Day 1 Arrive Kota Kinabalu
Arrive today in the capital city of Kota Kinabalu. Meet your guide at the airport and transfer by boat to Gaya Island Resort.
Tucked amidst protected mangroves, sheltered coral reefs, and curled around the pristine sandy coast of Malohom Bay rests Gaya Island Resort. Set on an island within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, discover a sanctuary nestled in the hillside of an ancient rainforest with a stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu on the horizon. With its youthful vibe and sun-dappled moments, this beachfront resort blends harmoniously with the natural environment, featuring a collection of hillside villas with views that range from mangrove forests and the surrounding canopy to the outline of Mount Kinabalu. Villa interiors are contemporary and elegant, eco-luxury yet respectful of Sabahan elements.
The resort is committed to ecologically-sustainable practices to minimize its carbon footprint within the environment. Therefore, it is a walking resort with minimal motorized vehicles used for operational purposes.
Day 2-5 Gaya Island Adventures
- 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Gaya Island Resort offers a vibrant range of daily activities that can be arranged in advance or when you arrive.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) lies within the Coral Triangle, known as the marine epicenter of the world. It is home to the most diverse marine life, exceeding 75% of species known to science with coral gardens found just 60 feet from the shore. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent, and travelers seeking more adventure can head out to incredible snorkel and dive spots for exploration. Choose to snorkel, get your PADI dive certification, or enjoy twice-daily leisure dives.
On land, discover a botanic reserve exceptionally rich in endemic plants on the daily nature walks with the resort's resident naturalist. Gaya Island nature walks offer varying difficulties and distances that can be selected based on the group’s fitness level and the trail’s daily condition. Aside from Pulau Gaya, travelers can venture to the cluster of four other idyllic islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, which boast quiet sandy beaches, clear waters and coral gardens.
After a morning of snorkeling, tour the Gaya Island Resort Marine Center to learn more about the creatures you have seen in the wild. Housed at Tavajun Bay, the marine center advocates three conservation pillars: Turtle Rescue, Coral Reef Restoration, and Conservation Through Education, and embraces a proactive role in conservation programs to protect marine life and raise awareness for sustainable seafood choices. These programs were conceptualized with the consultation of leading global turtle conservationist and founder of the Marine Research Foundation Dr. Nick Pilcher, and are being implemented by Scott Mayback, the resort's Resident Marine Biologist.
Culinary and cultural immersion activities are also available, including personalized gourmet picnics on the beach, cooking classes, and craft workshops where you can practice traditional Bornean arts including bead working and weaving. Fishing excursions, sunset cruises, and private yacht charters can also be arranged upon request.
For those looking to relax, Spa Village Gaya Island is a tranquil hideaway surrounded by distinctive island flora and fauna. A rich tapestry of spa programs reflect the cultural healing traditions of Sabah's many indigenous people. From the specialized rice scrubs and masques of the Kadazandusun to the age-old practices of the Bajau sea nomads, Spa Village Gaya Island is uniquely rooted in ancient tradition while seeking to restore balance to the body and soul.
Day 6 Return to Kota Kinabalu
Board the speedboat back to the mainland this morning. Continue on to climb Mount Kinabalu, explore deeper into the Bornean jungle, or transfer to the airport for your international flight home.