Wakatobi National Park is located south east of Sulawesi, between 06o12' - 06o10' South  and 123o20' - 124o39' East, between  the  Banda Sea to the  north east  and the  Flores Sea to the south west.  Wakatobi  National  Park is a marine national park. The name of  Wakatobi  is an  acronim  of the  four main Tukang Besi Island,  it consist of  four  larger  island :  Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko. As well as many small island  such  as Tokobao, North Lintea, South Lintea, Kampe-naune,  Hoga and Tolandono. The highest elevation is 274 m above sea level on Wangi-wangi, followed by Logole Hill (271 asl) on Tomia, Terpadu Hill (222 m asl) on Binongko and Mount Sampuagiwolo (203 m asl) on Kaledupa.

Wakatobi National Park has very high marine resourced potential, in term of both species and uniqueness, with enchanting submarine landscapes. In term of configuration, the marine water of the park generally start flat and then slope seawards, with sheer precipices in some part. The water depth varies, the deepest parts reaching 1,044 with sand and coral at the bottom. This park has 25 chains of coral reefs, and the total circumference of the coral island is 600 kms. The national park includes area of 1,390,000 hectares.

The types of vegetation found in the national park are mangrove forest, coastal forest, lowland swamp forest, riverbank vegetation, lowland rainforest mountain rainforest and coral reefs. The Wakatobi archipelago has 25 groups of coral reefs including fringing reefs, barrier reefs and atolls. A survey conducted in 2003 identified 396 species of coral belonging to 68 genera and 15 families. These include  Acropora formosa, Acropora hyacinthus, Psammocora profundasafla, Pavona cactus, Leptoseris yabei, Fungia molucensis, Labophillia robusta, Merulina ampliata, Platygyra versifora, Euphyllia glabrescens, Tubastraea frondes, Stylophora pistillata, Sarcophyton throchelliophorum and Sinulariaspecies .

In addition, there are several species of sea bird such as : Swan-stone brown (Sula leucogaster plotus), Melayu Kettle (Charadrius peronii), The King Prawn Erasia (Alcedo atthis). There are three tipes of turtles that often landed on the island : Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata), Jars Turtle (Caretta caretta) and Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)

The two main settlement in the region are the administrative centre for the island Bau-bau, and the provincial capital of South East Sulawesi province, Kendari. In 2001 there were nearly 90,000 peoples living in the islands. The indigenous people who live around the park belong to the Bajau Tribe. Mention it made in the writings of ancient Chinese and European explorers of these legendary sailors who had managed to the reach or the distant shores of Merqui, Johor, Singapore, Sulawesi and Sulu. Of all the traditional seafaring communities throughout southeast Asia, only the Bajau have held on to their way of life. Locals spear-fishing on the sea bed without the aid of diving equipment are still a common sight.

Since late 2002, WWF has been collaborating in a unique partnership with The Nature Conservancy to assist the Wakatobi National Park authority to improve their management plan, zoning and implementation of park management. This partnership will help Wakatobi National Park implement effective management strategies  informed by the best science and local socio-economic realities. This will include the development of a collaborative management structure, short and long term financing plans, alternative livelihoods, and management modules such as outreach and awareness, monitoring, surveillance and park zoning.

Declared by Minister of Forestry No. 765/Kpts-II/1999, June 23, 1999.