Wakatobi National Park: The Amazing Underwater Paradise

Did you know that Indonesia has one of the most beautiful underwater paradise of the world? The underwater paradise known as the Wakatobi National Park, located in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. Wakatobi is the capital of Wangi-Wangi. Wakatobi district consists of four main islands, namely Wangiwangi, Kalidupa, Tomia, and Binongko.  

So, Wakatobi is an acronym for the name of the four main islands. Prior to December 18, 2003, these islands are called Junior Iron Islands and is still a part of Buton Regency. Astronomically, Wakatobi is located in the south of the equator and such other areas in Indonesia, Wakatobi has two seasons, rainy and dry season. Wakatobi National Park established in 1996, with a total area of ​​1.39 million hectares, involving marine biodiversity and coral which occupies one of the highest priority of marine conservation in Indonesia.

The beauty and richness of the Wakatobi National Park area is already well known in foreign countries, especially after the Wallacea expedition from England in 1995 which states that the area in Southeast Sulawesi is very rich in species of coral. There, there are 750 of total 850 species of coral in the world. Configuring the depth varies from flat to sloping to the sea and waters in some areas there is a steep bertubir. Waters reach the deepest part of 1044 meters.

Marine tourism is a tourism activity that has long been recognized and is the mainstay of tourism in the Park Authority. Wealth of marine life is not because coral reefs along the vast waters of the submarine topography of colorful slop like shape, flat, drop-off, atoll and underwater cave.

More than 112 species from 13 families including corals Acropora formosa, A. Hyacinthus, Psammocora profundasafla, Pavona cactus, Leptoseris yabei, Fungia molucensis, Lobophyllia robusta, Merulina ampliata, Platygyra versifora, Euphyllia glabrescens, Tubastraea frondes, Stylophora pistillata, throchelliophorum Sarcophyton, and Sinularia spp living in harmony with other underwater inhabitants.

Fish species richness of this national park which is owned as many as 93 species of fish such as (Cephalopholus argus), takhasang (Naso unicornis), pogo-pogo (Balistoides viridescens), napoleon (Cheilinus undulatus), red fish (Lutjanus biguttatus), rabbitfish (Siganus guttatus) , Amphiprion melanopus, Chaetodon specullum, Chelmon rostratus, Heniochus acuminatus, Lutjanus monostigma, Caesio caerularea, and others.

Wakatobi National Park also hosts a collection of sea birds such as the Swan-Stone Chocolate (Sula leucogaster plotus), Malay plover (Charadrius peronii) and King Prawn Eurasia (Alcedo atthis) nest. Several species of sea turtles also make this park their home such as hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead turtle (Caretta Caretta), and cracked turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).

Wakatobi waters have a loyal guests who make a playground Wakatobi waters, guests were none other than the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Normally, sperm whales in Wakatobi in November, while the other hemisphere frozen. In the Wakatobi waters are relatively warmer and abundant feed whales stomach filling. Not only that Wakatobi is also a place to play Manta manta ray (Manta ray) is classified as a giant body size. Manta rays are one type of fish is distinctive and unique, which is only found in tropical waters.

The presence of 25 pieces of coral reef and depth that makes the waters ideal in the Park Authority is an ideal place for various types of marine life to live, making the inhabitants of the sea here has aesthetic value and high conservation.

Specifically, the Park Authority from the beach surrounded by islands and reefs along the 600 km coastal tourism potential to be managed, scattered throughout the Wakatobi region. So it's not without reason that the beach at Wakatobi is very suitable for tourism such as diving, snorkeling, swimming and fishing.


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