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Guided Snorkeling Tour in Kota Kinabalu

(21 customer reviews)

From: RM235

The Guided Snorkeling Tour with Borneo Dream offers guided snorkeling tours from our boat along tropical coral reefs fringing the islands in nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. You will be guided by one of our experienced, friendly qualified PADI Crew who has fantastic eyes for spotting a wide variety of marine life. Expect to see a wide range of colourful tropical fish life during your snorkeling sessions, including Nemo’s cousins – and a Turtle if we’re lucky 🙂

To Book – Simply select the number of persons in your group and your activity start date. Unless you are joining an existing booking, the minimum booking is 2 persons. The price shown above is the base price without permits added.

Guided Snorkeling Tour in Kota Kinabalu Sabah

Looking for a snorkeling adventure in warm tropical waters during your holiday in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah? Then join the PADI Discover Snorkeling Experience – a Guided Snorkeling Tour in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park near Kota Kinabalu. Whether you are new to snorkeling, or have gone snorkeling many times before, the guided snorkeling tour will be tailored by your Snorkel Guide, an experienced PADI Instructor, to offer you the best snorkeling experience.

During our Guided Snorkeling tour we offer three fully guided snorkel tours (from our boat) by a PADI Professional – two in the morning, one in the afternoon – helping you to get the most from your snorkeling day tour in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. During your Guided Snorkeling Tour, or PADI Discover Snorkeling Experience, we will not only show you some great marine life but help you with your snorkeling skills should there be a need. As your guided snorkel tours are from our boat you will be snorkeling shallow fringing coral reefs on one of the islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, and therefore away from the busy beach areas on the public islands. Chilled out, tropical guided snorkeling fun with Borneo Dream in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah! Book your Guided Snorkeling Tour Kota Kinabalu Sabah with Borneo Dream Today!

Experience the Underwater World with a Guided Snorkeling Adventure

The tropical coral reefs we visit for our guided snorkeling tours in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park are home to a myriad of tropical marine life. Expect to see a wide variety of tropical fish species including Clown Fish (maybe Nemo’s cousin :-), Parrot Fish, Damsel Fish, Puffer Fish, Lion Fish, Wrasse, Scorpion Fish, Barracuda and lots more. If you are lucky you could come across a Hawksbill Turtle during a guided snorkel Tour – very cool! As we only use experienced PADI Professionals to guide you on our Guided Snorkeling Day Trip they have fantastic eyes for spotting marine life for you.

After enjoying a relaxing snorkeling trip around our local marine park why not consider some scuba diving? If you are not a scuba diver already then why not try a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience with Borneo Dream. Or, why not push the boat out with some new snorkel gear from our extensive shop range.

Trip Itinerary – Your Guided Snorkeling Trip Adventure in Kota Kinabalu

08:45hrs: Meet our crew at the Red Telephone Booths/Boxes on the left-hand side, just inside the entrance on the left-hand side at Jesselton Point Jetty.

09:00hrs: Board our boat and a boat safety briefing will be provided. Your Snorkel Guide will introduce themselves and outline the itinerary for your itinerary for the day. You will then be transferred to the morning snorkel site in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

09:30hrs – 9:45hrs: From Jesselton Point Jetty it takes about 15 – 30 minutes to arrive in the marine park. We will then give you a full briefing prior to your first guided snorkeling tour. Get your snorkel gear on and off you go with your PADI Instructor Snorkel Guide for your morning guided snorkeling tour. During the morning you will be offered two guided snorkeling sessions at two different coral reef sites (each snorkel session will be a maximum of 1 hour). Your Snorkel Guide ‘PADI Professional’ can also choose to adapt the morning snorkel session to offer one longer snorkel tour in the morning if a site offers lovey snorkeling conditions, or due to weather/sea state.

~ 12:00hrs: Your group and guide will be collected and taken for lunch on one of the islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

~13:30hrs: After your lunch break you will have the opportunity to join a guided snorkeling tour on a different snorkel site or alternatively relax on a beach.

15:00 – 16:00hrs: At the end of the day you will be returned to Jesselton Point jetty.

Trip Pre-requisites For Guided Snorkeling Day Tour

The PADI Discover Snorkeling Experience, Guided Snorkeling Tour in Kota Kinabalu, is available to anyone. There are no age restrictions but we ask that anyone under 18 yrs old be accompanied by a Parent or Guardian. It is recommended too for joining the guided snorkeling activity that you should be able to swim and be in good health.

