“I have seen other places like Sipadan 45 years ago. Now we have found again an untouched piece of art”. – Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Sipadan was voted one of the top dive sites in the world, just 20 minutes from Mabul or Kapalai or 1 hour from Semporna. Malaysia’s only true oceanic island, rising 600m from the ocean floor. Stunning underwater visibility. Among Sipadan’s highlights? Sightings of a large number of reef sharks, turtle tomb and a huge school of barracuda and trevally. Did you know that Sipadan’s popularity started off being a Bird Sanctuary? With more than 3000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this richest of ecosystems.

Sipadan is well known for its unusually large numbers of green and hawksbill turtles which gather there to mate and nest and it is not unusual for a diver to see more than 20 turtles on each dive.

Divers require a permit to dive in Sipadan and the quota is capped to 176 permits per day ( 156 dive permits, 20 snorkelling special permits); 3 dives per diver. Each permit is valid for 1 day only. Permits are to be attained from dive resorts. Kindly enquire directly with them if you wish to dive Sipadan.

Beginning in December 2020, Sipadan island will be closed to visitors every December to give a month-long recuperation period for the coral and marine life.

Malaysia’s popular scuba diving spot of Sipadan will be closed to visitors every December,

Last reviewed: June 21, 2021