Wakatobi & Flores Sea
WHAT TO EXPECT
Discover one of the world’s largest atolls - Taka Bonerate
Snorkel or dive at some of Indonesia’s best spots in Wakatobi National Park
Visit the Bajau ‘Sea Gypsies’
Enjoy BBQs and fresh drinks at empty white sand beaches
Explore and enjoy barbecues on uninhabited islands
Visit remote villages rarely frequented by tourists and discover their diverse culture
Be alone in nature–you’ll unlikely encounter other tourists during your trip
Give back - a portion of our profits go to funding our marine protection and waste management initiatives
Eco-Friendly Wakatobi & Flores Sea Liveaboard Trips
Every April we will set sail with our liveaboard boat, the Bugis, from Komodo National Park to the remote and exclusive Wakatobi National Park, in South East Sulawesi. We will do this route in reverse every November. Along the way, we’ll discover the vastness of the Flores Sea where Taka Bonerate, the world’s third-largest atoll, lies.
These regions are part of the Coral Triangle, making the marine biodiversity nothing to be scoffed at. The remote nature of these destinations makes them incredibly hard to get to and, in turn, very pristine—perfect for a liveaboard trip or boat charter.
Wakatobi National Park
Coined by some to be one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, Wakatobi National Park has also been named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2012. Wakatobi doesn’t only boast world-class snorkeling and diving but also picturesque white sand beaches, beautiful bird species, and a unique and very ethnically diverse local population–including the Bajau "Sea Gypsies".
Taka Bonerate National Park & Flores Sea
Taka Bonerate is an even more remote area located in the Flores Sea and South Sulawesi. This national park hosts the country’s largest atoll, which is also believed to be the third largest in the world.
You will be alone at sea most of the time, giving you a chance to immerse yourself in nature. As you can see in our gallery below, there is no shortage of idyllic white sand beaches and crystal-clear water in Taka Bonerate. Truly a paradise on earth.
Wakatobi & Flores Sea Cruise Highlights
DISCOVER ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST ATOLLS - TAKA BONERATE
With high marine biodiversity, idyllic beaches with baby powder-like sand and uninhabited islands–Taka Bonerate National Park is a paradise for inquisitive adventurers and lovers of nature.
Part of the UNESCO World Network Biosphere Reserves, there are many world-class snorkeling and diving spots that await. Comprising 21 islands, only 8 of which are populated, we will find plenty of opportunities for BBQs at empty white sand beaches. Their culture is no less fascinating. The Bonerate people speak their own language and live a very traditional life with houses built on stilts along the shore.
During our Wakatobi - Flores Sea liveaboard trip we will spend a few days in Taka Bonerate, hopping from one island to the next, passing through fishing villages, rice fields, spice plantations, local markets, and more. There is always something new to see every day!
MEET THE BAJAU AND EXPLORE THE DIVERSITY OF WAKATOBI
Apart from its superb snorkeling and diving, there is still much more to discover in Wakatobi National Park. Expect picturesque beaches and sceneries, rare marine bird species, and lovely encounters with the local Bajau ‘Sea Gypsy’ communities.
The Bajau people are mostly known for their superhuman ability to free dive (to fish) and hold their breath underwater for an impressive period of time.
During our visit to the area’s Bajau villages, we will get to see their way of life firsthand and exchange ideas and stories with these lovely and warm people.
In another village, we will witness the tedious process of weaving ikat—a beautiful traditional cloth made of simple looms.
SNORKEL OR DIVE AT SOME OF INDONESIA’S HIDDEN GEMS
Located within the Pacific Ocean’s Coral Triangle, the marine biodiversity of Wakatobi and Flores Sea is not to be scoffed at.
Wakatobi has a more developed snorkeling and diving industry with over 50 registered sites. The reefs are very protected thanks to the vigorous efforts of the area’s marine protection initiative. Among the myriad of marine life you can see while snorkeling or diving are colorful soft and hard corals, the rare green turtles, hawksbill turtle fish of all sizes and colors–including the elusive Napoleon fish–and, if you’re lucky, dolphins and even whales.
