Kapalai Island: Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort


REGION: Tawau / Kapalai Island
DURATION: From 3 Days 2 Nights
AVAILABILITY: Pre-Book Required
PICK UP POINT: Your Hotel in Tawau City / Tawau Airport
PICK UP TIME: Depends on Which Boat Schedule Selected
DROP OFF POINT: Your Hotel in Tawau City / Tawau Airport
DROP OFF TIME: Depends on Which Boat Schedule Selected
* All timings are estimated and for reference purposes only. Actual timing will be provided prior to your departure.


A few minutes by boat from Sipadan but a full world away from it lies the exhilarating Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, a unique “Water Village” sitting on its sturdy stilts on shallow sandbanks of powdery blindingly white sand where one can suntan at complete leisure – the Resort offers great food, surprisingly roomy and elegant twin-sharing wooden chalets with huge private balconies and attached bathrooms, and a couple of miles of walkways for those who like to take their morning jog while looking at thousands of fish just a few inches beneath their feet. Meals are served in the terraced, open central structure, while a big western sundeck allow divers to have an evening drink or an after-dive chat with a background of fabulous tropical sunsets.

Diving around is exceedingly easy and shallow but quite spectacular : the sandy bottom and the sparse coral heads host an amazing array of small, offer yet-to-be-classified, shamelessly colorful subjects, making the diving here an unforgettable experience for any discerning photographer. The resort offers 3 dives a day plus, if requested, day trips at Sipadan & Mabul. Divers say “THE BEST OF THE TWO WORLDS diving in Sipadan and the macro paradise of Kapalai.

The standard check in-time is 10:30hrs & 12:30hrs while check out time is 11:00hrs & 13:30hrs. Early check-in and late check-out is subject to room availability. 


  • Breakfast: 07:00hrs - 10:30hrs
  • Lunch: 12:30hrs - 14:00hrs
  • Dinner: 19:00hrs - 20:30hrs

Note: Strictly no outside Food & Drinks allowed into the Resort


  • Wireless Services available FOC. Take note: Internet slow loading speed

Sample itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Day

  • Meet by our staff at Tawau Airport upon arrival and overland transfer to private jetty in Semporna for boat departure to Kapalai.
  • Boat depart from Semporna Private Jetty @ 1030 hrs - An orientation dive & a guided boat dive will be conducted
    (Meals included: Lunch and Dinner)
  • Boat depart from Semporna Private Jetty @ 1230 hrs - An orientation dive will be conducted
    (Meals included: Lunch and Dinner)


  • It is advisable to book the earliest possible flight and arrive at Tawau Airport by 1000 hrs for Land Transfer to Semporna Jetty so that you will not miss the last boat to Kapalai Resort at 1230 hrs.
  • If you choose last boat to enter Kapalai Resort, you will only entited for Dinner on arrival day as the preset lunch hour of Kapalai Resort is from 1230 hrs - 1400 hrs.
Meals : Lunch / Dinner

Day 2 - Day 2

  • Diver will have 3 guided boat dives daily + unlimited pier(jetty) dive (not guided, please find own buddy to dive with) + night dive for advance diver (not guided, please find own buddy to dive with)
  • Non-Diver wil be free at leisure for the whole stay.
  • Other activities available: Swimming, Snorkeling & Ocean Kayaking
Meals : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 3 - Day 3

  • Diver will have 3 guided boat dive (last dive should be end at 1835 hrs)

Note: Flying After Diving
When diving on vacation a scuba diver needs to be aware that residual nitrogen poses a health risk upon decompression. This applies just as much to ascending in a jet as ascending to the surface of the water. The difference in air pressure, as a plane ascends to cruising altitude, is roughly equivalent to the last 14-16 feet of ascension in water and the same risks are evident including the bends (decompression sickness) and/or an embolism. If you fly after diving you risk extremely painful gas bubbles forming in your joints and flesh, or tragically in your blood, leading to an embolism and possibly even death. A good conservative rule is to ensure that you have no residual nitrogen in your body before flying. Following the NAUI dive tables, you should be in letter group A or less (which can take over 9 hours). A safe suggestion is to pass a full 24 hours after your last scuba dive before flying. Dive computers, which track nitrogen levels, have a "time-to-fly" indicator, which tells a scuba diver how long they need to wait before boarding a plane. Plan your last dive sensibly, so that you aren't bringing nitrogen along for a painful and possibly fatal return trip.

Meals : Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 4 - Day 4

After breakfast, check out from Kapalai and boat transfer to Semporna followed by overland transfer to Tawau Airport.

  • Boat depart from Kapalai Resort @ 1100 hrs - No diving before departure.
    (Meals included: Breakfast & Light Lunch)
  • Boat depart from Kapalai Resort @ 1330 hrs - No diving before departure.
    (Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch)
Meals : Breakfast

Please note chalets are a mixture of air-conditioned and fan only rooms, and are assigned run-of-house basis (first come, first served) by the resort.

Take a short 45 minutes domestic flight from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau. Meet at Tawau Airport and transferred to Private Jetty at Semporna by van. Journey takes approximately 80 minutes drive. Transfer to Kapalai Island by speedboat. Boat ride takes approximately 45 minutes.

