Sipadan, Malaysia

It has been almost 40 years since Jacques Cousteau discovered the joys of Sipadan’s underwater paradise. Even till today, Sipadan remains rated by many dive journals as one of the best dive destinations in the world.

Formed by living corals growning on top of an extinct volcanic core that took thousands of years to develop, Sipadan is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem.

Best Time to Dive

  • Scuba diving occurs all year round at Sipadan Island with decent visibility to be had throughout the year. However, for the most breathtaking experiences, with dive visibility reaching up to 50 meters, you will have to visit during the dry season which occurs between March and October.


Additional Information

Sipadan Island, a marine paradise, is renowned among divers for its rich underwater biodiversity, pristine reefs, and sudden drop offs into the deep blue. Regularly ranked as one of the top ten diving destinations in the world Sipadan can be found in the Celebes Sea just off of Borneo Malaysia. 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. For divers who tire of seeing big turtles and bigger sharks all day, nearby Mabul Island and Kapalai Island are just a 20-minute speedboat ride away offering hidden treasures such as small nudibranchs and pipefish.

There are few places on Earth where a diver can see schools of whirling barracuda, 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. At Sipadan such sights are common, with lucky divers bringing home stories of whale sharks, manta rays, and schools of hammerheads. Sipadan is well known as a hotspot for biodiversity with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species calling the waters off this island home.

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. Its lush forests and white sand beaches rest on top of a prehistoric volcano rising 600 meters from the seafloor and the pristine waters surrounding the island allow for a visibility of at least 20 meters year round. However, visibility can reach up to 50 meters during the dry season.

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