Exploring Singapore: A Guide to Its Beautiful Islands

Singapore is not just a bustling city with towering skyscrapers and busy streets. It is also home to many beautiful islands that offer a peaceful escape from city life. In this guide, we will explore some of Singapore’s most stunning islands, each with its own unique attractions and activities. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, these islands have something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore has many beautiful islands to explore, each with unique attractions.
  • Sentosa Island offers beaches, resorts, adventure activities, and historical sites.
  • St. John’s Island is known for its activities, attractions, and wildlife spotting.
  • Kusu Island is rich in culture with temples, shrines, and local legends.
  • Pulau Ubin provides a glimpse of traditional life with cycling trails and wetlands.

Discovering Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is Singapore’s ultimate getaway spot, offering a mix of fun, relaxation, and adventure. This manmade island, created in the 1970s, is home to Universal Studios, sprawling hotels, and beautiful homes. Sentosa is an entire island dedicated to fun, featuring attractions like 4D theaters, the Trick Eye Museum, action parks, S.E.A. Aquarium, watersport facilities, golf courses, and beaches.

Exploring St. John’s Island

St. John’s Island is a hidden gem with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush greenery. It is a perfect spot for those seeking tranquility. The island also boasts rich biodiversity, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts.

Unveiling the Charm of Lazarus Island

Lazarus Island Singapore

Secluded Beaches

Lazarus Island, part of Singapore’s Southern Islands, is a hidden gem known for its virgin white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. This secluded island offers a perfect escape for those looking to unwind amidst nature. The beaches are less crowded, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful retreat.

Picnic Spots

The island is dotted with several picturesque picnic spots. Visitors can enjoy a relaxing day under the shade of trees, with the sound of waves in the background. It’s a great place to bring a picnic basket and spend quality time with family and friends.

Marine Life

For those who love the water, Lazarus Island offers a chance to explore vibrant marine life. Snorkeling is a popular activity here, allowing visitors to get up close with colorful fish and coral reefs. The island’s clear waters make it a fantastic spot for underwater adventures.

Lazarus Island is also known as Pulau Sakijang Bendera, which translates to the "Island of the Banded Langur." It is home to several species of wildlife, including the rare banded langurs that can be spotted swinging from tree to tree.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or someone looking to relax, Lazarus Island has something for everyone. From its beautiful beaches to its rich marine life, this island is a must-visit for anyone exploring Singapore’s hidden gems.

The Cultural Richness of Kusu Island

Temples and Shrines

Kusu Island, also known as Tortoise Island, is home to several fascinating temples and shrines. The Chinese temples on the hilly terrain are a must-visit for those interested in cultural experiences. Additionally, there are three Malay shrines that hold intriguing histories waiting to be discovered.

Annual Pilgrimage

Every ninth lunar month, Kusu Island becomes a bustling hub of activity due to the famous Kusu Pilgrimage. Devotees gather at the Da Bo Gong Temple to seek blessings, making it a unique cultural event that showcases the island’s spiritual significance.

Local Legends

Kusu Island is steeped in local legends and folklore. One popular tale speaks of a giant tortoise that transformed into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors. This story adds a magical touch to the island’s already rich cultural tapestry.

Visiting Kusu Island offers a blend of relaxation and cultural exploration, making it a perfect destination for those looking to experience Singapore’s diverse heritage.

A Visit to Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is a rural island that offers a glimpse into Singapore’s past with its traditional villages, known as kampongs. Just a 15-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal, this island feels like a world away from the bustling mainland. The small village near the boat jetty has a few shops where you can chat with the locals, whose numbers have dwindled to less than 100.

Cycling Trails

Biking is a popular activity on Pulau Ubin. You can easily rent a bike and explore the island’s scenic trails. The unhurried pace of the island makes it a perfect place for a leisurely ride.

Traditional Kampongs

Pulau Ubin is home to Singapore’s last remaining kampongs. These traditional villages offer a unique look into the island’s history and culture. Walking through these areas, you can see how life used to be before modern development.

