Top 10 Best Kota Kinabalu Tour Options – Fireflies, Night Cruise And More

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Looking for Kota Kinabalu tours? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve written this article to help you select the top Kota Kinabalu tours package for you.

As the capital of the state of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu has so much to offer visitors. From jungle walks to exotic islands, to fireflies and Mount Kinabalu (its namesake), this small capital has much to see and do.

Sunset in Kota Kinabalu
Sunset in Kota Kinabalu

How do you make the most of all that Kota Kinabalu has to offer? With a tour!

Whether you’re looking for a Kota Kinabalu jungle tour, a Kota Kinabalu private tour or just a Kota Kinabalu one day tour, you’ll find an option below.

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Why Book Kota Kinabalu Tour Packages?

Kota Kinabalu is not a big city but it does have a lot of attractions. Doing a tour to Kota Kinabalu is an easy way to see the best of the attractions and to explore further afield.

A Kota Kinabalu tour itinerary will fit multiple activities into one day or half a day, making it possible to see more. Also, the planning is all done for you! Kota Kinabalu day tours will take you to the top spots around town, and guides can share their insider tips to help you make the most of your visit.

A Kota Kinabalu travel package is also a great way to visit the islands and fireflies – some of the top attractions Kota Kinabalu offers. There’s also quite a few unique experiences which are best done by tour.

Compare All The Best Kota Kinabalu Tours Package

Here’s a quick comparison of all your Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia tours

Tour NameBest For…DaysPriceBook Now
Sunset and City Night Dinner Cruise with Complimentary DrinksEnjoying a buffet dinner on the water1$$Click
Kota Kinabalu City Night Tour with Seafood DinnerExperiencing Kota Kinabalu at night1$$Click
Mari Mari Cultural Village Tour with Klias River and Fireflies Cruisea tribal village and seeing fireflies1$$$Click
Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot SpringVisiting highlights of Kota Kinabalu Park1$$Click
Mount Kinabalu Farm Day TourExperiencing Kota Kinabalu’s rural side1$$Click
Kota Kinabalu City Half Day TourSeeing the city highlights1$Click
Sunrise & Sunset Stand Up Paddle Boarding Experience with Private TransferSeeing the sunrise or sunset from the water1$Click
Tunku Abdul Rahman Island Visit & Boat Snorkeling ExperienceThe ultimate island hopping tour1$$Click
Lohan Paragliding Adventure with Desa Dairy Cattle Farm and Fish SpaThe top attractions around Kota Kinabalu Park1$$$Click
4D3N Sepanggar Island Dive TripThe best diving around Kota Kinabalu4$$$$$Click

You can read more about each of these options below.

Best Day Tour Kota Kinabalu Options

Kota Kinabalu City Half Day Tour – Best Kota Kinabalu City Tour Package

Floating Mosque, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

If you’re only visiting Kota Kinabalu for a short amount of time, or you’re new to town and want to see the city’s highlights, this tour is a great way to explore some of the top attractions.

This 4 hour Kota Kinabalu half day tour includes hotel pick up and takes you to some of the most visited spots around town. This is a small intimate tour with a friendly guide sharing their city’s history and story.

Two mosques are visited as part of this tour, including the City Mosque. Also known as the floating mosque, it makes for a beautiful photo opportunity. This tour also includes a visit to the Sabah State museum, and the 30 storey tall Tun Mustapha Tower.

End your tour by shopping for souvenirs at the Handcraft Market where guides can help you haggle!

This tour departs at 9am and there is a 4 person minimum. You can have an optional private vehicle for 300 MYR extra if you’re looking for a private tour guide in Kota Kinabalu.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Sunset and City Night Dinner Cruise With Complimentary Drinks

kota kinabalu sunset

For one of the more unique tours of Kota Kinabalu, this sunset and dinner cruise offers a great way to see the city from a different perspective – the water!

