Dive like a dolphin. Dance with turtles. Kiss the corals. These are just some of the magical things you can experience at Sipadan Island, ranked as the 5th Top Dive Site (2013) in the world by Lonely Planet. Sipadan Island in Sabah rises 700 metres from the seabed and was formed over thousands of years by living corals growing on top of an dormant volcano.
The late Jacques Cousteau, world-renowned oceanographer once described Sipadan Island as an untouched piece of art. A 25-minute walk is all that is needed to circle the island on foot, but the huge amount of diverse marine life it attracts from the blackness of the open sea is simply mind blowing. Surrounded by crystal clear waters, this crown jewel is a treasure trove of some of the most amazing species out there.
Green and hawksbill turtles are aplenty. Discover Turtle Tomb, located 23 metres underwater, that features many turtle remains. Dive at Barracuda Point and catch thousands of barracudas swirling like a tornado. Come witness the famous "Drop Off" where you can literally drop on the ocean floor 600 metres down!
Declared a bird sanctuary in 1933 by the Colonial government of North Borneo and re-gazetted in 1963 by the Malaysian government, the dense vegetation on Sipadan Island supports a large variety of tropical birds that include sea eagles, kingfishers, sunbirds, starlings and wood pigeons. Exotic crustaceans like the amazing coconut crab roam about the beaches and scurry among the undergrowth. Encounters with turtles, resident schools of jacks, bumphead parrotfish and barracudas are almost assured when diving around the tiny coral island.
For more information, visit www.sipadan.com