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WAKATOBI

South China Sea
Wakatobi is a little archipelago within the Indonesia Archipelago. The name Wakatobi derives from the acronym of 4 biggest islands in the cluster, named Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. The islands cluster is located in the heart of coral triangle, right on the imaginary Wallace line, and lies in the sea bordering Flores and Banda seas. Those bring the advantage for the little archipelago, which are abundant nutrients for the marine life. The uniqueness of this geographical causes fascination for scientists to conduct research activities in this area. In the early 1990s, a group of scientists from the UK came to establish a research center and marine expeditions with the name 'Operation Wallacea’ at Hoga Island not far from the island Kaledupa. Talking about the marine life, Wakatobi’s water is hosting a busy underwater life. The seascape is the living ground of 590 fish species, 396 species of scleractinia hermatipic coral, 10 species of non-scleractinia and 28 genera of soft coral. The islands of Wakatobi are blessed with white sand beaches and pristine water. This is the place where you can see the gradation color of the ocean. Wangi Wangi is the biggest island of all, an island that is crawling its way to become a city. Good accommodation is available in Wanci, so is the airport hosting daily direct flight from Bau Bau and from Makassar. There are several divesites around Wanci where you may encounter turtles and plethora of fishes swimming around in the crystal clear water. Kaledupa is the island after Wanci where the population is less and buildings are the reflection of the tradition. Kaledupa looks like a small village where every house is having their own front yard and back yard. The houses are built following the traditional architecture and blend nicely with the nature. Kaledupa also hosts an area of mangrove forest and an area where the Bajo tribe living in the floating houses. The water area of Wakatobi offers divers a relaxing dive where fishes and corals covers the seafloor and the sun light goes as deep as 40m so all the colors come out so brightly underwater, and also offers a bit challenging dive where currents are quite strong but at the same time a school of barracudas coming closer to the wall at Hoga Channel. Wakatobi seascape is very ideal for wide-angle lens. The pinnacle at sites called Ali Reef and Table Coral nearby Tomia Island host a large number of foliose clinging on to the wall of the pinnacle, a ground filled with hard and soft corals, staghorn corals with damsels and school of anthias hovering on its top, bumphead parrot fish, cuttle fish and turtles. Above the water, Wakatobi offers a beautiful daily life of the locals whose life depends of the behavior of the ocean. In the morning, you can see the harbor is pretty busy transferring stuffs to the land and the fisherman coming back from night hour fishing. While in the evening, children are filling the white sand beach either playing or chasing crabs and shrimps for a delicate dinner.