a small boat, then headed to Hoga Island, around 30 minutes ride. It was cloudy and rainy at that time but it didn’t stop us to taste the underwater in Hoga Island.
We did snorkeling in front of the peer. Visibility was not too good at that time due to the rain, but we still could enjoy the corals. Many fishes swam around, felt like swimming in huge aquarium ! First time I saw such a huge amount of fishes. As a freediver, I really love the wall and dive down to enjoy the corals. About 22 diving spots can be found around Hoga Island.
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 50,000 where you can stay. For food, you have to paid about Rp 30,000- Rp 40,000/meal 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).
Not far from Kaledupa island, wooden houses on stilts where Bajo people lives are normally seen. Bajo people or known as sea gypsies still doing their traditional way on living, adapting their living styles above the sea, not on the land. Most of Bajo people are fishermen. Instead of using fishing pole or net, they use spear to catch the fish. They are able to free-dive and hold their breath for a long time. Growing up on the sea makes an exceptional ability for them which they can see better and hold their breath longer. Some Bajo intentionally rupture their eardrums when they were young in order to facilitate diving and hunting in the sea.
After had enough fun in Kaledupa, we were delivered to Ambeua Peer. To go to Tomia, we had to go to Tau peer which is located around 30 minutes from Ambeua Peer. Options are by catching an ojek (Rp 15,000-20,000) what we did is walking on the street and try to find pick up to take us to the peer so we only have to pay Rp 35,000 for three of us (after bargain). It was unique in Tau peer. We have to get small boat until the middle of the sea and jump into the boat which came from Wangi-wangi heading to Tomia. Price for the transfer is Rp 10,000/person.
Tomia, here we come!
Click here for complete Boat Schedule and Tips for Wakatobi
Check my previous trip: Wakatobi Part 1: Quick visit to Bau bau
Traveled in 2-9 June 2013
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