A jewel-like tiny island in the Sulu Sea, a 1.5 hour boat rides north of Sandakan; Lankayan Island has been declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area to adopt the eco-tourism concept. Unpopulated and covered by thick tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched little bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation in all 23 wooden, roomy and perfectly appointed seafront chalets.
While the ideal destination for those who search for tranquility and relaxation in a virgin natural setting and for families with children, Lankayan Island is also becoming one of the hottest diving destinations on the map today: its dive sites - all just a few minutes away - boasting unbelievably colorful macro, fauna, fascinating wrecks and in season from March to May, regular sightings of gigantic and harmless whale sharks, the "dream date " of every diver in the world. Situated within the Sea Turtle Corridor, Lankayan Island is also a nesting place and foraging ground for sea turtles; most commonly Green and Hawksbill Turtle. Therefore, guests will have a chance to see turtles nesting as well as new hatchlings of baby turtles released to the sea especially in season from June to September.
Lankayan is one of three islands that form the Sugud Island Marine Conservation Area (SIMCA). Billean and Tagaipil Island as well as surrounding ocean of approximately 46,713 ha. are also within this protected region managed by Reef Guardian Sdn. Bhd.
SIMCA was established in December 2001 when the Sabah State Government declared the region be protected under IUCN (The World Conservation Union) Category II.
Four main components exist under the program:
To help fund SIMCA visitors to the island are asked to pay a RM20 per day conservation fee – a small price to pay for such excellent work.
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