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Diving @ Lankayan Island


The Island

Lankayan Island is a virtually uninhabited tiny island located in the Sulu Sea, covered by thick tropical jungle that is surrounded by smooth, white sand – it is the perfect getaway and a true Macro world paradise. Saved are large stretches of beautiful hard and soft corals belonging to numerous genera, among which are multitudes of macro world subjects and juvenile fishes, colorful to the extreme. It is possible that some of the species found here are yet to be described. Pelagic also abound here, from large schools of scads, yellow tail barracudas, jacks, and many more. The many schools of medium to large hump head parrotfish are always an exciting encounter.


 Lankayan Island

 Snorkeling at Lankayan Island

 Diving at Lankayan Island

Sometimes, the diver is lucky enough to meet large rays, guitarfish and even manatees. For those more inclined towards the smaller denizens of the reefs, there are numerous juvenile fishes, clown anemone fishes, decorator and spider crabs, coral shrimps, nudibranchs, prawn gobies and abundant of rarer subjects such as jawfish, ornate ghost pipefish and frogfish. Divers are sure to appreciate the remaining large stretches of unspoiled lettuce, staghorn and other hard corals as well as the many varieties of soft corals, feather stars, sponges, sea fans etc. The many different types of anemones and their different partners, the clown anemone fish, shrimp and porcelain crabs are a definite sight.

There are two totally different wrecks home to abundant of fishes large and small.

Among the 7 dive sites is Lankayan Wreck, where the remains of an ocean-going fishing boat can be explored. This wreck now hosts many different species of fish from small glassfish, harlequin ghost pipefish, painted frogfish to giant grouper and marbled stingrays. Lankayan Island is a nesting site for both green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys  imbricata) turtles, and the island appears to be an important foraging area for these two species.


Lankayan Island


Mandarin Fish


The Island is part of the Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA), a private-public sector initiative aimed at protecting and managing the area marine eco-system. Since its establishment SIMCA has produced some encouraging results that have given the opportunity to recover. It has stopped  damaging fishing practices such as dynamite and cyanide fishing as well as the excessive development of all the islands within the designation of marine zone.


Dive Spots

Dive Fact Sheet Lankayan Island

What to expect : Wrecks, scads, barracudas, sharks and jacks 
Average Visibility : 3 - 20 m
Average water temperature : 26 °C
Depth : 5 - 30 m
Number of dive site : Coral Garden |  Bimbo Rock | Lost Reef | Ken's Rock |  Mosquito Wreck  | Twincity  | Jawfich City
Must dive : Jawfich City and Mosquito Wreck

Getting There

Guests will have to catch the morning flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. Speedboat transfer is from the Sandakan Yacht Club to Pulau Lankayan, takes about an hour and a half.


Recommended Tour Package