Kapalai Resort

Kapalai Resort - DIVE SHOP AREA in foreground - reception and restaurant to RIGHT side

The Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort is in fact a water village. It is built on a sand bar only 15 minutes from the infamous Pulau Sipadan. The sand bar was many years ago the island of Kapalai, but erosion must have taken its toll on what was surely a very beautiful island. It is on what is known as the Ligitan Reefs, a very extensive stretch bordering the deep and vast Celebes Seas.

Chalets and boardwalk at Kapalai Resort

Arrivals area with fast boat and Restaurant

Restaurant area at Kapalai

Above water, it is a totally different world. All structures are erected on water and the guest is able to really enjoy the serenity and peace of the unique resort anytime of the day, especially early morning and sunset. Even from above the water, the guest is able to observe the antics of the squids, or the never ending raids of the needlefish and halfbeaks into shoals of silversides and anchovies. Sit on your private verandah and watch the turtles swim past. A truly unique place and unforgettable experience.

Chalet Accommodation at Kapalai

Chalet bathroom

Accommodation is in well appointed twin sharing chalets with extra-hot baths and a sundeck/verandah. In total, there are currently fifty-one individual chalets. Each chalet is about 9 metres wide. The resort caters for divers and non-divers alike. Avid snorkellers can generally join the dive boats as they go out to the various dive sites located around Kapalai, Mabul and Sipadan.

Kapalai Resort - Restaurant in foreground

Note that Kapalai will no longer arrange snorkelling at Sipadan due to the lack of dive permits which are issued. We would suggest that if you would like to snorkel at Sipadan, you should stay at one of the other nearby resorts (again, there is no guarantee that you will get to Sipadan).

The resort is equipped with wireless internet which can be accessed at reasonable rates (payable at the resort)

Kapalai Resort - view over part of the resort and boardwalks

Make sure that you have a look at this short video showing different aspects of the resort.
Video provided by Kapalai Dive Resort
Packages starting at 3 Days / 2 Nights (please refer to note below regarding the 3 day/2 night package) are available, and include:

  • Return land and sea transfers from Tawau,
  • Accommodation on Kapalai on a twin/triple sharing basis
  • 3 meals per day plus afternoon tea and snacks.
  • 3 boat dives daily around the island and unlimited beach dives just in front of the Resort. (except on arrival/departure day – no diving permitted within 24 hrs of departure flight)
  • Equipment provided : tank, weights/belt. Limited gear available for rental at reasonable price at the Resort.
  • Diving around the islands/reefs of Sipadan (except 3 day/2 night package – see note below), Mabul and Kapalai.
  • Guided Night Dives directly in front of the Resort subject to weather conditions.

Chalets and boardwalk at Kapalai Resort

Duration Diver/Non Diver 1 Person 2 People 3 People
3 days/ 2 nights Diver $1,305 $1,005 $955
Non Diver $1,045S $805 $765
4 days/ 3 nights Diver $1,860 $1,430 $1,360
Non Diver $1,490 $1,145 $1,090
5 days/ 4 nights Diver $2,415 $1,860 $1,765
Non Diver $1,935 $1,490 1,410
Extra nights Diver $555 $430 $405
Non Diver $445 $340 $325
Prices per person in Australian Dollars and valid 01 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 (E.O.E.) Refer to General Booking Conditions
The Sabah Government has introduced a fee on all people using the jetty in Semporna. The jetty fee is currently set at RM 11 per person. All dive operators must use the Government run jetty.
Please be aware that it is not possible to arrange for a Sipadan dive permit if you are only on a 3 day/2 night dive package at Kapalai. For a package of this duration, your diving will be limited to the Kapalai dive sites and the Mabul dive sites.

Dive rates include the permit issued by Sabah Parks for access to Pulau Sipadan. Every effort is made to arrange the permits for you, but diving at Sipadan cannot be guaranteed due the the limited number of permits available to foreigners each day (120 passes only). There are no refunds if diving at Sipadan cannot be arranged.

Divers are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Rental equipment is available, however, you should advise what you will require, as far as possible, at the time of making your reservation.

Note that it is not possible to snorkel at Sipadan if staying at Kapalai Resort – all Sipadan permits are reserved for divers.

Photographs courtesy of Phil Youdale and Pulau Sipadan Resort and Tours Sdn. Bhd.