Wakatobi made sure that we were very well taken care of from the get-go. When we arrived in Bali, there was someone waiting to escort us out through the VIP channel and make sure that we make a smooth transfer to our hotel in Bali. It was really good to whizz past the long immigration line and have porters push our big heavy bags out to meet our hotel rep. I’m surprised that they had this service from our flight into Bali as it technically wasn’t yet part of the trip. I’m definitely not complaining about it though. They provided the same helpful reception the next morning with complimentary porterage services and the use of the VIP lounge in the domestic terminal. After a short delay because SBY had been flying past the area that morning and they needed to clear the air space (!), we took off in a little 40-seater propeller plane! We flew past blue sea and beautiful islets and coral atolls, hoping that Wakatobi would be just like that.
Of the four islands that make up Wakatobi National Park – Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko – we landed at the airstrip on Tomia. This was the only town on the island, it was that remote.
There’s actually a small airport on Wangi Wangi, presumably a larger island, but transfers between Bali and the resort take longer because the flights connect through Makassar and the boat ride to the resort is longer. The resort simply built its own airstrip on Tomia and run chartered flights direct from Bali.
This suited us just fine because having your own airstrip means that your fleet of SUVs comes right up so your guests can saunter straight from plane to car. What a great idea!
Before we had a chance to break a proper sweat in the hot sun, we were whisked off past the welcome sign…
… with our luggage and all the supplies for our week at the resort following closely behind.
The next stop was the jetty, where we piled onto one of the Wakatobi dive boats and enjoyed iced ginger soda on the short 15-minute ride while the friendly staff briefed us on our stay. We could already see that the water was going to be amazing as it was a beautiful clear turquoise at Tomia jetty already.
At Wakatobi jetty, it was even better. The water was clear blue…
… and the white sand was perfect against the backdrop of lush vegetation.
More beautiful pictures to come!