Traveling to wonderful Indonesia has become more and more popular over the last decade for numerous reasons. I know personally after reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat. Pray. Love.”, the mystical island of Bali became a top pick on my “to travel” list. With that being said, Bali is simply life changing and should immediately be moved to the top of your travel bucket list if you’ve not had an opportunity to visit.
The challenge is that most tourists think Bali is a country. Or many somehow come to the conclusion that Bali and Indonesia are one in the same without any other facets. Considering that Indonesia is an archipelago of over 18,000 islands, there is SO much more to see in Indonesia than simply the beauty of Bali. If you’re looking for something a little less touristy, off the beaten path and incredibly beautiful, Indonesia has much more to offer!
Ever heard of Wakatobi? Probably not. It might be the most beautiful island in the world that you’ve never heard of.
Wakatobi is much more than just a gorgeous island. Wakatobi is essentially a region, or an archipelago in its own right. Making up this archipelago is Wakatobi Island, the floating village of Bajo, Hoga Island, and much more.
Wakatobi is world renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling. As one can imagine, this also means that it is encompassed by gorgeous white sand beaches and beautiful palm trees.
It’s not easy to reach Wakatobi, but it is most definitely worth the effort. From Jakarta you can fly to Makassar (which is a great city to check out along the way if you have time) and then make your way to Wakatobi after making a quick layover at a regional airport.
To reach Bajo Village and Hoga Island from Wakatobi you’ll need to take a boat. Bajo and Hoga island are neighbors about 15 minutes off the coast of Wakatobi.
Imagine an entire community living in the middle of the ocean, making the foundation of their homes from reef and rocks and living off of nothing but the sea for centuries. Well, these are the Bajo people, and they are truly something marvelous. After taking a two hour boat ride we arrived at the Bajo village that is completely untouched by the outside world. Visiting These people of the ocean (Bajo people literally means people of the ocean) was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. The children will welcome you right off of the boat with huge smiles. They took us by the hands and brought into their homes to show us their unique and amazing community. The way the live is so simple, yet something we could all learn from. They are so happy with what little they have. It’s truly a beautiful experience watching these loving people live their everyday lives.
One of my memories from Wakatobi is swimming and snorkeling at Hoga Island. This gorgeous island is just a short boat ride from the Bajo village and is home to some of the most pristine water I’ve ever laid eyes on! There is beautiful coral reef and fish everywhere in the water. I suggest snorkeling just out past the boat dock for some of the best underwater sites. What’s nice about the snorkeling here is that you don’t have to be deep to see the coral or fish. I could stand at some points and it was amazing to get so up close and personal with such beauty.