Chek Jawa Wetlands

The Chek Jawa Wetlands are a must-visit. This nature reserve is home to a variety of wildlife and unique ecosystems. You can book an intertidal guided tour to explore the wetlands and learn more about the flora and fauna.

Pulau Ubin is a great day trip and escape from city life. Whether you’re biking through scenic trails or exploring traditional kampongs, there’s something for everyone on this charming island.

The Hidden Gem: Sisters’ Islands

Marine Park

Sisters’ Islands are part of Singapore’s Southern Islands and are known for their untouched natural landscapes. The islands have been designated as a Marine Park, making them a haven for nature lovers. The clear waters and numerous reefs are perfect for underwater activities. However, note that the Marine Park is currently closed for enhancement works and will reopen in March 2024.

Snorkeling and Diving

If you enjoy underwater adventures, Sisters’ Islands offer some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Singapore. The clear waters are teeming with marine life, making it an ideal location for both beginners and experienced divers. You can explore vibrant coral reefs and encounter a variety of marine creatures.

Conservation Efforts

Sisters’ Islands are not just about fun and adventure; they are also a focal point for conservation efforts. The Marine Park status helps protect the rich biodiversity of the area. Various programs and initiatives are in place to ensure the preservation of the marine ecosystem, making it a great place to learn about marine conservation.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Sisters’ Islands offer a unique blend of adventure and education. Don’t miss the chance to explore this hidden gem when it reopens in 2024.

Pulau Hantu: A Diver’s Paradise

Pulau Hantu island Singapore

Diving Spots

Pulau Hantu is a dream come true for divers. The island offers several diving spots where you can explore vibrant coral reefs and encounter a variety of marine life. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, there’s something for everyone. The waters around Pulau Hantu are known for their unique underwater landscapes, making it a must-visit for diving enthusiasts.

Marine Biodiversity

The marine biodiversity around Pulau Hantu is truly remarkable. You might find some unusual nudibranchs, seahorses, and more in its murky depths. The island’s rich marine life makes it a popular spot for underwater photography. Divers often spot a range of species, from tiny critters to larger fish, making each dive an exciting adventure.

Night Dives

For those looking for an extra thrill, night dives at Pulau Hantu are a must-try. The island’s shores come to life at night, offering a completely different diving experience. During a night dive, you can witness nocturnal marine creatures and observe their behaviors, which are rarely seen during the day. It’s an unforgettable experience that adds a new dimension to your diving adventures.

Pulau Hantu is one of the top 10 islands in Malaysia you must visit for its stunning beaches, diving, and cultural experiences.

Gastronomic Delights of Singapore’s Islands

If food is your passion, Singapore is your place. While Malay is the national language and English the official language, food is the universal language of Singapore. Dig in and discover the island’s multi-ethnic smorgasbord of tantalizing aromas and tastes at the island’s iconic Hawker Centers. The open-air food courts—such as the world-famous Maxwell Food Centre and the Chinatown Complex Food Centre—are packed with stalls serving fresh and affordable street foods like Singapore-style chicken rice, Hokkien Mee, and satay.

Travel Tips for Island Hopping in Singapore

Island hopping in Singapore is a fantastic way to explore the country’s beautiful southern islands. Here are some tips to make your adventure smooth and enjoyable.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Singapore’s islands is during the dry season, from February to April. The weather is sunny and perfect for outdoor activities. Avoid the monsoon season from November to January, as heavy rains can disrupt your plans.

Transportation Options

There are several ways to get to the islands. Public ferries are the most affordable option, with tickets starting at around USD 10.37. For a more private experience, consider booking a yacht or a private boat. If you’re traveling to Singapore, you can easily find these services online or at local travel agencies.

Safety Tips

Safety should always be a priority. Here are some essential tips:

  • Carry enough food and water, as there are limited facilities on the islands.
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen and anti-mosquito spray.
  • Always check the weather forecast before heading out.
  • Inform someone about your travel plans and expected return time.

