Sipadan Island's Scuba Diving

Sipadan is a small cone-shaped island in Sabah, the eastern state of Malaysia and the Sulawesi Sea washes it. Sipadan was formed as the result of volcanic activity which led to elongated shallow waters which surround the island along its perimeter. After the shallow waters, there is an amazingly beautiful coral reef. Local marine fauna is very diverse and can surprise even experienced divers. Sipadan with its nearest islands Mabul and Kapalai form one of the most attractive places for diving in the whole of Malaysia. The island was declared National park and can welcome no more than 120 people every day. It is prohibited to live here, and to get to local dive sites; you need to stay on one of the neighbouring islands: Mabul or Kapalai. At diving spots, you will find coral gardens, rich micro-life, large pelagic fishes, and turtles.

Getting There

Sipadan is 60 km away from Tawau Airport, the nearest one. Tarakan International Airport located on the island with the same name is 150 km away. After you land in Tawau, you need to get to the port in Semporna. The journey takes 1.5 hours. The transfer from the port will take you to the hotel located on Mabul island. You can get to dive sites of Sipadan from here.

Dive Shops in Sipadan Island


You can dive in Sipadan all year round, but the most comfortable conditions are from March to July and from October to December. Underwater visibility ranges from 15 to 40 meters, depending on the season and the diving spot. The currents are generally slow. During the rainy season, (from December till the end of February), the weather is quickly changing, the visibility worsens. The water temperature varies between +26-30 °C.

Dive Spots near Sipadan Island

Coral Garden is a paradise for underwater photographers. Here you will find almost all species of corals living in this region. At a depth of 5-10 meters, you can see green turtles, wrasses, and triggerfish.
Whitetip Avenue offers a drift along the wall during which you will encounter reef sharks, caranxes, large parrotfish, groupers, marine angelfish, Moorish idols, and other underwater inhabitants.