Situated in the southeast of Sulawesi, the archipelago of Wakatobi offers an abundance of natural spectacles from pristine beaches, underwater wonders, to the scenic landscapes. Popularly known as one of the most beautiful paradises for divers worldwide, Wakatobi also presents a tranquil and exotic tropical setting far from crowds and hustles. This article will explore four of the best excitements you can get in this small yet stunning archipelago.
Diving is of course a must-do thing once you get here. The underwater realm of Wakatobi is just simply mesmerizing. You can meet many varieties of fishes, coral formations, and anemones that will never fail to take your breath away. Aside from that, you can also simply relax on a private beach in their resort. Apply your sunscreen, bring on your picnic mat, and focus on getting a beautiful tan while gazing at the limitless ocean view in front of you.
If you’re looking for more adventurous activities, you can visit water caves in Wakatobi. There are a total of 12 water caves in the area of Wakatobi, but two of the most famous ones are Kontamale Cave and Tee Kosapi Cave. Both of these places can be accessed by private car or motorbike about 15 minutes from downtown Wanci, Wangi-Wangi District. Although these caves belong to the local government, residents often come there to find sources of water. You can explore these water caves and find springs and stalactites adorning the cave walls.
In the evening, the best thing to do in Wakatobi would be enjoying the spectacular sunset while having a drink at a restaurant overlooking the sea, then ending the day going to Kulati Village in the eastern part of Tomia Island to stare at the exceptionally miraculous Milky Way view above its sky with your naked eyes.
Enter a world of lush greenery in Wakatobi by visiting Onemobaa Island on the south west of Tomia Island. This is a place that will surely be loved by nature lovers and bird watchers as the quiet nature will allow them to observe peacefully. Be aware that Onemobaa Island has also been set aside as habitat for monitor lizards, so you might as well see them passing by.
You can also visit the Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park on Wakatobi Islands. The area, which comprises 1,050 square kilometers, is filled by a variety of vegetation, ranging from savannah to mangrove forests.
If you come during the rainy season, you will be able to see the green landscape with Mount Watumohai as the background. Those of you who fancy camping and night photos can capture the view of the tent above the hills with a stretch of stars in the sky as the setting. You can also find various types of birds there, such as eagle, maleo, and small yellow-crested cockatoo.
Aside from having an abundance of natural wonders, Wakatobi also has fascinating traditions and cultures that you can learn. One of them is the Lariangi Dance performance. There are 12 dancers in one performance, which consists of both young female and male dancers wearing similar costumes and ornaments with the color combination of red, white, pink, and blue. Aside from dancing, they might also sing during the performance, following the rhythm of the accompaniment. The dance usually lasts for about 7 minutes. Most of the movements involve sitting and turning around. At the peak of the show, they perform the last move, which is called “nyibing”. It is when the male dancers surround the women, which symbolizes their devotion to protect them against any threats.
Wakatobi also has their own traditional garment, which is called Homoru sarong. This hereditary handicraft was carried out by the Wakatobi community precisely in the Liya Village area of Liya Togo Village, South Wangi-Wangi District. The characteristics of the Homoru garment from the weavers in the village of Liya Togo are the flower patterns. Weaving fabrics are made with colored threads as desired and the work can take approximately 20 days. Homoru sarong have a special position for the local community, for it is only used during certain events, such as traditional ceremonies and other customary activities.
Last but not least, Wakatobi also has some exciting and delicious local cuisines that you should try. Take for example, kambalu: one of the local dishes from Wakatobi which is usually eaten as a substitute for rice. Kambalu is a food made of taro wrapped in young coconut leaves. The taste is savory and light with a chewy texture.
There is also kasoami: a local dish with a sweet, salty, and savory taste because it is made of sweet potatoes. The unique thing about this dish is that it is usually being eaten with fish soup.
Lastly, there is kapusu, which has a typical sweet taste because it is made of corn mixed with red beans. With porridge texture, this dish is simply addicting because you will feel the taste melting on your tongue.
You might have heard about Wakatobi and all of its enchanting wonders before. However, we hope our recommendations can make you even more excited to prove its beauty with your own eyes. Plan your holiday early and stay safe, stay healthy at home.
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