Sipadan Island can rightly claim to be Malaysia’s top diving destination - no other place can offer so much in such a small area. Its dramatic walls, resident turtles and reef sharks, huge schools of fish and the possibility of encountering big pelagics still bring divers from around the world hoping for that magical Sipadan experience.

SIPADAN HIGHLIGHTS
  • Voted one of the world’s best diving locations
  • Jacque Cousteau’s ‘Untouched piece of art’ in the Celebes Sea
  • Encounter turtles, schools of barracuda and jackfish, sharks and passing pelagic rays
  • Drift along dramatic, vertical walls, or visit the entrance to the notorious ‘Turtle Tomb’ 
Bumphead parrotfish
Turtle Tomb
Sharks
Turtles
Barracuda & Jackfish
Ideal For
SINGLES
COUPLES
FAMILIES
GROUPS
Diving at Sipadan

Surrounded by the deep waters of the Celebes Sea, Sipadan's reefs provide the perfect environment for an incredible array of marine life. And the best way to understand why Sipadan has such an amazing reputation is to do a dawn dive around the famous Barracuda Point. At the top of wall, divers first encounter Sipadan’s bumphead parrotfish, gathered at cleaning stations for a morning brush up. Green turtles rest lazily on the corals, whilst schools of colourful fusiliers and batfish cruise by. As the current picks up, divers are swept along a coral channel where they are greeted by the huge barracuda and jackfish schools, glimpse grey reef and white tip sharks and drift through clouds of bannerfish. For those with the skill and experience, a deep drift around the edge of the reef can mean sightings of dogtooth tuna, rays and even hammerheads when the water is cold. Divers are then swept back around the east side of the point where they encounter yet more green and hawksbill turtle and often as not, the bumphead parrotfish once again. All told, a truly world class experience.

Since Cousteau’s visit, Sipadan’s reefs can no longer be described as pristine - storm damage, decreasing water quality and tourism have all played a part. However, the fish and incredible turtles that made Sipadan so famous remain and the island still has a magical quality about it. It is easy to get blasé about all the marine life after a day or two of diving, but the reality is that there are very few places left in the world where divers can encounter such large numbers of turtles and big schools of fish, and at such close proximity. Sipadan remains an extraordinary dive destination and well-deserves its reputation as offering Malaysia’s finest diving. 

DIVING DETAILS
Type
Reefs & walls, caverns, schooling fish, sharks and turtles
Level
Beginner upwards
Diving Season
All year
Depth
5 - 40m+
Visibility
15 - 30m+
Temperature
25 - 28c
SPECIES
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Grey reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Hammerhead shark
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Devil ray
Possible
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Walls & pinnacles
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Soft corals
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Caves & caverns
Very Likely
Snorkelling at Sipadan

Sipadan is one of Sabah’s best locations for snorkelling as so much of the island’s marine life is found in the shallow water along the edge of the reef.  In particular, the large numbers of green turtles and bumphead parrotfish actually prefer to spend much of their time in the shallows and snorkelers are guaranteed encounters with these animals. Beautiful schools of anthias, bannerfish and fusiliers are all normally encountered, and white tip sharks can often be spotted cruising just below. Keep an eye out for the many different species of reef fish amongst the corals, as well colourful clams, soft corals, crocodilefish, scorpionfish and octopus.

The currents on Sipadan are perfect for snorkelers in most locations - you simply drop off the boat and drift over the corals as the current takes you along the reef. However, at Barracuda Point and around South Point, the current can run off the reef so be aware of your surroundings and follow the shallow reef. Also be aware of boat traffic. The boatmen around Sipadan are very used to snorkelers in the water and will only travel at any sort of speed away from the reef, but for the sake of safety, keep an eye open for boats.

DIVING DETAILS
Level
Beginner upwards
Diving Season
Year round
Temperature
27 - 29C
SPECIES
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Whitetip reef shark
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Green turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Hawksbill turtle
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Barracuda
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Trevally
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Schooling Reef Fish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Bumphead parrotfish
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Plentiful reef life
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
Healthy corals
Very Likely
About Sipadan

Sipadan is often described as Malaysia’s only oceanic island and is located just 45 minutes by boat from the nearby island of Mabul. The reef has developed on the tip of an extinct volcano that rises like a pinnacle out of the depths of the Celebes Sea. The combination of deep water, strong currents and a shallow, sunlit pinnacle perfect for corals have come together to create a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions and produce the explosion of life that has made Sipadan so famous.

Sipadan was first ‘discovered’ by divers in the 1980’s but found fame after Jacque Cousteau and the Calypso visited the island at the end of 1980’s, when he described Sipadan as an ‘Untouched piece of art’ and produced a startling film about Sipadan’s reefs and the ’Turtle Tomb’ - a cave system beneath the island littered with the bones of turtles.