Taka Bonerate is no less impressive for snorkeling and diving, featuring similar biodiversity to Wakatobi. Being less popular, you will likely get to enjoy many snorkeling or diving spots with nobody else around.
Please note that scuba diving is available at an extra cost.
GET TO KNOW THE LOCALS
Part of the idea behind our ‘slow travel’ philosophy is that we believe in taking time to really get to know the locals.
With us, you don’t need to move all the time. Want to stay and have that cup of coffee with the village elders and hear their stories? Then we’ll stay! Want to play with those adorable children that you encounter on one of the islands? No need to rush to the next place.
Tourists and villagers have so much to learn from each other, and this trip, in particular, will expose you to many different villages, each with its own exciting stories, culture, and language.
Learn more about our Slow Travel Experience
DINE, DRINK AND RELAX AT EMPTY WHITE SAND BEACHES
During your liveaboard trip to these destinations, especially in the Flores Sea, we will find many empty paradisiac beaches, that will make you feel like the kings and queens of the world.
Whenever possible we’ll find a remote beach to relax and feast on freshly caught fish while taking in the surrounding natural beauty.
Our beach session will include plenty of BBQs, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and nice fresh alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage.
GIVE BACK TO THE ENVIRONMENT & LOCAL COMMUNITIES
We believe in protecting the environment and giving back to the local communities everywhere we go.
A portion of our profits will go to financing our non-profit initiatives under our NGO Nomad Plastic, including waste management in Labuan Bajo and marine conservation in Banggai, Sulawesi. These initiatives not only help combat the destruction of the natural environments that we love dearly, but also provide jobs and income to locals in these areas.
Over time, we plan to cover more locations in Indonesia. By participating in our cruise trips, you will help us get closer to fulfilling our missions.
More about our Commitment to Sustainable Tourism
OTHER FLORES SEA & WAKATOBI LIVEABOARD ACTIVITIES
We offer a myriad of amenities aboard the Bugis and tons of eco-friendly activity options
Wakatobi & Flores Sea Travel Information
HOW TO GET TO WAKATOBI & FLORES SEA
Our trips to these regions will start in Labuan Bajo (LBJ) and end in Kendari (KDI) in April, and from Kendari to Labuan Bajo in November.
Labuan Bajo: We recommend flying internationally into Bali (DPS) airport or Jakarta (CGK) airport. You can then take a short direct flight to Labuan Bajo (LBJ) where our team will pick you up.
A flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo takes roughly an hour while a flight from Jakarta will take 2.5 hours.
Kendari: Kendari is easier to reach from Jakarta (CGK) with several direct flights to Kendari (KDI) available every week. Getting to Kendari from Bali (DPS) is also possible but there will be at least one quick stopover, typically in Makassar (UPG).
Contact us for flight recommendations.
BEST TIME TO VISIT WAKATOBI & FLORES SEA
Wakatobi: March to December is considered the best period of time to visit Wakatobi.
Taka Bonerate: Taka Bonerate and the Flores Sea are best visited between April to June and October to November as big waves and winds often occur in other months, making navigation more difficult.
WAKATOBI & FLORES SEA WEATHER
Seasons: December to March (rainy and humid) and June to September (dry)
Topside Temperatures: 26 °C to 30 °C
Water Temperature: 28°C to 30 °C
GOOD TO KNOW
Local Currency: Rupiah (IDR)
Language: Bahasa Indonesia
Credit Cards & ATMs: Once you are on board, we will only accept cash payments. ATMs can be found at major airports in Indonesia. Given the remote nature of these destinations, we recommend getting enough cash prior to starting your trip, to pay for gratuity, as well as additional purchases onboard and at the local markets that we will visit throughout the trip.
Electricity: The onboard electricity system is 220V, with standard European plugs and 2 round pins Please bring your own universal plug adaptor.
Bring a copy of your travel documents such as your passport, air ticket, and travel insurance.
COVID-19: proof of complete vaccination is required to enter Indonesia. For the latest information please visit the official Indonesian Immigration Website or consult the Indonesian embassy in your home country.