Remarkable for its incredible 600m ‘drop-off’, which is one of the most acclaimed in the world, this island is a veritable paradise for divers. Many islands claim to be a ‘tropical paradise’ but Sipadan actually is. Regularly considered to be one of the top five dive locations in the world by expert divers due to the remarkable variety of marine life (over 3000 types of fish) found due to its location in the Indo-Pacific Basin, Sipadan is essentially one small beach where you can snorkel or dive to your hearts content. When snorkelling it is possible to swim with whale sharks, playful Jackfish, Hawsbill Turtles and large schools of Barracuda. The island was formed by a coral reef growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone over the course of thousands of years and care must be taken when swimming in these waters; there can be a very strong current which provides the remarkable wildlife but can take you away with it.. Jacques Cousteau visited the island in 1989 and stated that it was ‘an untouched piece of art’ and the beauty is that it has generally remained untouched by excessive tourism.
The resorts on the island have been closed to preserve the remarkable natural beauty of Sipadan, a move which should surely be applauded but which does mean that you are unable to buy anything here. BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) only. As it is no longer possible to stay on the island, accommodation can be found on the local island Mabul, the resort of Kapalai or Semporna on the mainland.
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