Trip Inclusions

  • Return boat transfers on one of our Borneo Dream boats from Jesselton Point Jetty.
  • Jesselton Point jetty fee and Sabah Parks island conservation fee.
  • Free use of our rental snorkel gear (mask, snorkel, full foot fins, shorty tropical 3mm wetsuit and life jacket if required).
  • 2 – 3 guided snorkel tours (subject to conditions on the day)
  • Guiding by one of our friendly, experienced, qualified PADI Professionals.
  • Lunch on a tropical island – Padang Point, Gaya Island.
  • Drinking water.

Trip Exclusions

We suggest you bring a small change for ice cream or a soft drink/fruit juice at lunchtime.

A camera with underwater housing is available for daily rental (advance booking required).

Recommended Packing List For Your Guided Snorkeling Day Trip

Swimwear, towel, dry clothes, suntan lotion, sun hat and sunglasses.


A PADI Liability Release Form must be signed and understood by the participant before the tour commences. Any participant under 18 years is supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.

So, what are you waiting for, book your guided snorkeling day trip in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah today?

21 reviews for Guided Snorkeling Tour in Kota Kinabalu

  1. siokshen

    BEST guided snorkelling trip
    My sis and I had a fantastic time with Borneo Dream, big kudos to Esther! She is very bubbly, cheerful and she literally makes the whole snorkelling trip very enjoyable, together with skipper Sha. We spotted many amazing marine life such as green turtle (WOW), reef sharks (not one but two), cuttlefish, neon fishes, clownfish, parrotfish, batfish, big mouth mackerel, remora, porcupine pufferfish, swordfish and etc! Definitely got educated well with this guided snorkelling trip by Esther 🙂

  2. Norizan Kamar

    BEST Guided Snorkelling Session!
    We opted for a guided snorkelling session only a day before we left for KK. It was the best decision! As a first-timer, Amir, our instructor was very patient and responsive to our needs. We enjoyed the session very much. Many thanks, Amir & Borneo Dream team.

  3. Shirli Ng

    Best snorkelling experience
    Our experience with Borneo Dream Travel was amazing. We booked our snorkelling tour quite last minute and decided to go with Borneo Dream Travel based on their reviews. We booked through the website and got a prompt confirmation and reply. No regrets 🙂 We even had the whole boat and guide to ourselves. Our guide, Esther was very friendly, bubbly and guided us professionally throughout the whole three snorkelling sessions. She taught us a lot about marine life too. Esther definitely needs a big bonus as a reward 🙂 We snokerled at Pulau Sapi and two different areas at Pulau Gaya. We saw cuttlefish, Sargent major, batfish, clownfish, big neon, blue-spotted pufferfish, baby lobster, remora fish, swordfish, red-breasted wrasse, different types of coral (as high as a few meters), Indian starfish, yellowback fish, angelfish and many more. The best part of our trip was spotting the green turtle and shark. We were indeed very lucky. We had a good time and enjoyed the simple lunch provided too. Everything about the trip was so memorable and amazing. We will definitely go with Borneo Dream Travel for our next diving trip in Sabah. Keep up with the good work 🙂

  4. Pat G

    Great time!!
    Hi, We’re a family of 5, went snorkeling with Esther who was fun and knowledgeable. Saw many exotic marine life including a shark. Esther managed to calm my nerves (non swimmer and first time snorkeling). Definitely would choose Borneo dream travel for our next snorkelling trip – Nov. 2021

  5. Moses

    Review of: Guided Snorkeling Day Trip, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
    Well organised trip for DSD at Pulau Sapi. Experience instructor and transport is the best. I will do it again in near future – Oct. 2021

  6. Henrika, Finland

    Extremely well organized trip!
    Took a boat for two different snorkeling sites, the snorkeling took over one hour on each site which was great. The sites were not crowded, huge amount of different fish and saa even a shark. Then had Ok lunch on an island after which had third session of snorkeling, over an hour again. So the trip was all about what we had wished and paid for, snorkeling on good sites and saa so much.
    Small group was nice, well planned snorkeling tours, a great guide, could not wish more. Jason was so great guide, very good English speaking, knows very much about fish, snorkelingsites etc. All gear we had from the organizer was in excellent condition and we were very well informed all the time about everything. I so recommend this tour and company If you wish to dive or snorkel in Borneo. I have snorkeled for 25 years and this surely one of the best trips ever, If not the best too.

