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Kapalai Dive Resort

Built on stilts over a sandbank, the Sipadan Kapalai Resort is a unique water village which gives you the thrilling experience of watching reef fish swimming underneath your water chalets during your leisure time. Winner of our 'Dive Resort of the Year' award in 2010, this is the place to go to for an idyllic ocean holiday.

Rooms: 41
Diving in: Kapalai, Sipadan and Mabul Island
Dive type: Boat and beach dives
Divers: Max. 82
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Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort
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This environmentally friendly resort stands alone on the mile long sand bank of the Ligitan Reefs located in the Sulu Sea. Your days will be filled with sun tanning on the beach or your private balcony, and marvelling at the world class dive sites around Kapalai and Mabul, as well as day trips to Sipadan Island with its outstanding wall dives. Each trip ends with great food and freshly cooked snacks after diving.

If you've never tried macro diving before, then you're in for a treat - what a place to start! Shore diving at Kapalai is free of charge, as is the wonderful snorkelling, where you can watch the spectacularly colourful mating mandarinfish, right under the resort jetty. It's easy to fall in love with macro diving when it's this simple!

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Resort diving packages...
Review more details on these resort diving packagesMore Package Details

  Prices valid until 31 March 2017

 Click 'Book' to send an enquiry for your preferred dive package:

All Year Round 15/17 - 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017
Days Nights Price per diver Price per non-diver Single supplement
US$US$US$
43785615235
541,029806309
651,274997382
761,5181,176455
871,7621,365529
982,0071,555602
1092,2511,744675

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More Package Details....
Special offers: Have a look at our Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort special offers for more details of the discounted prices on this page. Offer expires: 31 May 2016

Special rates apply for Malaysians and expatriates with Malaysian work permits. Please contact us for details at info@dive-the-world.com

Destinations:  Where park permit numbers allow this will mean a 3 dives in Sipadan. All Sipadan dives are done in the morning with refreshments served between dives, with the dive boat returning to the resort in time for lunch. Alternatively it will be a 3 dives day around Kapalai and Mabul, except for 2 dives on the day of arrival (depending on arrival time) and none on the day of departure. The number of dives quoted in the packages above is based on 3 dives per full diving day.

Note:  Kapalai Dive Resort offers a guaranteed visit to Sipadan Island with a minimum 4 days/3 nights scuba package. Permits to Sipadan island are not transferable. For shorter packages or for diving Sipadan more often, there is still the chance to purchase permits on arrival, depending on availability. Permit fees and diving service (approx. US$ 195 per diver) will then be paid on arrival (if permits are obtained). Please ask us for more details. For more guaranteed dives at Sipadan, please check MV Celebes Explorer.

Resort diving includes:  Dives (as detailed in the packages above), unlimited self-guided shore and night dives in front of scuba centre, boat rides to sites, experienced English-speaking divemaster (maximum 10 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts, Sipadan permit fee, drinking water, soft drinks, hot drinks, snacks.
Diving excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own):  Scuba equipment (approx. US$ 38 per day). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).
Optional extras:  Extra boat dives at Kapalai, Mabul or Sipadan, dive computer, scuba insurance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

Resort accommodation includes:  Bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinking water, soft drinks, hot drinks, snacks, return resort transfers from Tawau airport.
Accommodation excludes (mandatory):  Semporna jetty fee (approx. US$ 3 per person per tour booking). If you are a single person it is compulsory to pay in advance for a single supplement. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
Optional extras:  Alcoholic drinks, internet access. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

How to get there:  The resort is located on a sand bar called Kapalai. It is a 45 minute speedboat ride from the port of Semporna. Kapalai will provide a return transfer from Tawau Airport to Semporna and Mabul.

Tawau arrival flights:
From Kota Kinabalu: Air Asia: AK 6260 (09:00-09:50); Malaysia Airlines: MH2121 (07:20-08:05), MH 3051 (08:50-10:00), MH2137 (14:10-15:00)
From Kuala Lumpur: Air Asia AK5744 (07:15-10:05), AK 5746 (10:40-13:35); Malaysia Airlines MH 2660 (07:30-10:20)
From Sandakan: Malaysia Airlines MH 3093 (08:55-09:35)

You will be picked up at Tawau airport and transferred to Semporna on the day of your arrival if you arrive Tawau airport before 14:00 hrs. Otherwise you will need to overnight in Tawau or Semporna. From Semporna the boat transfer departs every day for Sipadan Kalapai Resort at 10:00, 12:30 and 15:00 hrs. Only if you arrive on the morning flights will it be possible to dive that day.

