The popular destination in Sulawesi, Indonesia, is Wakatobi Regency, covering four main islands of Wangi-Wangi Island (as the capital of this regency), Kaledupa Island, Tomia Island, Binongko Island – which all form the acronym for Wakatobi itself. Kaledupa Island is the second island after Wangi-Wangi Island or Wanci, where the population is less, but you can see more of the local traditions here, including the traditional wooden stilt houses of Bajo people.
Overview of Kaledupa Island in Wakatobi Indonesia
Kaledupa Island is surrounded by the greenery landscape, including the mangrove forests and palm trees, where you can also find old fortresses, some old mosques, and lots of stilt house settlements. You can reach Kaledupa Island from the capital of Wakatobi Regency, Wangi-Wangi Island, by taking a public boat for about 1.5-2 hours trip duration to Ambeua Harbor in Kaledupa Island.
In the past, before the arrival of Butonese in Wakatobi, Kaledupa Island was the home for the royal kingdom. When you see this island in person, you would realize the reason: the island will greet you with the white sand shoreline filled coconut trees, while the fertile land lays on the back of the island, giving a perfect home for a living.
Kaledupa Island has some homestays to stay, which mostly offer the service for scuba diving. However, there is no ATM or hotels on this island, so make sure to bring enough cash from the ATM in Wangi-Wangi island. You can get around this island by hiring a motorbike or bicycle to explore the seafood farms, limestone cliffs, mangrove forests, authentic villages, and some traditional houses. You can also find useful information or arrange the trip by booking at the Visitor Information Center in Ambuea.
Best things to do in Kaledupa Island in Wakatobi
There are several activities and things to do in Kaledupa Island Wakatobi, including:
- Visiting Hoga Island with long empty beach and offshore coral reefs nearby Kaledupa Island, where you can find two resorts: Hoga Island Dive Resort and Hoga Dive Resort. Besides diving, this small island is popular among researchers, also for those who are looking for laid back island life. To get here, you can ask the local people in Ambeua Harbor about the boat to Hoga Island – it is as short as 15 minutes ride with affordable cost.
- Visiting Kampung or Bajo Sampela, a traditional village where the Bajo tribe lives in Kaledupa Island. It can be reached within 10 minutes from Kaledupa Island or 20 minutes from Hoga Island, and you can see many traditional wooden stilt houses built on the coral stone base. You can also stay in the homestays to experience unique local lives.
- Visiting Mantigola Village, the oldest Bajo village in the area. It is actually located in the Kaledupa Island, but the path from the jetty on the main island was destroyed, so the only way to get there is by hiring a small boat – in this way, the spirits of the mainland are believed to be kept away. This village can be reached by a small boat at the end of the wooden pier in Horuo Village in Kaledupa Island, which is located within 15 minutes by motorbike from Ambeua Harbor.
- Visiting One Mbiha Beach, located 5 minutes away from the Darawa Village, is offering a perfect spot to enjoy the sunrise and sunset.
- Paying a visit to Sombano Village, the largest traditional village on Kaledupa Island, is surrounded by tamarind, lime trees, and coconut trees, which is important for traditional medicine and offerings. The people depend
- Swimming in a mystical and sacred Sombano Lake, or called as Akku’a Nu-lumu by the locals, among hundreds of little red shrimps which are very contrasted with the green algae growing evenly at the bottom of the lake. However, only some villagers dare to swim there, because there is a myth that a black crocodile might appear when you swim there. Located in the middle of the mangrove forest, about 8km from the Sombano Village, Sombano Lake can be reached on foot from Sombano Beach, or by motorbike from the village.
- Sun-bathing on Taduno Beach, a white sandy beach in Kaledupa Island, can be reached within 15 minutes ride by motorbike. It is located in Sombano Village.
- Exploring the mangrove forest situated 2km from Sombano Village. This forest is protected by the local culture law of Kaledupa people, so it has not been affected by environmental degradation since thousands of years ago. It is best to hire a local guide in Kaledupa Island Tourism Group (KITG) to tell you more about flora and fauna in this forest and guide you through the forest.
- Witnessing the Lariangi Dance originating from Kaledupa Island, the national dance of Wakatobi Regency, performing 12 girls representing 12 nations. If you cannot find the event performing this dance, you can contact the local tourism group of Kaledupa Island Tourism Group (KITG) about bookings.
Dive sites around Kaledupa Island in Wakatobi National Park
Kaledupa Island and Hoga Island are surrounded by around 22 dive sites, which all can be reached by 30 minutes by boat. Some of the most popular dive sites are the Kaledupa Double Spurs, Channel Drop Off, Coral Garden, Kaledupa Double Spur, North Wall, Outer Pinnacle, Pak Kasim’s, The Ridge, North Wall, and Baby Batfish.
The unique traditional cooking in Kaledupa Island
On most occasions, the people of Kaledupa Island still cook with a traditional method called Tombole or Tombole’a. It is a local term for a way of cooking using stones heated with fire. The food is wrapped in the banana leaves, and placed in the hot stones before covered with the sand.