Diving the Underwater Nirvana of Wakatobi National Marine Park

Legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau is said to have called the Wakatobi islands – then known as the Tukangbesi islands: an “Underwater Nirwana”, for Wakatobi is widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species in the world. The islands are also famous as the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Here divers can found fringing, atolls, barrier reefs and more than 50 spectacular dive sites eas
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Among the thick sea anemones, a sea eel disguises itself to blend with the environment

Among the thick sea anemones, a sea eel disguises itself to blend with the environment (blending in is what reminds me of the ex lol :)

Its vibrant colors and unique appearance have always captivated divers: the nudibranch is truly a marvel of the deep sea.

Its vibrant colors and unique appearance have always captivated divers: the nudibranch is truly a marvel of the deep sea.

Among the magnificent coral reefs and a school of swimming fish, the clear blue water seems almost magical, seen within

Among the magnificent coral reefs and a school of swimming fish, the clear blue water seems almost magical, seen within

An adorable Bleny fish sticking its head out of a hole in a coral reef.

An adorable Bleny fish sticking its head out of a hole in a coral reef.

Legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau, surely got it right: the waters of the Wakatobi Islands are truly an underwater nirvana.

Legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau, surely got it right: the waters of the Wakatobi Islands are truly an underwater nirvana.

Above and below the surface of Wakatobi waters are two different worlds, yet equally amazing.

Above and below the surface of Wakatobi waters are two different worlds, yet equally amazing.

The underwater garden of Sombu is truly exceptional, it is home to many of ocean-floor dwellers and a gallery of various types of coral reefs.

The underwater garden of Sombu is truly exceptional, it is home to many of ocean-floor dwellers and a gallery of various types of coral reefs.

The Crinoid Crab, Another enchanting creatureinhabiting the floor of the Wakatobi Marine Park.

The Crinoid Crab, Another enchanting creatureinhabiting the floor of the Wakatobi Marine Park.

With its transparent appearance, this unique shrimp curiously lurks among sea anemones.

With its transparent appearance, this unique shrimp curiously lurks among sea anemones.

It is a whole different universe underneath the Wanci harbor, a Lionfish swims majestically above a beautiful coral reef welcoming a diver into the splendor that is Wakatobi.

It is a whole different universe underneath the Wanci harbor, a Lionfish swims majestically above a beautiful coral reef welcoming a diver into the splendor that is Wakatobi. (by WAYN)

With their incredible ability to mimic their surroundings and their tiny size, it is not surprising that these spectacular Robust Ghostpipefishes are seldom spotted by divers.

With their incredible ability to mimic their surroundings and their tiny size, it is not surprising that these spectacular Robust Ghostpipefishes are seldom spotted by divers.

The adventure to explore the underwater nirvana starts here at Wanci, a serene small town on the island of Wangi-Wangi, about 12 hours from Kendari, capital of South Sulawesi Province.

The adventure to explore the underwater nirvana starts here at Wanci, a serene small town on the island of Wangi-Wangi, about 12 hours from Kendari, capital of South Sulawesi Province.

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