These cruises include live music and an international buffet filled with many delicious options. Drinks are also included which makes this a popular tour Kota Kinabalu offers!

One of the highlights of this tour is the views. You’ll pass city sites and islands located in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park and also enjoy a beautiful sunset – one of the highlights of this tour! The vessel is modern and spacious so there’s room to walk around and grab the best views.

This is a 2 hour trip mostly departing around 8pm, but the Kota Kinabalu tour operators will advise you of the exact time when booking.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Kota Kinabalu City Night Tour with Seafood Dinner

Handicraft Market, Kota Kinabalu
Handicraft Market

Take a city tour in Kota Kinabalu at night and see the city from a different perspective.

Kota Kinabalu is just as alive at night as it is during the day time, and this tour will take you to some of the best highlights of Kota Kinabalu after dark.

Highlights of this city tour Kota Kinabalu offers include seeing the views from Signal Hill, visiting the Filipino and Handicraft markets, walking along the beautiful Tanjung Aru Beach and enjoying a big seafood dinner. You’ll also have the chance to sample some of the unique fruits and produce from this area.

Round trip hotel pickup and drop off is also provided by the tour company in Kota Kinabalu as well as some beautiful sunset picture opportunities.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Mari Mari Cultural Village Tour with Klias River and Fireflies Cruise

Mari Mari Cultural Village Kota Kinabalu
Traditional Murut house in Mari Mari Cultural Village

If you’re looking for culturally enriching day tours Kota Kinabalu Malaysia then this day tour is great as you’ll visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village and meet with local ethnic tribes. These tribes live in their traditional way away from city life, and you’ll get to enter and explore the tribal houses, have lunch and enjoy and partake in a cooking demonstration.

This tour starts at 9am with pickup from your hotel where you’ll take a 2 hour drive to the village. Lunch and dinner are both included on the tour, and this is also an excellent tour for spotting the proboscis monkey.

This is also one of the best day tours from Kota Kinabalu for spotting fireflies as it includes a firefly cruise. The beautiful Kota Kinabalu firefly tour is really the cherry on the top of this tour.

You’ll return to your hotel around 9:30pm. This is a full day but an enriching, interesting and scenic one. Just be sure to bring mosquito repellent on this firefly tour Kota Kinabalu.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Spring

Kipungit Waterfall in Poring Hot Spring, Kota Kinabalu National Park, Sabah

If you want to explore Kota Kinabalu Park, this tour is one of the best options available.

The tour starts at 8:15am with hotel pick up where you’ll head to Nabalu Market and see displays of handicrafts and sample local fruits. Then you’ll take a Kota Kinabalu walking tour through Kinabalu Park and the Botanical Gardens.

The park is home to over 300 bird species, over 100 mammals and a great diversity of plant life, meaning there is much to see. This tour also enjoys a visit to the Canopy Walk and Poring Hot Spring, where you can take a dip and rejuvenate yourself.

You’ll then choose between visiting the butterfly garden or the Desa Cattle Dairy Farm where you can feed the animals.

You will return to your hotel around 5:30pm. This is a tour complete with beautiful views and some phenomenal picture opportunities – just be sure to wear the right walking shoes!

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Mount Kinabalu Farm Day Tour – Best Kota Kinabalu Day Tour Package

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm and Mount Kinabalu

This is the best day tour in Kota Kinabalu if you want to see the sites around Mount Kinabalu.

The tour commences at 8:30am with hotel pickup and concludes at 5:30pm. It starts with a visit to Nabalu Town where you can visit the market and buy some of the delicious fresh fruits.

This Kota Kinabalu 1 day tour also includes a Ranau Rabbit Farm visit, a stop at Marakau Fish Spa and Tamparuli to try local (and famous) snacks at roadside stalls.

This Mount Kota Kinabalu tour package is great for exploring the rural life of Kota Kinabalu.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Lohan Paragliding Adventure with Desa Dairy Cattle Farm and Fish Spa

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, Kundasang, Sabah

If you’re looking for a day tour that packs a lot in, this may be the one for you.