Remember, being prepared can make your island hopping experience much more enjoyable and stress-free.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to explore the stunning islands of Singapore. Enjoy your adventure!

Wildlife Encounters on Singapore’s Islands

wildlife on Singapore islands

Singapore’s islands are teeming with wildlife, offering a unique opportunity to connect with nature. From the skies to the seas, there’s always something fascinating to discover.

Bird Watching

For bird-watching enthusiasts, the islands are a paradise. You can spot species such as herons, kites, and nightjars. Keep your eyes peeled for these magnificent creatures as you explore the lush landscapes.

Marine Life

Under the sea, the diversity is just as impressive. The waters around the islands are home to fish, turtles, corals, crustaceans, mollusks, and clams. Whether you’re snorkeling or diving, the marine life will leave you in awe.

Nature Trails

Take a leisurely stroll through the islands’ nature trails and encounter a variety of wildlife. From amphibians and reptiles to monkeys, there’s always something to see. Don’t forget your camera to capture these moments.

Exploring the islands’ nature trails offers a chance to see wildlife up close and personal. It’s a perfect activity for nature lovers and photographers alike.

Romantic Getaways: Finding Love on Singapore’s Islands

romantic couple on a beach in Singapore

Singapore’s islands offer the perfect backdrop for a romantic escape. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or just looking for a special place to spend time with your loved one, these islands have something for every couple.

Secluded Spots

For those who crave privacy, the secluded beaches of Lazarus Island are ideal. You can enjoy a quiet picnic or simply relax by the shore, away from the crowds. Another hidden gem is Sisters’ Islands, where you can find intimate spots perfect for a romantic day out.

Couple Activities

There are plenty of activities for couples to enjoy. Take a sunset cruise around the Southern Islands, or rent a tandem bike on Pulau Ubin to explore the island together. For the adventurous, snorkeling and diving at Pulau Hantu offer a unique way to bond while discovering marine life.

Dining Experiences

End your day with a romantic dinner at one of the beachside cafes. Many islands offer fresh seafood specialties that you can enjoy while watching the sunset. For a more unique experience, consider a private dining setup on the beach, complete with candles and a view of the ocean.

A romantic getaway to Singapore’s islands is not just about the destination, but the memories you create together. From secluded spots to exciting activities, there’s something magical waiting for every couple.


Exploring Singapore’s islands is like stepping into a different world. From the serene beaches of Lazarus Island to the historical charm of Kusu Island, each destination offers its own unique experience. Whether you’re tasting delicious local food, discovering vibrant wildlife, or simply soaking in the natural beauty, there’s something for everyone. Remember to respect the local customs and wildlife, and you’ll have an unforgettable adventure. Singapore’s islands are waiting for you to explore and create lasting memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to Sentosa Island?

You can reach Sentosa Island by taking a cable car, driving, or using the Sentosa Express monorail from VivoCity.

What activities can I do on St. John’s Island?

On St. John’s Island, you can enjoy picnics, explore walking trails, and spot wildlife like dolphins and birds.

Are there any historical sites on Sentosa Island?

Yes, Sentosa Island has several historical sites, including Fort Siloso, which offers a glimpse into Singapore’s military history.

Is Lazarus Island suitable for snorkeling?

Yes, Lazarus Island has clear waters and vibrant marine life, making it a great spot for snorkeling.

What is the best time to visit Singapore’s islands?

The best time to visit is during the dry season, from February to April, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.

Can I camp on Pulau Ubin?

Yes, you can camp on Pulau Ubin. There are designated camping areas where you can set up your tent and enjoy nature.

What kind of food can I find on Singapore’s islands?

You can find a variety of food, including seafood specialties, local delicacies, and snacks from beachside cafes.

Is it safe to swim at the beaches on these islands?

Yes, it is generally safe to swim at the beaches, but always check for safety signs and follow local guidelines.

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