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“Best Holiday in Asia Yet!”

Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures - Day Tours
Ranked #1 of 80 Tours in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Under the umbrella of Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures is Downbelow PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Centre. The Downbelow Travel Centre, an Official Tour & Travel operator for Sabah based in KK Times Square. Our Downbelow Adventure Lodge, an expedition style lodge catering for group & independent adventure travel and the largest scuba diving & adventure shop. Our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre is a slice of paradise, nestled in a quiet bay on Gaya Island in the TAR Park just 8 minutes by boat from Kota Kinabalu city. We are the only operator at this location so you will enjoy your activity without the crowds. Our highly qualified team of friendly professional instructors & instructor trainers are managed by our resident PADI Course Director (CD), the highest rating in recreational diving.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Hsinchu, T'ai-wan, Taiwan
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best Holiday in Asia Yet!”
Reviewed December 29, 2012

As soon as I reached Downbelow, I was treated like a special guest! The entire staff was professional, helpful, friendly, and patient! I felt like everyone was treated like family, allowing for an open atmosphere where it was easy to make friends. I even added one more day of diving. I certainly plan to return next year for the whale shark season! This organization also does more than diving, but offers other opportunities for hiking, diving in other areas, and day trips. You will be in great hands with them!

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Menesesat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,112 reviews from our community

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Singapore, Singapore
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Professionally run operation that focuses on quality not quantity”
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Booked a 3 dive trip at the tour desk at the Le Meridien Hotel in KK. From the pick up to the drop off all logistics were smooth. The organization, logistics, professionalism, communication level, quality of gear, dive briefings and focus on safety were the best I have any dive operation I have used around the world.

The focus on high staff/crew ratios to quests and the choice to focus of quality rather than quantity of quests makes this amazing value for money especially if you are looking for an experience that more personalized yet offers flexibility in the options and activities it provides.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank MBDBSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bondi, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“First Rate Divemaster and IDC experience”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

I came to Dive Downbelow initially only to do my Divemaster Internship. I did a lot of research before committing to Downbelow and it was obvious by the level of communication, experience, and options, that they knew what they were doing. Almost immediately as I landed in Kota Kinabalu from Thailand, I knew I made the right decision. I was warmly greeted by the 7 other interns and the next day I had an informative introduction to the program, what my expectations were, and what my options were. Course Director, Richard Swann, makes flexibility and custom course tailoring easy. Many interns were on different paths and had different goals, but we all had something to do every day. The staff and Downbelow are just as great- lots of fun and willing to pass all their knowledge on. After a month as a Divemaster intern, I developed amazing relationships with the staff and fellow interns. It was tough, fun, and the diving was great. I decided to come back for the November IDC after taking some time to backpack around some more. After my 6 week "vacation" it felt like I was coming home. The IDC was definitely a completely different experience- a lot more commitment, a lot more pressure, and a lot more intense. Richard and the wonderful staff instructors made the IDC fun and informative, but were certainly hard on us when we needed it. It seemed like they were as invested in the IDC process as we were. All 6 of us in the IDC group passed the IE with flying colors and were obviously more prepared than candidates from other centers. The Downbelow team is great from top to bottom. I couldn't imagine doing my PADI Pro development anywhere else. Highly, HIGHLY recommended.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Meredith S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilversum, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Offering a world of opportunities”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

From the great diving during the day to the relaxing culture and busy nightlife in Kota Kinabalu, my four month internship at Downbelow flew by. I arrived on the 28th July as a newly certified rescue diver with 40 logged dives, and when I left on the 1st December I had reached the status of IDC Staff Instructor with over 250 dives. Upon finding Downbelow I had planned to stay for one month to complete my Divemaster program, with the possibility of completing my Instructor Development course in the month after. However due to the cooperation of the office girls, and their immediate email responses I was convinced that the service at Downbelow was of the standard that I had read about, and I got a good deal on a combined 2 month internship. On my first visit to Gaya island was astonished by seeing such beautiful nature, just five minutes by boat from Borneo’s largest city. I was welcomed with open arms by the highly professional local staff team, and had the chance to fundive for a few days to get into the routine. Resident Course Director Richard Swann offered his valuable knowledge to not only get me and the other 6 other September IDC candidates through the Instructor Exam, but to also prepare us for the real world by giving more than just what PADI has to offer, such as his employment workshop. Richard was an excellent role model through the process by being fun at times, and serious when necessary, which motivated me to continue with my MSDT and IDC Staff programs. I, along with a fellow IDC candidate each certified over 25 students before the November IDC which we then followed. This time the group consisted of 6 candidates, allowing for suitable personal attention, but also large enough to create a nice social study environment in the neighboring rooms at the accommodation.

During the Specialty instructor program, the distinctive Shark Conservation was my favorite. Throughout my program, there was never a hassle to get a day off to see the City and the rest of Borneo because of the effective scheduling done in the KK times square office. Downbelow is not only well located for a PADI pro internship, but the high level of professionalism in the GoPro team and the support staff allow for an enjoyable and valuable experience that is unique to the diving world.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Olliesmeenk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
Level 6 Contributor
409 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
“First Class Service”
Reviewed December 10, 2012

I used this company for my PADI Open Water Course, and three days subsequent diving days. I was really pleased with the whole experience. They pick you up from your hotel, and take you to the jetty for the short (8 min) boat ride to their base on Gaya Island. From the start I was made to feel comfortable. Once on the Island the service was excellent, my Instructor, Tim, was first rate, and the whole team on the island again took great care to make sure I was happy all the time.

Obviously I can’t compare the quality of the dive sites, or the whole operation, but others on the trips said it was one of the best experiences they had had.

The owner, Richard, took the time to meet with me to make sure all was well, and I saw him checking up on other guests as well.

I could recommend KK as a great place to learn to dive, and Dive Downbelow as the company to book with.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank WHDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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