  7. JamesFairclough17 Tarporley, United Kingdom (TripAdvisor)

    Brilliant day snorkelling – Jumping into the sea in Borneo is like getting into an aquarium! Did the guided snorkelling trip with Esther. She was absolutely brilliant, funny and chatty but most of all had a great knowledge of all the marine life- we were spotting sharks etc. while other groups were in the wrong place! What an experience. Boat driver was also funny as was the other guide on the trip, really nice environment. Nice lunch was provided and for what you pay it’s great value. If you love colourful marine life, do the guided snorkelling tour, but I think any underwater adventure with them would be great. Keep up the great work!

  8. A TripAdvisor Me (TripAdvisor)

    A wonderful way to spend a day in Kota Kinabalu – We had a great day snorkelling with Borneo Dream Travel. The staff was very helpful and fun. In the afternoon, the girls stayed on the boat and relaxed while the boys went on the second segment of snorkelling. The highlight of the trip was the zip line between the islands at lunch. Would recommend renting the camera waterproof case to capture the fish and underwater wildlife you can see. We did not take advantage of it but wish we had.

  9. A TripAdvisor Me (TripAdvisor)

    Day of snorkel – The team took a lot of effort in taking us to the nice snorkel sites. If you stay close to the guide, he will show you the unexpected wonders of the sea.

  10. Ciampi1 London, United Kingdom (TripAdvisor)

    Amazing snorkelling and diving trips – We went snorkelling as a family in August and the following day my son (14) and I, had an introduction to diving. We had Esther as our instructor on both occasions, which was perfect because she is very competent and great fun. On the first day, we got caught by a storm in the afternoon, but we were taken back to our resort by our fantastic skipper Shah who also helped me with the heavy equipment on my diving trial (thank you Shah!!). We had a fantastic time on both days, saw loads of fish and sea life, had fun and felt very safe ( even my apprehensive teenage daughter who had a blast!). If you are in the area, I would highly recommend Borneo Dream for snorkelling or diving.

  11. Rovers_Girl2, UK (TripAdvisor)

    Excellent snorkelling trip – We booked on the 1-day snorkelling trip in TARP from Kota Kinabalu as we wanted to snorkel from a boat rather than from a beach. Before the trip, the email communication was excellent and they ensured they had the right sizes of equipment on board for us.

    Our leader, Sabri, met us at Jesselton and ensured everything ran smoothly all day. The boat had 3 separate parties – 2 snorkelling and 1 diving – a nice touch was that each party had their own leader so Sabri was only looking after my family. He pointed out fish and coral to us when in the water and also arranged for my girls to do the zip line between Gaya and Sapi at lunchtime.

    Lunch is included on Gaya Island and you get to choose from a menu so you don’t all have to eat the same food.

    Overall it was a great day out and highly recommended.

  12. Rikke Hamburger G (TripAdvisor)

    Amazing day – My mom and I had a private snorkelling trip with our own guide and had a wonderful day together with Dave. Nice program and good attention in the guest.

  13. Barry

    Did a snorkeling trip as my girlfriend does not dive. First snorkel there was a lot of destroyed coral due to dynamite fishing. The afternoon snorkel was perfect for my girlfriend as a newcomer to snorkeling. Nice coral, lots of fish, OK visability, a nice drift at times. We saw a blue spotted Ray and Green Turtle which was nice. The atmosphere on the boat was really nice, the staff very friendly and they took care of the new divers on the boat… Overall a good day and I would recommend this company 🙂

  14. Susan Kim

    Borneo Dream snorkelling trip was fantastic. Big thanks to all staff from booking to the trip stage, especially to Basir who ensured I always followed the group throughout the day. All in all the trip was well organised, safe and comfortable for me to take participate in.

  15. Ryan

    Really well organised trip with great guides. They were very friendly and really helped to find the best spots to snorkel on. Would really recommend to anyone wanting to avoid the crowded areas surrounding KK. Thanks guys

  16. RR_Yangon (TripAdvisor)

    Fun day for scuba / snorkel near Gaya Island
    My husband and I had a great day outing with the Borneo Dream team. We were delighted the team could accommodate a couple like us with one diver and one snorkeller on the same boat. Eugene and Basir were both excellent – pointing out fish, sharks, etc. Overall we were happy with the experience and would recommend to anyone looking for a solid snorkelling/diving experience near Gaya Island.

  17. Willie C.

    Our snorkel guide, Basir, really helped us a lot in open water area where we could genuinely experienced wildlife. He also kept us safe any time. Furthermore, the boat was clean, everything was organized and I did get value for my money !

