I have to apologize in advance, because the following article might be considered an advertisement of Walea Dive Resort & Spa. My experience with this resort was so positive that I decided to write a small article about it. Their diving and general service was absolutely excellent. One of the best hotels and dive centers I have ever stayed at.
Reaching the Togian Islands is a bit tricky and requires time, patience, and some resolve. You have to catch one of the bi-weekly flights to Luwuk from Makassar, from Luwuk you need to take a two-hour car ride to the harbor of Pagimana, and then finally take a speedboat for two hours to the islands.
Once arrived at the island’s jetty on Waleabahi you will be escorted to one of the few beachside bungalows that are literally about two or three meters away from the warm, calm sea. The waters around Walea were one of the most beautiful seas I have had the pleasure of swimming in. There was so much marine life and the sea floor consisted of superfine soft sand, almost a powder. There was hardly any current near the shore, so swimming was like in a pool and the sunsets and views throughout the day were unforgettable. Truly one of the most underrated and stunning areas in Sulawesi and in Indonesia, perhaps even Asia.
The rooms are very well maintained and feel new and cozy, and the bathroom is stocked to the gills with potions, body lotions, shampoo, and all kinds of other soaps. It was spacious and the shower was glorious. What more can you ask for? I could find some great rest here.
The food at the resort of Walea was another unique experience as the owners pride themselves in the preparation of Italian and Asian dishes. If you choose to follow the meals provided by the resort (you also have the option to order a la carte), then you will be served varied and tasty food on a daily basis. Some days the food will be Italian such as lasagna, pizza, or pasta, while on others it is more Asian inspired. From fried rice to seafood pasta, you will have it all. And special mention goes out to the bakers of the fresh bread, which was made every day and which I personally enjoyed so much.
In the rare chance you are bored at the island, there is a large jacuzzi and spa available as well. The jacuzzi is located on a higher deck and provides some spectacular views of the ocean throughout the day. Relaxing massages can be had in the spa too.
That said, another reason to travel and stay at Walea is the world-class diving and snorkeling opportunities that are available in the Walea. In coming posts I will go further into the diving spots around the national park. In short, I’ll just say the coral reefs and marine life is amazing.
All in all, Walea was a great location to stay at on its own, but if you’re into diving, snorkeling, or marine life in general, then a stay at this resort will be even more satisfying.
Update June 2015: Apparently, due to a conflict with the local government, the resort has closed down. Which is really sad to hear and I am afraid that the natural area around these Togian Islands will not be same anymore. I want to thank Walea and its staff for the amazing time we had over there, and their efforts regarding the preservation of the centuries old pristine reefs.
With broken heart we announce you that we won’t be able to provide our services after Easter 2015 due to an unsolvable conflict with the local government about the management of the Marine Protected Area. Unfortunately we can no longer offer our services since we can’t assure a peaceful and comfortable environment. Therefore the resort and the protected area will be closed to the public until further news.
WALEA DIVE & SPA RESORT TEAM