In the Celebes Sea of the east coast of the island Borneo, lies Sipadan, an oceanic island created from lush corals growing on top of an extinct volcano. Situated in heart of the indo-pacific basin this marine paradise is ideally located in the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. Celebrated for its rich underwater biodiversity, pristine reefs and strong currents, that welcome over 3000 species of fish and are home to hundreds of vibrant coral species. It’s no wonder why this pristine Island and its surrounding waters are world renowned for being one of the top diving destinations in the world.
Recognised as one of the big fish capitals in the world, this magnificent island welcomes many pelagics, from white tip and grey reef sharks at Whitetip Avenue to scallop hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, and the occasional manta ray and whale shark, who make an appearance when oceanic currents bring in plankton from its depths. High concentrations of green and hawksbill turtles are a hallmark of the island with up to 20 turtles seen on one dive!
Two of the best dive sites in Sipadan include Turtle Tomb and Barracuda Point. At Barracuda Point, visitors can delight in witnessing the resident barracuda, who gather in the thousands, as they form spectacular tornado-like formations and at Turtle Tomb divers can explore the myriad of weaving passageways where many turtle remains lie scattered across the sandy ocean floor, a sober reminder of those unfortunate souls who entered the cave and drowned before they could find the exit. The incredible geological formations of turtle cave are also home to some fascinating creatures that lurk in the shadows, having adapted themselves to the low light environment.
If you peel your eyes away from the large pelagic action Sipadan boasts some excellent macro dive sites. The lush coral gardens and ocean floor is home to a dazzling variety of macro-life that would rival most destinations. If you look carefully you will find a wealth of macro life, from spotted garden eels and morays to hairy-squat lobsters, scorpion fish, lion fish and the occasional octopus.
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