Getting to Sipadan

Sipadan can only be dived from nearby islands such as Mabul. International visitors flying in to Sabah normally arrive at Kota Kinabalu, the state’s main international airport. Here, they can transfer directly onto another flight to Tawau, or overnight in KK before catching a morning flight the next day. Once in Tawau, buses transfer guests to Semporna, then onwards by boat to Mabul. To make life easier, all of the resorts in the area offer transfers to and from the resorts and Tawau airport.

Where to stay

There are no resorts on Sipadan itself and a strict permit system has been put in place limiting the number of divers visiting the island to ensure that tourism numbers are kept to a sustainable level. All of the nearby resorts on Mabul, Kapalai and other islands have a quota of permits and guests must book for a minimum number of nights before they can apply for a day permit to dive on Sipadan.

Seasons & weather

Sipadan can experience short periods of rough and rainy weather during the wet season between November and March, especially in January. The island can also experience the effects of typhoons in the Philippines in August. The ‘shoulder’ seasons at the end of the wet season in April and May and the end of the dry season in September and October can have the best conditions. Visibility varies greatly with some days having 30m+, others less than 10m, but is often best in the periods between the more defined wet and dry seasons. Cold upwellings in the summer months increase the likelihood of bigger pelagics and hammerheads being seen, but can also reduce visibility in the shallows. The best chance to see mating turtles is normally after the wet season has ended and into the summer months. In recent years, the seasons and visibility have become a little harder to predict but one thing is guaranteed - you will always see lots of turtles on Sipadan!

Conservation in Sipadan

In the 1990’s, Sipadan was consistently voted as one of the ‘Top 5’ diving destinations in the world and as word of Sipadan’s amazing marine life spread, a slew of resorts sprung up on the island. Diving tourism reached its peak in the late 1990’s when hundreds of divers would visit the island every day - from both the resorts on Sipadan itself and those on Mabul and Kapalai. It soon became obvious that Sipadan could not support this level of tourism and so in 2004 the government stepped in and announced that all resorts on the island would be closed, a move that prompted the development and expansion of the resorts on nearby islands.

Today a strict permit system has been put in place that limits the number of divers visiting Sipadan to 120 a day, ensuring that numbers of visitors are kept to a level that can be sustained by Sipadan’s reefs. All of the nearby resorts have a quota of permits and guests must book for a minimum number of nights at a resort - typically 3 nights - before they are eligible for a day permit to dive on Sipadan.

Inspirational Resorts - Chosen by ZuBlu
FEATURED RESORT
$ $ $
Mabul & Kapalai, Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia

Seaventures Dive Rig

Seaventures Dive Rig is a unique resort, perfectly positioned to explore both Sipadan and the local islands of Mabul and Kapalai and giving you the opportunity to experience the best of Sabah's east coast reefs. The platform might not look your typical dive resort, but its facilities and fantastic s...

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Tailored for you
FEATURED PACKAGES

The 6 day, 5 night package offers 2 full days diving at Sipadan, and 3 days exploring the incredible muck diving on offer around Mabul and Kapalai. Guests can choose from twin or double cabins, all of which are perfect for a relaxing nights sleep after a long day spent diving. All of Seaventures' cabins have AC, fresh bedding and towels, cleaning service and ensuite bathrooms with hot water.

  • 3 boat dives per day
  • Unlimited diving on house reef beneath the rig, including night dives
  • Transfer to and from Mabul at specified times
  • Meals, tea, coffee and water
  • Twin share accommodation in standard room
  • Sipadan permit fee RM40 per day
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at resort bar
  • Airport transfers to and from Semporna if traveling alone or outside of scheduled transfer times
  • Equipment rental
  • Single occupancy supplement
  • GST at 6%
  • Tourism Tax of RM10 per night, payable at the resort

2 Days at Sipadan

at Seaventures Dive Rig

Book 6 days, 5 nights onboard Seaventures Dive Rig and you are guaranteed 2 full days diving at Sipadan

Duration
6 Days
5 Nights
Starts At US$1250
Diving

The 4 day, 3 night package is the minimum stay required to guarantee a permit to dive Sipadan. To make the most of your day at Sipadan, Scuba Junkie schedules 4 dives on an extended day trip. And with only 4 guests per dive guide, you can enjoy the turtles, schooling fish and sharks without the crowds. This package includes accomodation in Scuba Junkie's comfortable fan-cooled dorm.

  • 4 divers to every guide
  • Full equipment rental
  • Transfer to and from Mabul at specified times
  • Meals, tea, coffee and water
  • Shared 8-bed dorm room, with ensuite bathrooms
  • GST at 6%
  • Sipadan permit fee RM40 per day
  • Semporna jetty fee RM10
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at resort bar
  • Night dives
  • Airport transfers to and from Semporna
  • Tourism Tax of RM10 per night, payable at the resort


Dive Sipadan on a Budget

at Scuba Junkie Sipadan

On a budget but want to dive Sipadan? Come and stay in Scuba Junkie's comfortable dorm rooms

Duration
4 Days
3 Nights
Starts At US$715
Diving
More options
STANDARD PACKAGES

Snorkel the Celebes Sea

at Scuba Junkie Sipadan

Snorkel the beautiful reefs of Mabul, Kapalai and beyond

Duration
4 Days
3 Nights
Starts At US$270

Snorkel the amazing reefs of Mabul and Kapalai with Scuba Junkie, Malaysia's leading sustainable dive company. This snorkeling package includes two boat trips, unlimited snorkeling around Mabul and well-maintained mask, snorkel and fins. Guests can choose from ensuite fan, AC or VIP rooms.

