A Hidden Paradise – Ara Dinawan Island

The Ara Dinawan Island is an eco-island glamping retreat site located off the coast of Kinarut, Sabah. It is one of the few places in Sabah that uses only solar energy during the day. This tranquil island offers an unforgettable experience for those who seek to explore its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical surroundings. 

Ara Dinawan Island derives its name from the 100-year-old Banyan Tree, locally known as ‘Ara Tree’, which stands at the heart of the island. This historical tree has witnessed many generations dating back to World War I. It served as a sanctuary for residents who once called the island home but later relocated to the mainland cities.

Getting There

The Ara Dinawan Island is accessible via a quick boat ride, making it an ideal day trip or overnight stay. The boat transfer departs from Apai Jetty, located at the Beringgis Seafood Restaurant and is easily searchable using your navigation tools. The journey from Kota Kinabalu city to the jetty takes about 30 minutes.


After a 10 – 15 minutes boat ride, you’ll arrive at the beautiful Ara Dinawan Island. A warm welcome awaits you, complete with a refreshing welcome drink and their friendly staff. This island consists of 14 glamping tents, each with a comfy bed, private bathroom, standing air conditioner, safety box, small refrigerator, organic body wash, and shampoo. In line with the island’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, electricity will be turned off from 9 am to 3 pm, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of nature.

Every tour to Ara Dinawan Island includes lunch, tea time and dinner (with tea time and dinner exclusively for overnight guests). While on the island, you will get the chance to savour delicious local delicacies and enjoy it with a view of the serene sea.

Credit: Ara Dinawan Island

From relaxing at the beach to swimming or snorkelling, there are various activities one can do at this island.

  • Water activities – Parasailing, Paddle boarding, Boat snorkelling, Banana boat, Kayaking
  • Riding an ATV around the island (Price: RM70/pax)
  • Jungle trekking
  • Indoor recreational activities – Table football and pool
  • Bonfire night (for overnight guest)


Furthermore, Ara Dinawan Island provides a wide range of facilities for day visitors. In the showers/changing room, guests are provided with an eco-friendly body wash and shampoo. There is also a cosy lounge area where you can unwind with a cup of tea, coffee, or chilled water. A beach bar is available for your snacking pleasure, providing an assortment of snacks and cool fizzy drinks. And if by chance you forgot to bring your towel, don’t worry – the island offers towel rentals at a reasonable price of just RM10.

What to wear:

  • Comfortable clothing and slipper


Things to bring:

  • Sunscreen / Sunblock
  • Hat
  • Umbrella
  • Small fan (optional)
  • Swimming outfit
  • Change of clothes
  • Powerbank
  • Sandfly repellent


Ara Dinawan Island is a hidden gem that should be on your bucket list. It is the ideal vacation getaway for those seeking an authentic island experience, natural beauty and pristine beaches. Whether you enjoy the outdoors, seeking adventure, or simply searching for a peaceful escape, Ara Dinawan Island has something for everyone.


Ara Dinawan Island

Email: sales.aradinawan@gmail.com

Phone: +6016 579 8181

Website: https://www.ara-dinawanisland.my/

Last reviewed: October 26, 2023

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