  18. John Morgan

    The Borneo Dream Team are fun loving and great to be around. The snorkelling is not a priority on the boat as divers dictate location and timing. A bit more chat about types of coral and fish types would have added value. Overall a good day out for non divers or people flying the next day.

    John, Many thanks for your feedback we will take note of your comments and improve our service. Regards Borneo Dream


    Wonderful diver staff and snorkel trip schedule. next time we`ll try DSD course. *frankly i`m one of padi MSD #0706A57817, But my wife is NON diver. so i have no other choices, and stick together with my wife. It`s 1st snorkel trip experience to my wife. we very enjoyed with borneo dream travel trips. thank again, see you next vacation in K.K.

  20. Nigel Bradley, UK

    Gary was a brilliant Snorkel Guide, especially for my 3 sons who hadn’t snorkelled before and were a little apprehensive. He was very patient and great company. Thanks very much for all your help!

  21. Jiang Qi, CH

    First it’s a well organized trip. Rebecca is a nice guide. The introduction of the whole trip and the boat was professional. And the 2nd snorkelling place was more seduced and we had great fun. Food was delicious.

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Best Snorkeling in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

  • Which is the best island for snorkeling in Sabah?

    In terms of ease of access and affordability, the best islands for snorkelling at in Sabah are located within Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The Marine Park which is located in front of Kota Kinabalu is home to five islands – Sapi, Gaya, Mamutik, Manukan and Sulug – and each of them is fringed by coral reefs. The three islands with beaches open to the public offer snorkeling from the beach in a cordoned-off area, although the best snorkeling in the Marine Park is to be had from a boat along with coral reef sites away from the busy beaches.

    For that perfect island getaway experience, you should check out Lankayan Island located in the Sulu Sea accessible via Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah. Lankayan offers world-class snorkeling right from the shore and with just one Resort located on the island, you will feel like you have the white sandy beach and fringing coral reefs almost to yourself. The shallow waters are typically beautifully clear offering easy sightings of turtles, rays, and a range of tropical fish life from the beach.

    The dream for non-divers visiting Sabah is to go snorkeling at world-famous Sipadan. However this it not that easy to do as only a selection of Resorts / Operators will allocate Sipadan permits to snorkelers (most allocate them to diving guests only). One Resort who takes snorkelers to Sipadan is Mataking Reef Island Resort (subject to permit allocation).

  • What is the best time to snorkel in Malaysia?

    Malaysia is split across two landmasses, Penisular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak), and the best season for snorkeling differs across these locations. 

    Peninsular Malaysia has an annual monsoon season (from April to October in the southwest, and October to February in the northeast) so you’d avoid these times if snorkeling is on your ‘to-do list’ for your holiday. 

    Sabah, Northern Borneo is known as the ‘Land Below the Wind’ a phrase used by seafarers in the past to describe all the lands located below the typhoon belt, so free from climatic disturbances and typhoons. This makes Sabah a 365 days a year location for holidays with snorkeling offered all year round, albeit the months at the start of the Dry Season (April – June) usually offer the calmest, driest weather perfect for snorkeling.

  • Will we still go snorkeling if it is raining?

    The quick answer is “yes”. Sabah has a tropical climate and as part of this, we will typically have some tropical rain later in the day on most days. This rain is warm, often a welcome relief and for most activities does not stop play. Specifically for our snorkeling activities from Kota Kinabalu:-

    • It is still safe to snorkel when it’s raining.
    • You won’t get cold if it rains as the sea temperature, for most of the year, is a toasty 28C – 30C. We also provide all our snorkeling customers with 3mm tropical wet suits for thermal protection.
    • The tropical marine life will still be there to see as you enjoy your snorkeling activity.

    Whilst Sabah’s tropical climate means there’s a good chance it will rain at some point during your holiday, it’s this climate that also supports the rainforest, and it’s inhabitants, found here. Most days in Sabah, especially during the Dry Season, start off with blue sky, sunshine and a calm breeze with a chance of rain typically later in the day, evening or night time. As long as you come on holiday prepared for a hot, humid and sometimes wet tropical climate you will have a great time!

  • Is it easy to get from the city centre to Jesselton Point Jetty?

    Most watersports trips depart from Jesselton Point Jetty (https://g.page/JesseltonPoint) in central Kota Kinabalu. If you are staying at a city centre hotel or guest house you will often find it far quicker to walk to Jesselton Point. If you are staying at hotels or resorts such as Shangri-La Rasa Ria or Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa then I would certainly grab a taxi.

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