Tawau departure flights:
To Kota Kinabalu: Air Asia: AK6261 (10:15-11:05), AK6263 (17:25-18:15), AK6265 (21:50-22:40); Malaysia Airlines: MH3052 (12:45-13:45), MH2134 (15:40-16:30), MH3056 (20:50-21:50)
To Kuala Lumpur: Air Asia: AK5745 (10:30-13:10), AK5747 (14:00-16:45), AK5749 (15:30-18:15), AK5741 (18:50-21:35); Malaysia Airlines: MH2661 (11:05-13:45). MH2665 (18:20-21:00)
To Sandakan: Malaysia Airlines: MH3092 (09:55-10:35), MH3104 (20:15-21:05)

Transfer times from Sipadan Kapalai Resort to Tawau Airport are 06:30, 09:30 and 13:30 hrs. Please plan 3 hours between resort departure and flight departure time.

Note that special transfers can be arranged for groups. Individuals/couples can arrange private transfers at additional cost. For more details see our Sipadan resorts travel section. Flight information changes frequently. You are responsible for booking the correct flights.

Dive clubs and group discounts:  Groups of 9 guests or more will receive an additional 1 extra place free of charge.

Add-on package:  If this is your only planned visit to Borneo Malaysia then we strongly recommend that you consider a 2 night add-on stay at the Sepilok Nature Resort, Sandakan in Sabah, to allow you to witness the not-to-be-missed jungle adventures with orang-utans.

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Rooms, Beds, Bathrooms, Views...
The Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort is a charming wooden water village built on stilts with 41 individual water chalets, all with private balconies and en-suite bathrooms.

All the chalets have:
  • Fan cooling
  • Sea view, beachfront balcony with chairs
  • Private hot water shower and bath
  • Towels and toiletries
  • Bedside lamps
  • Seating area
  • 220 volt power points

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Diving Details...
Diving around Kapalai is exceedingly easy because of the generally shallow sites. The resort offers speedboat trips with 3-4 boat dives per day to its neighbouring islands of Sipadan and Mabul, except for 2 dives on the day of arrival (depending on arrival time) and none on day of departure.

Where park permit numbers allow, you will make a 4 dive trip to Sipadan. All Sipadan dives are done in the morning with refreshments served between dives, and the dive boat returning to the resort in time for lunch. Alternatively it will be a 3 dive day around Kapalai and Mabul.

Dive boats specifications:
  • Monohull speed boats
  • Twin engine
  • Maximum 10 divers per boat
Dive guides are provided on trips as well as refreshments. Unlike the other resorts in the area, the boat returns to the resort in between dives. Boat journey time is about 15 minutes.

Night dives, jetty day dives and sunset dives to see the mandarinfish, are available free of charge with a dive buddy.

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Facilities, Location, Recreation...
The Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort provides a host of facilities for you the diver, non-divers and your family.

See a real life Finding Nemo saga unfold beneath your feet!, land on the beach for a game of volleyball, or simply relax in the resort watching satellite TV.

Resort facilities include: restaurant and bar - pool table - board games - darts - table tennis - beach volleyball - sea canoes - international telephone and facsimile - internet access including personal laptop connectivity - baby sitting - sun deck - gift shop

Location: Kapalai Island, near Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia

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Menu, Cuisine Type, Specialities...
Meals are informally served at the central open-plan building, which boasts an amazingly beautiful open-air wooden terrace, the ideal spot for after dinner, relaxation and chatting.

Meals available:
  • Buffet style dining
  • Chinese and western cuisine
  • Seafood
  • Barbeques upon request
  • Salads
The bar sales liquor.

Complimentary breakfast - coffee/tea, fruit juice, toast, fruit, cakes / pastries, eggs, sausages, rice, noodles.

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Dive Safety, Resort Security...
Currently, the nearest re-compression chamber is located in Semporna, on the Sabah mainland. Use of the chamber is expensive so please dive safely. We suggest you take out suitable dive insurance and bring the necessary details.

1 divemaster and a small supply of emergency oxygen is provided for each dive boat, and oxygen is available back at the resort.

For non-scubarelated emergencies, there is a hospital at Semporna.

The resort has deposit boxes in reception to safely store your valuables whilst you are away enjoying your diving. The police and Military are on active call service at all times.

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Customer reviews:

"The service was friendly, professional and fun. Equipment could have been a little more suited for the individual ... more female wetsuits for rent. But food, service and all staff were excellent." -

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