Scuba Diver Meets Manta Ray – Scuba Diving Sites in Hawaii. Image by Steve Dunleavy
Hawaii offers some of the finest scuba diving sites anywhere in the world. It has all the variety of a Polynesian paradise like Fiji combined with the most modern facilities and world-class guides.
Thanks to year round warm waters, it’s possible to schedule a dive in Hawaii in any season. That makes it more cost effective to travel here than some other locations, such as Tahiti or Australia. Though they have mild climates, too, airline and hotel costs vary more for them throughout the year.
But the benefits go well beyond saving a few dollars. There are unparalleled dive locales and types all within easy travel. Get your Hawaii Map discounts
Oahu has offshore lava formations that sport a variety of sea life. There are tiny grottoes that provide their homes. You can explore them endlessly along with the green sea turtles who will accompany you. There are also a number of sunken planes and shipwrecks that add interesting elements to a dive.
A short boat trip away, off the west coast of Maui, there are several good sites. Molokini, Five Caves and Black Rock, along with many others, offer diving suitable for all skill levels.
Kauai, also known as the Garden Island, is better in the non-winter months. The large swells during winter make the venture a little too risky for all but the most expert. It also tends to stir up a lot of sediment, making the views poor even for the truly adventurous. But during the rest of the year the north shore offers some of the most pristine waters around.
An area 17 miles off of southwestern Kauai offers diving found nowhere else. The waters of Ni’ihau hold huge sea arches, giant pelagic fish and close-up views of monk seals. Because of the distance and the terrain, it’s not generally recommended for novices. But for the more experienced, this is well worth exploring.
Lanai is a favorite of many divers, both new and pro. The lava formations create fascinating plays of light and shadow while they provide homes for the marine life. Winding your way through arches and tunnels or along the many ridges and over peaks gives a variety found in few other spots.
Molokai offers the longest barrier reef in Hawaii. The south side of the island is one giant, teeming mass of interesting sea life. It’s also much less crowded than many of the more well known dive sites around the Hawaiian islands.
Then, of course, there is the Big Island itself, Hawaii. A large coastline provides countless spots to explore the underwater geography and endless arrays of tropical animal species. Some of the clearest waters in the world allow visibility as far down as 100 feet/30 meters. Cavern Point, Kailua Pier, Red Hill and many more spots along the Kona and Kohala coasts offer diving for all skill levels.
Sheltered from the trade winds by the high mountains, dives are so peaceful you’ll forget you’re anywhere near civilization. Yet, you can enjoy all the convenience of diving near a major population center since there are hundreds of dive shops, guides and other supporting businesses.
Dive Hawaii and you’ll wonder why others fly so far away when paradise is in your own neighborhood.