The Marine Park is a cluster of islands; Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. Pulau Gaya hosts the Gayana Eco Resort, Bunga Raya Resort and the Gaya Island Resort by YTL. Visits to these premises require prior bookings. Pulau Sapi, Manukan and Mamutik host beach activities as well as snorkelling and diving. Island tours can be booked on the spot at the Jesselton Jetty except for diving which requires prior arrangements with a dive centre. Island hopping is also an alternative.
The second largest island in the park, Manukan is the most popular with Kota Kinabalu residents. Manukan has some good stretches of beaches on the southern coastline. The best beach is on the eastern tip of the island. Offshore of Manukan are coral reefs, which is ideal for snorkelling, diving and swimming.
Sapi Island, literally known as “Cow Island” in Malay is just off the south-western tip of Gaya Island. The 25-acre (10 ha) island features one of the nicest beaches in the park and most popular with tourists for snorkelling and scuba diving. Between 10 am and 4 pm the island gets quite busy with foreign tourists but after the last ferry leaves it becomes a tranquil island with only those staying overnight. It is developed with tourist facilities that include a jetty, picnic shelters, barbeque pits, tables, changing rooms and toilets. The forest is inhabited by macaques. Camping and campfires are allowed with the permission from the park warden.