Diving On Hoga Island, Wakatobi - Dive Indonesia
Hoga Island is a remote divers paradise found in the heart of the Wakatobi region of Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. This idyllic island has no roads, one small fishing village of about 30 families, and a few bungalows for visiting divers. Long white sandy beaches and spectacular pristine coral reefs make it a great place to enjoy some peace and quiet and get away from it all.
If you are planning a diving trip to Hoga Island, Wakatobi, there are a few things it is good to know before you arrive. So here are my top 10 tips for potential visitors to Hoga Island:
- Give yourself enough time to enjoy your visit – due to the remoteness of the area you really need a minimum of 4 days to a week to really kick back, relax and make the most of your visit and the Hoga diving opportunities.
- To get to Hoga Island you will need to get to Wanci Island first. It is possible to fly here from Jakarta or Makassar on a daily basis (except Mondays). You can then take a daily public boat from Wanci to Hoga Island.
- The best time of year to visit Hoga is between March and November. Although diving conditions are good throughout this period the best visibility and calmest waters are in April/May or Sept/Oct.
- Accommodation in the various bungalows available is on a per person per day basis, and prices are inclusive of 3 meals a day, drinking water and hot drinks. Expect to pay between Rp150.000 to Rp 250.000 per person per day (2010 prices)
- There is generally no electricity on Hoga, so bring a torch and plenty of batteries. Dive Operators use generators and solar panels and will let you charge cameras and batteries.
- There are no shops on Hoga so think about what you will need to bring with you and be prepared. For example you might need; sanitary items, toothpaste, chocolate, batteries, mozzie repellent, and sarongs/sheets to sleep under. During July/August a few little local souvenir shops open up.
- Most Hoga Dive Operators like to be culturally sensitive and will ask guests to cover up and wear sarongs/vest tops/shorts/t-shirts when walking around the Island and in accommodation areas. Bikini’s are fine on the beach but not for walking around in, as many locals feel uncomfortable with this.
- There are 22 dive sites around Hoga Island, all reachable within half an hour by boat. Some favourite Hoga dive sites you should make sure to visit are; North Wall, Coral Gardens, Outer Pinnacle, Inner Pinnacle, Channel, Buoy 1, Langira, Ridge 1, Pak Kasim’s, and Inner Pinnacle.
- If you can tear yourself away from the spectacular Hoga diving, arrange a visit to the friendly Sea Nomad Village of Sampela. You can move around this village of stilt houses by canoe or on little bridges, and meet the hundreds of smiling children. It is an experience you won’t forget!
- On land don’t forget to look out for; trees full of fire flies which light up like Christmas trees, phosphorescence in your foot prints as you walk along the splash zone at night time, large monitor lizards, the rare coconut crabs, and ‘Maleo’ a relative of the kiwi bird which is very rare and endemic to Sulawesi