  • 2 boat trips to other islands
  • Unlimited snorkelling around Mabul
  • Full equipment rental
  • Transfer to and from Mabul at specified times
  • Meals, tea, coffee and water
  • Twin share accommodation at Mabul Beach Resort
  • GST at 6%
  • Semporna jetty fee RM10
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at resort bar
  • Airport transfers to and from Semporna
  • High season supplement, single occupancy supplement
  • Tourism Tax of RM10 per night, payable at the resort


Snorkeling

Explore Sipadan with the Scuba Junkies - Malaysia's leading sustainable dive company

Duration
4 Days
3 Nights
Starts At US$755

The 4 day, 3 night package is the minimum stay required to guarantee a permit to dive Sipadan. To make the most of your day at Sipadan, Scuba Junkie schedules 4 dives on an extended day trip. And with only 4 guests per dive guide, you can enjoy the turtles, schooling fish and sharks without the crowds. Guests can choose from ensuite fan, AC or VIP rooms.

  • 4 divers to every guide
  • Full equipment rental
  • Transfer to and from Mabul at specified times
  • Meals, tea, coffee and water
  • Twin share accommodation at Mabul Beach Resort
  • GST at 6%
  • Sipadan permit fee RM40 per day
  • Semporna jetty fee RM10
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at resort bar
  • Night dives
  • Airport transfers to and from Semporna
  • High season supplement, single occupancy supplement
  • Tourism Tax of RM10 per night, payable at the resort
Diving

Make the most of your trip to Sabah and dive Sipadan for 2 full days

Duration
8 Days
7 Nights
Starts At US$1520

The 8 day, 7 night package gives you 2 full days diving at Sipadan and to make the most of these days, Scuba Junkie schedules 4 dives on an extended day trip. And with only 4 guests per dive guide, you can enjoy the turtles, schooling fish and sharks without the crowds. Guests can choose from ensuite fan, AC or VIP rooms.

  • 4 divers to every guide
  • Full equipment rental
  • Transfer to and from Mabul at specified times
  • Meals, tea, coffee and water
  • Twin share accommodation at Mabul Beach Resort
  • GST at 6%
  • Sipadan permit fee RM40 per day
  • Semporna jetty fee RM10
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at resort bar
  • Night dives
  • Airport transfers to and from Semporna
  • High season supplement, single occupancy supplement
  • Tourism Tax of RM10 per night, payable at the resort
Diving

Explore Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai - Malaysia's finest diving

Duration
4 Days
3 Nights
Starts At US$865

The 4 day, 3 night package is the minimum length of stay required to guarantee a diving permit for Sipadan, and is the perfect duration for guests that want a taste of the extraordinary diving Sabah has to offer. Guests can choose from twin or double cabins, all of which are perfect for a relaxing nights sleep after a long day spent diving. All of Seaventures' cabins have AC, fresh bedding and towels, cleaning service and ensuite bathrooms with hot water.

  • 3 boat dives per day
  • Unlimited diving on house reef beneath the rig, including night dives
  • Transfer to and from Mabul at specified times
  • Meals, tea, coffee and water
  • Twin share accommodation in standard room
  • Sipadan permit fee RM40 per day
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at resort bar
  • Airport transfers to and from Semporna if traveling alone or outside of scheduled transfer times
  • Equipment rental
  • Single occupancy supplement
  • GST at 6%
  • Tourism Tax of RM10 per night, payable at the resort
Diving

Seaventures Family Room

at Seaventures Dive Rig

Bring your family along to enjoy Sabah's amazing diving and snorkeling

Duration
4 Days
3 Nights
Starts At US$920

The 4 day, 3 night package is the minimum length of stay required to guarantee a diving permit for Sipadan, and is the perfect duration for guests that want a taste of the extraordinary diving Sabah has to offer. Up to four people - 2 adults and 2 children - can stay in Seaventures' family room, with AC, fresh bedding and towels, cleaning service and ensuite bathrooms with hot water.

  • 3 boat dives per day
  • Unlimited diving on house reef beneath the rig, including night dives
  • Transfer to and from Mabul at specified times
  • Meals, tea, coffee and water
  • Twin share accommodation in family room
  • Sipadan permit fee RM40 per day
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks at resort bar
  • Airport transfers to and from Semporna if traveling alone or outside of scheduled transfer times
  • Equipment rental
  • Single occupancy supplement
  • GST at 6%
  • Tourism Tax of RM10 per night, payable at the resort
Diving