Arrival : 
Book the earliest flight to arrive Tawau. Latest by 10:00hrs, for transfer to resort on same day.
1st boat into KAPALAI is at 10:30hrs. The earliest flight to look for is from Kota Kinabalu to arrive Tawau around 07:40hrs.

Friendly note: It is advisable to book the earliest possible flight and or arrive at Tawau Airport by 10:00hrs for Land Transfer to Semporna Jetty so that you will not miss the last boat to Kapalai Resort at 12:30hrs.

Book any flight from 15:00hrs onward. 
To stay up to last departure boat at 13:30hrs from KAPALAI. The earliest flight to look for is anytime from 17:00hrs.

Entering Sipadan Island, require permit and may not be approved on certain days if the quota is exceeded. Approval is issued by Sabah Park early one day before entering, therefore would not be able to tell in advance. But the resort will still apply for guest entry to this restricted area. Should there be an approval in any of the day during the guest's stay, the resort will bring the guest to dive at Sipadan at a fee . The chances is high if guest's stay is longer. (Example: For a minimum period of 3 nights and above). However, we still cannot guarantee your chances.

Sipadan at this present moment only allowed 250 persons per day. Amazing Borneo and Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort hold no responsibility for not being able to dive everyday in Sipadan due to conservation done by our Government. The resort only try their best to arrange every of our guests to dive at Sipadan. 

Divers will also need to have a minimum certification of Advanced Open Water to dive at Sipadan.

What Happens If There Are No Sipadan Permits Available at Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort?
There is NO Guarantee that we can obtain permits due to limited spaces especially if it is a last minute request. In the event that there are no Sipadan permits available during your stay at Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, the Resort Management may endeavour to assist you to book permit from other resorts (upon request). You will therefore have to bear the permit charges from other resorts which the amount will be advised accordingly at the resort itself. This price (varies from MYR 150 to MYR 300 per permit per day) is subject to change and will be updated every now and then. Guest is to pay for the permit and boat fees at the resort according to the current rate. This will be subject to your approval. Please note that Sipadan permit is not guaranteed and there is no first come first serve basis.

  • All reservation MUST provide the following information: Name as per passport, Passport Number, NRIC (for MALAYSIAN ONLY), Nationality, Gender, Date of Birth, Medical & Flight details, and at least 1 Emergency contact information of friend or relative.
  • For Diver, the following additional INFORMATION required:-
    a) Diving Qualification & Level : 
    b) Number of logged dives (approx) : 
    c) Last logged dive (dd/mm/yy) :
  • Packages Includes: Land & boat transfer on the check-in and check-out day only. Additional fees will be charged for unscheduled transfers.
  • Package Excludes: Diving equipments & gears, beverages, laundry, room service, airfares and item not mentioned or specified in the packages
  • Extension Stay: Extension Night Stay is permitted subject to the accommodation availability
  • If full payment is not received by the due date, your reservation will be cancelled and full deposit will be retained by the Resort. 
  • After commencement of service, no refund, in part or full, will be given for services included in the package which have not been utilized
  • Weather conditions: We cannot predict the weather conditions these days for scuba diving even for the best season.
  • Boat journey to the Island may not be suitable for individuals who have any of the following conditions but not limited to: heart or lung conditions, recent surgery, back or spinal surgery, back problems/injury/fracture, arthritis, osteoporosis or other similar spinal/pelvic diseases. Pregnant women are also not recommended as the boat ride may be bumpy depending on the sea condition. If you are having similar issues as above, kindly consult your physician before you enrol in this activity.
  • No Pregnant Women are allowed by boat to Kapalai Resort.
  • Infant, Young Children and Senior Citizen are not allowed to travel to the island during Monsoon Season or bad sea condition for safety reasons.
  • Amazing Borneo and Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort will not be held liable for any delay, additional expenses of inconvenience which may be caused by directly or indirectly by events outside of the company control, such as late arrival of domestic or international flights, civil disturbances, fire, floods, unusually sever weather, act of God, act of Government, or the failure of any machinery or equipment and property whilst staying at the resort, of during participation of any activity. In the unlikely event that the dive trip is cancelled due to bad weather, rough and dangerous sea conditions, a natural disaster, an act of God, war, political unrest, a danger to passengers, or the boat, then the resort has the right to cancel or delay the departure. The resort withholds the rights to change the planned itinerary, leave for jetty early or change the schedule. 
  • Amazing Borneo and Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort will not be held responsible, or in any way liable, for property losses, personal losses, accidents, injury, or death for any reason whatsoever, wheter through any activities booked through us, or caused to you by third parties. All guest will be required to read and sign the company Standard Liability Form and other related forms at the resort upon arrival and check-in. 
  • We recommend that if you intend to go scuba diving, make sure you have an insurance policy that covers this activity. We strongly recommend that all guests take out adequate travel insurance covers accident, loss caused by cancellations, loss of luggage, personal property, medical expenses, medical evacuation and weather disruption / cancellations (including activity cancellations). Guests intending on participating in diving activities must ensure their insurance covers them for SCUBA related activities and has appropriate 'depth' coverage.
  • Please check you have the required travel documents before booking your dive trip. Ensure that your passport has at least 6 months validity from your time of entry into Malaysia.
  • Last but not least, tipping is like giving a hug. Although it’s never expected, it’s always very much appreciated.