Nestled in the Celebes Sea just off of Borneo Malaysia, Sipadan Island is constantly recognized as the best diving site in the country and amongst the best in the world. Further known above all for some of the best scuba diving anywhere in the world. Truly a genuine marine paradise for its rich underwater biodiversity, pristine reef, blue skies, clear waters, convenient diving and tropical scenery.
Sipadan Island’s unique geography makes it home to a number of excellent dive sites. It is Malaysia’s only oceanic island, meaning it rises straight from the seabed rather than the continental shelf. It was formed over thousands years by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcano.
Sipadan has the list of attractions that are quite staggering and all the more exceptional as it involves plenty of big fish encounters - schools of whirling barracuda, large schools of jacks, a dozen sea turtles of varying species, a handful of sharks, and a teeming reef of angelfish, triggerfish, morays and gobies all on one dive and marauding bumphead parrotfish. This is one of the big fish capitals of the world. Everywhere you turn at Sipadan, you'll see teeming and variety of marine life. If you take the time to look closely at the walls you'll see a wealth of macro life and fish species with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species calling the waters off this island home.
The wonders of Sipadan are easily accessed from the town Semporna, which is just 35 kilometers north of the island or about an hour’s boat ride away. Most visitors fly to Tawau from either Kuala Lumpur (3 hr) or Kota Kinabalu (50 min) then continue by minivan or taxi to the port town of Semporna (1-2 hr) and from there to Sipadan itself (1 hr by fast boat). Scuba divers usually will take a boat a few minutes from the beach to their dive site. As Sipadan is now only a day trip destination from nearby islands, you will have to book your dive trip and/or stay with one of the tour operators in Mabul, Kapalai or Semporna. No divers are allowed to stay on the island after 3PM.
The Sipadan dive season is year round and most normally expressed as having the best conditions from April to December, especially July and August. The rainy season tends to be from December to March. The most likely months for unsettled weather are January and February. The busiest periods are March to August, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Its lush forests and white sand beaches which allow for a visibility of at least 20 meters year round. However, visibility can reach up to 50 meters during the dry season. Its water temperature ranges from 26 - 30°C. The currents can be strong and surface conditions can be choppy at times but mostly normally calm or glass-calm.
Sipadan best diving season is between April to December.
Barracuda Point, Coral Gardens, Hanging Gardens, South Point, Whitetip Avenue, Midreef, Staghorn Crest
Featured Marine Life
Barracudas, Jack Swirl, White tip reef shark, Hammerheads