This is a long day tour starting around 7am and finishing at 6pm. It includes a visit to Pekan Nabalu for fruits and handicraft souvenirs and then an awesome paragliding experience in nature where a professional guide will help you soar high above the ground.

After this, you’ll feed the sheep and cattle at Desa Cattle Dairy Farm and enjoy the lovely surroundings, as well as taste some of the freshly made milk and ice cream. You’ll then visit the big fish spa – a natural fish spa for some relaxation time.

Both lunch and paragliding are included in the fare, and it’s inclusive of return hotel pickup and drop-off. This is a great tour for both adrenaline junkies and first time paragliders!

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Best Kota Kinabalu Day Tours For Water Adventures

Sunrise & Sunset Stand Up Paddle Boarding Experience with Private Transfer

Tanjung Aru beach
Tanjung Aru beach

Another unique tour is this stand up paddle board experience where your Kota Kinabalu tour guide takes you to the Tanjung Aru beach coast for either a sunrise or sunset paddle.

This is an inexpensive tour and there are two options – a sunrise or sunset tour, either with or without hotel pickup and drop off.

This tour is suitable for people who have never paddle boarded before – guides are super supportive and make this activity suitable for even first timers. They have all the equipment you need and can aid in taking an awesome Instagram worthy photo on the water. There is no better way to see the sunset in Kota Kinabalu!

There are also shower rooms to freshen up after the trip on the water. This is a fun experience. However, it can be subject to the weather.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Island Visit & Boat Snorkeling Experience – Best Kota Kinabalu Island Tour Package

Tunku Abdul Rahman Island
Tunku Abdul Rahman Island

Among the most popular tours is an island hopping tour Kota Kinabalu, and this option is the best Kota Kinabalu hopping tour.

The tour includes return hotel pickup starting at around 8:15am for guests staying in central Kota Kinabalu, and reaches the jetty at 9am. From here, you’ll hop on a 2-storey catamaran and head to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park to experience Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi and Gaya Island.

This Kota Kinabalu island hopping tour is excellent for those looking to snorkel. The tour takes you to some of the best spots for snorkeling, and the double decker boat is great for jumping off into the water.

Snorkeling equipment is provided, as well as water, snacks and lunch on Gaya Island.

You’ll have ample free time on Gaya Island where you can choose to go for a walk or partake in other water activities, such as parasailing.

The tour concludes around 1:30 where you’ll head back to Kota Kinabalu jetty and return to your hotel.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

4D3N Kota Kinabalu Tour Package

4D3N Sepanggar Island Dive Trip – Best Tour Package To Kota Kinabalu

Sepanggar Island

If you’re looking for the ultimate Kota Kinabalu package tour, this might be it! This Kota Kinabalu snorkeling tour includes 3 nights in a 4 star hotel on the island paradise of Sepanggar Island.

This is the best option if you’re looking for a multi day Kota Kinabalu local tour package. The tour includes return airport transfers from Kota Kinabalu International Airport, where you’ll be taken to the jetty for your boat ride to Sepanggar Island.

The reefs around Sepanggar Island are uncommercialised making them some of the best spots to dive and spot marine life. You’ll enjoy multiple dives with this island tour with all equipment included. As full instructions are provided, this diving tour is also suitable for beginners.

The only thing not included with this tour is dinner, but with many inexpensive local vendor stalls available, you’ll have plenty of options.

Click here to see the latest prices and tour options.

Final Words

We hope this Kota Kinabalu tour guide has given you plenty of ideas for your trip. There’s so much to see in Kota Kinabalu, and whether you experience the city highlights, the island paradises or the rural side of this city, you’ll no doubt have an awesome time!

You can also check out more things to do in Kota Kinabalu here and exactly where to stay in Kota Kinabalu here. Or find our full Kota Kinabalu travel guide here.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.