Gaya Island bursts out of the water and rises to an impressive 300 metres. It dwarfs the other islands that sit on the Kota Kinabalu coastline.
Pretty much the entire island is covered in thick, green jungle. It’s barely been disturbed by human hands, so is a great spot for a beach break. Visitors tend to come to Gaya Island for its superb beaches. It also has some fantastic snorkelling and diving spots in the marine park. The best diving is on the west side of the island.
Head to the bays on the east side of the island and you’ll find a host of busy water villages that stand on stilts and look out over the water. Even the mosques and shops are on stilts. Follow the trails through the dense green rainforest and see what you can find. Gaya Island is home to an abundance of wildlife – keep an eye out for birds, monitor lizards and macaque monkeys.
Make sure you visit the Marine Ecology Research Centre during your stay. It’s an education and research facility, so you’ll learn a lot about the local area here. You’ll see the breeding centre for giant clams, coral and many types of fish here, too. The island also has a hut that acts as a nursery for baby turtles. They might be eaten if they stay on the sand, so the locals take them in and look after them until they’re big enough to venture out alone.
We love Gaya Island because it’s a beautiful destination that helps you get close to nature. Whether you go diving through the marine park, or exploring in the jungle, you’ll have a great adventure here. Then, you can top it all off by lounging in the sun and taking in the marvellous views of the ocean. You might choose to stay in one of the island’s beautiful lodges or a treetop house on a raised platform – there’s nothing quite like it.
Gaya Island is simply stunning. Don’t miss your chance to visit it.
Plan your trip to Gaya Island today.