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The small island of Kapas, located a few minutes by boat from the mainland, is relaxed tropical hideway. Its west coast, fringed by a coral reef, is home to several snorkeling spots, including the Kapas Turtle Valley, named after the beach hotel located just across the beach. If the reef is good for observing colorful reef fish (angelfish, butterflyfish, clownfish…), turtles and rays are also pretty common in the area.

Laced moray in Kapas
Several species of moray eels, including the laced moray, can be seen at reef.

How to get to Kapas Turtle Valley snorkeling spot?

Kapas is a small island located a few kilometers off Terengganu. 2 to 3 boats per day serve the island from the fishing village of Marang. The boat trip to the island takes only 15 minutes. It is possible (and recommended) to spend the night on the island, which offers several accommodations, from campsites to guesthouses.

The snorkeling area is located southwest of Kapas Island, around the light tower that overlooks the coast. The reef stretches mainly along the beach of the Kapas Turtle Valley Chalet, and extends to the front of the Captain Longhouse, bypassing the rocks – See map.

Kapas Turtle Valley snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Kapas Turtle Valley

The best way to explore the reef is to get in the water in front of the Kapas Turtle Valley Chalets and snorkel the surrounding area, getting out of the water in front of Captain Longhouse. The sandy beach makes the water entrance very easy.

Kapas Turtle Valley snorkeling exploration tips

Along the coast, after a few meters on the sand, we reach pretty healthy coral reefs. The underwater visibility is random, but very good most of the time.

Anemones and pink skunk clownfish in Kapas
Dozens of sea anemones, inhabited by anemonefish, are found in some places.

The corals are colorful and beautiful to see, and shelter a multitude of fish. Porcupinefish (several species – see complete list at the bottom of the page), groupers (blacktip grouper, honeycomb grouper…), butterflyfish and wrasse are among the most common species.

Bearded ghoul on Kapas sandy beds
A bearded ghoul on Kapas sandy beds.

Many clownfish also call the reef home, huddled in their anemones. You may also have the chance to spot the beautiful blue ring angelfish, which can measure up to 45cm, the bluespotted stingray, as well as morays. Octopus and cuttlefish can also be seen.

Cuttlefish in Kapas
A pair of cuttlefish on the reef.

Rays sometimes rest on the sand, while at greater depths, hawksbill turtles and green turtles are often seen.

In usual sea conditions, this spot does not present strong currents, nor any particular danger.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The Kapas Turtle Valley Chalet is located on the beach, right in front of the reef. Other accommodations are available nearby, including Captain’s Longhouse, Duta Puri Island Resort and Kapas Island Resort.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth18ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.