Why the Chumphon Pinnacle dive site in Koh Tao is a bucket-list spot

The Chumphon Pinnacle dive site is one of the best-rated diving locations in Koh Tao. These pinnacles are for advanced divers only. It’s also famous for having the highest chance to see whale sharks in the area.

whale shark chumphon pinnacle koh tao

About Chumphon Pinnacle in Koh Tao

From the northwest shore of Koh Tao, a 45-minute boat ride will take you to the Chumphon Pinnacle dive site. This deep and lush underwater paradise is teeming with an incredible variety of marine life.

Chumphon Pinnacle is renowned as the most popular dive site on Koh Tao, known for its stunning beauty and depth. It’s a long granite pinnacle that reaches 46 feet (14 meters) below the surface and goes all the way down to the recreational limit of 100 feet (30 meters), boasting a breathtaking landscape with smaller fish hiding from predators, as well as a school of batfish circling the pinnacle’s peak just below.

Learn the difference between school and shoal of fish.

If you take a dip towards the southwest of the main pinnacle, further down to Barracuda rock, you will find yourself surrounded by Marbled Groupers hiding in depth’s shadows and astonishing schools of Chevron Barracudas swimming between rocky pinnacles.

dive site chumphon pinnacle

The dive plan for Chumphon Pinnacle in Koh Tao

Divers quickly swim downward to 46 feet or 14 meters, where the pinnacle starts. From there, you will make your way down the rock formation. As you descend, search for hidden treasures like White-Eyed Moral eels, small shrimps, crabs, and Scorpion fish lurking in crevices and holes. On clear days with good visibility, expect to be surrounded by immense schools of Trevally and Snapper.

The main pinnacle has already plenty to offer, but depending on the conditions and your group’s air levels, you might swim a little further to Barracuda Rock to take a glimpse at the groupers and barracuda swimming between the pinnacles.

The visibility is usually pretty good here – considering the Gulf of Thailand. It rarely gets less than 33 feet (10 meters).

Although it’s not common, I got fortunate and saw a blacktip reef shark roaming at the bottom. Unfortunately, it was too far for a picture.

Chumphon Pinnacle dive site brief

  • Access: From boat
  • Maximum depth: 100 feet/ 30 meters 
  • Visibility: 33 – 100 feet (10 – 30 meters)
  • Dive time: 45 minutes 
  • Certification level: Advanced Open Water
  • Type: rocks; deep; nitrox
chumphon pinnacle dive site in koh tao

Whale sharks at Chumphon Pinnacle dive site in Koh Tao

If you’re hoping to witness whale sharks, then Chumphon Pinnacle is your best bet. This open ocean site has earned the reputation of offering more sightings than all the other local dive sites. So if you really want to increase your chances of viewing these majestic creatures, put Chumphon Pinnacle on your dive itinerary between October and May. It happened to see multiple whale sharks during a single dive.

When is the best time?

The ideal season to explore the remarkable Chumphon Pinnacle in Koh Tao is from January through May. Of course, you can dive here all year long; however, be sure to avoid it during the rainy months of October-December when heavy rain plagues the east coast of Thailand differently than other parts of this beautiful country. This overlaps with whale shark season in Koh Tao to increase your chances to spot a gentle giant.

What certification is required to dive at Chumphon Pinnacle?

The dive at Chumphon Pinnacle in Koh Tao, Thailand is a deep dive, and therefore only suitable for Advanced Open Water divers. This dive site is often used for deep dive training. 

nitrox diving table

Nitrox diving at Chumphon Pinnacle

Nitrox diving at Chumphon Pinnacle is also available for those certified and can help you enjoy more bottom time by allowing a longer no-decompression limit. With the incredible variety of marine life and comfortable depths, it’s the perfect place to practice your underwater skills.

How much does a dive at Chumphon Pinnacle cost?

Koh Tao has some of the most affordable scuba diving prices. A single dive usually starts at around 1,000 Thai Baht (approx. 30 USD). As a rule of thumb, the price decreases to 800 TBH (approx. 25 USD) per dive for more than one and up to 10 dives. Therefore, a two-tank fun dive costs about 50 USD only.

Related dive sites

If you like the pinnacles in Koh Tao, check out the Hin Pee Wee or Hin Ngam. For a shallow reef, we recommend Aow Leuk. Another dive site with a great chance to spot a whale shark is at Shark Island. And don’t forget a night dive at the Junkyard and a wreck dive at the HTMS Sattakut.

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