There are many crystal clear waters in the world but there is one, which is the clearest of all. Let us introduce you to Wakatobi.

VIsitor Information Center in Wangi-Wangi - Photo by Amal Hermawan

Visitor Information Center

There are three visitor information centers spread around Wakatobi (Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa and Tomia). They offer information about the best attractions to visit, transportation rental, dive operators and the best places to eat.

Visitor Information Center in Wangi-Wangi - Photo by Amal Hermawan
Visitor Information Center
Wangi Wangi

Opening Time

Mon
10:00-17:00
Tue
10:00-17:00
Wed
10:00-17:00
Thu
10:00-17:00
Fri
10:00-17:00
Sat
CLOSED
Sun
CLOSED
Visitor Information Center
Kaledupa

Opening Time

Mon
10:00-17:00
Tue
10:00-17:00
Wed
10:00-17:00
Thu
10:00-17:00
Fri
10:00-17:00
Sat
CLOSED
Sun
CLOSED
Visitor Information Center
Tomia

Opening Time

Mon
10:00-17:00
Tue
10:00-17:00
Wed
10:00-17:00
Thu
10:00-17:00
Fri
10:00-17:00
Sat
CLOSED
Sun
CLOSED

Electricity and Communication

In Wakatobi there can be power shortages, leaving you with only candle-or flashlight. This is common on the four islands of Wakatobi. Therefore it is recommended to organize the charging of your electronic devices.

Electricity

Wangi Wangi: 24 hours
Kaledupa: 18:00-06:00
Tomia: 18:00-06:00
Binongko: 18:00-06:00

Communication:

For your mobile phone it is recommended to use an Indonesian prepaid SIM. They are really affordable and you can easily refill your credit (or called ‘pulsa’) at many small shops (kiosk). There are several operators in Indonesia but the most reliable in Wakatobi is Telkomsel (Simpati and AS). In some areas of the islands you might not have either mobile reception or internet access at all.

Internet:

Mobile internet access only works reliably in Wangi-Wangi. On the other islands, depending on your phone (and sometimes also your luck), you might have troubles in getting even a decent connection. Also WiFi does not always work and only found in some spots in Wangi-Wangi Island or Tomia Island.


Where to Eat

Wangi Wangi Island

Wangi Wangi Island has by far the most rumah makan and warung (small restaurant) all with comparable quality. They are mostly concentrated in Wanci, where you can just drive your motorbike around town and pick the most appealing for your appetite.
Some of the favorites include:

Warung Sederhana

Located in central Wanci, the friendly staff of this warung serve delicious fresh juices and popular Indonesian dishes.

Wisata Restaurant

This restaurant, beautifully located on wooden stilts above the ocean, is built with an open area in the middle, where huge fish gladly take care of any leftovers.

Wasabi Nua

This recently opened restaurant sits on the shore, offering gorgeous views over the ocean. It is a short drive out of Wanci, but the mix of Japanese gar-den style interior, the cool ocean breeze and fresh seafood makes it worth a visit.

Asoka Restaurant

Asoka is known for using a special combination of herbs and spices for their dishes. They serve all kinds of seafood, chicken, duck and delicious vegeta-bles dishes. Be sure to set aside some time, as it can take time for them to prepare the food.

Kaledupa Island

Kaledupa has few rumah makan and warung, but its homestays will amaze you with home-cooked tasty dishes featuring fresh fish, crab, shrimp and a nice choice of local vegetables. Before you set out on a day trip just ask them to prepare a lunch to go for you. The small warung on the island serve simple but tasty food.

Tomia Island

Most hotels in Tomia offer breakfast and you can also find some “rumah makan” on the island. However, it is recommended to order lunch and dinner at your hotel or homestay. In the evening you can also head to Lakota Beach where many small food stalls offer all kinds of local culinary treats, with a beautiful atmosphere and the beach serving as your dining background. Here you can find satay (meat on a skew-er) grilled on charcoal and pisang epe (grilled banana) for dessert, as well as a large choice of fish and other Indonesian meals.

Binongko Island

Binongko does not have any restaurants. Your homestay will cook meals whenever you desire, and will be happy to show you the absolutely fantastic traditional cuisine. If you want to go on a day-trip just ask for a packed lunch.


Money

There are three banks in Wakatobi which you can find on Wangi-Wangi Island in the town of Wanci: BNI, BRI and Danamon. BNI provides two ATMs in Wanci. With BNI you can access money with your VISA or MasterCard. The other bank BRI provides access for MasterCard. Only a few hotels and restaurants do accept a credit card payment. Therefore it is recommended to ask your hotel if it provides such a service before your arriving in Wakatobi. Also there are no Money Changer in Wakatobi. If you travel to the other islands make sure to bring enough cash with you, as the town of Wanci is the only place for you to get cash.


Etiquette

The people of Wakatobi are always friendly and smiling and will understand that you are from a foreign country with a different culture. But cultures can differ quite a lot so it is advised that you respect local customs to avoid any negative situations or embarrassment. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Indonesians love smiling, as it signals approachability. Luckily, smiling is contagious so it won’t be hard for you to respect this beautiful custom.
You will be the centre of attention almost everywhere you go. Curious children will follow you, as will shouts of “hello mistaa” (even if you are a woman), and many people will ask where you are from and approach you for selfies. Enjoy being the star and try to understand and appreciate their enthusiasm about welcoming visitors.
Wakatobi is predominantly Muslim. In the Islamic faith, as in Hinduism, the left hand is seen as unclean. So when handing over or receiving something, eating, pointing and touching other people, please use your right hand.
Do not blow your nose in public, but wipe it discreetly with a tissue.
Couples, even married ones, should avoid public displays of affection other than holding hands.
It is considered bad manners to touch a person’s head—even the common western show of affection of rubbing a child’s hair.
Bargaining in markets is the rule. But in Wakatobi vendors will not give you a heavily overpriced offer. Try to be generous, as the costs compared to your origin country are presumably a lot lower anyways.
Take off your shoes before entering people’s homes. It is also considered very impolite to refuse food or drinks. After everybody has been served, the host will invite you to start eating. In case you have any food allergies, are vegetarian/vegan, or can’t/won’t eat a certain animal, let the host know. Thanks to the wide cultural diversity of Indonesia, they will understand.
Be especially sensitive during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan. Avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public.

For Women

Wear t-shirts that cover your shoulders and pants that don’t reveal too much of your legs.
Wearing a bikini is fine in the hotels or on deserted beaches. Everywhere else where there is other people around please put on a t-shirt and shorts for swimming.

Sustainability

A lot of unnecessary plastic is used, especially when shopping at the market or for take away food. If you go shopping try to bring your own bag. These bags are also available at the tourism information centers around Wakatobi.
Using a refillable bottle is an eco-friendly (and budget) way to stay hydrated on the islands. Instead of buying a small bottle every time you are thirsty, bring a refillable bottle with you. You can fill them up at local warungs or your homestay or hotel. The-se bottles will be available at the various tourist information centers on every island.