Hawaii is a fantasy destination famous for its vibrant jungle, white-sand beaches, and snowy mountains.
The reefs, pelagic, wrecks, and underwater lives are only a fraction of the beauty of Hawaiin diving. Diving in Hawaii exposes divers to beautiful dive sites with excellent visibility, large marine life, and low-temperature waters.
While there are dive sites for professional and experienced divers, there are also dive sites for beginner divers. It is, however, advised to always have an experienced local with you, considering how quickly the conditions of dive sites change.
In this article, we have compiled the top 11 scuba diving sites in Hawaii and detailed information on each one.
Top Scuba Diving Sites
1. Kailua- Kona
Popularly referred to as “Kailua” or “Kona” by Hawaiin locals of the Big Island, the diving site is famous for its dry and sunny weather.
There are several sites suitable for diving close to the west coast city on the Island, and each of them deserves a spot on the list of the world’s best diving destinations.
One feature that makes this site unique is the “Blackwater,” a shallow dive of only 60 feet with illumination, which allows you to see the ocean clearly at night without artificial lights.
2. The Cathedrals, Lanai
The Cathedrals, situated in Lanai, consists of two dive sites, Cathedral 1 and Cathedral 2. The Cathedrals have been referred to as dual pinnacles and lava pipes. The Cathedrals have a depth that ranges between 15 to 65 feet, and on the outside are wall dives.
The collapsed roof of the pinnacle allows light through the to and access for top divers. The dive sites obtained their names from the movement of light through the ceiling and holes, which gives an effect of stained glasses, similar to cathedral ceilings.
Some portions of the site may require a reasonable level of experience for diving. The Cathedrals are located just off Lanai, and divers can dive in from Lahaina, Maui.
3. Molokini Wall
It takes about a 40-minute boat ride from Maui to Molokini, and there are several dive sites at the crater. The Molokini dive site is one of the best dive destinations and considering the depth of about 280ft, only certified divers are allowed. The currents are usually favorable for divers to make tremendous drifts.
Sharks, turtles, schooling fish, and dolphins are a common sight in the Molokini wall.
4. Pelagic Magic
Divers are bound to experience magic in the crystal-clear waters of the Pelagic Magic. With brightly lit organisms moving beneath the surface, and rainbows of colors surrounding divers. It is an intriguing dive site with some of the most beautiful displays of colors and bioluminescence.
5. Black Rock
Also located in Maui, the Black Rock is famous for its beautiful color. It is one of the best five scuba diving spots in the region.
The dive site sports a sloppy plateau on the northeast of South Atoll.
It features a variety of coral reef species, and the current is mostly mild.
The best time to dive in the Black Rock is between February and June when the air temperature is around 26-29C/79-84F, and the water can get warmer with an average of 28-29C/82-84F.
Black Rock is famous for its various marine creatures such as white-tip sharks, titan triggerfish, nurse sharks, and surgeonfish. Other varieties are boxfish, rainbow runners, and frogfish. The reef also has smaller species of critters like lobsters, crabs, and shrimps.
6. Golden Arches
The Golden Arches is another dive site located on the Big Island. The site sports lava arches and stony corals as well as a wide variety of aquatic creatures, especially dolphins.
The level of visibility in Golden Arches varies depending on your distance from the surge and the direction and strengths of the current.
7. Manta Ray Night Dive
Manta Ray Night Dive is the almighty of all dive sites, especially if you love the presence of pelagic mantas.
At Manta Ray Night Dive, divers can enjoy a cruise along the coast and an incredible chance to watch manta rays closely feeding and communicating with other sea creatures beneath the 18 neon light raft.
Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian sunset while heading out to dive and also view the incredible marine creatures in the gorgeous illumination of neon lights.
Naia, which means dolphin in Hawaii, is the perfect spot for visitors and divers hoping to catch a pod of Hawaiin dolphins. Other rare species such as frogfish and stonefish also exist on the site.
The Naia is a 36-meter long yacht that can take about 18 divers. Trips around the Mutiny Mount, Bligh Water, and the stunning Nigali Passage are points of attraction for divers and sea lovers.
Scuba divers can get to enjoy relaxing drinks in the bars located around Naia and also socialize with other divers. International cuisine and complimentary drinks are common highlights of Naia recreation.
9. Au Au Crater
Another adventurous dive site in Hawaii, Au Au Crater, is a submerged crater that features a steep wall dive and a unique view of Hawaiin underwater landscape.
The depths of this diving destination ranges from about 30 to 200 feet, making it a suitable spot for both inexperienced and experienced divers alike. Marine creatures such as oceanic whitetip sharks, hammered sharks, and other bigger pelagics also have the site as their home.
10. Suck em’ up Lava Tube
Several species of underwater critters, such as reef sharks and putterfish, are a common sight at this site. However, the major attraction of the dive destination is the lava tube exit. The underwater lava passage has a bigger entrance and a smaller exit point, so that divers can exit the cavern with a thrilling surge after exploring the wonders of the site.
The Pentagon is another remarkable dive site that sports a cavern and a wide variety of sea creatures. The depth is shallow and is therefore perfect for beginner divers.
Hawaii is the perfect place to visit if you want to enjoy several dives in incredible sites, considering that some of the world’s best dive sites are located in and around the islands. With breathtaking images of underwater life and marine creatures, visitors will have a swell time diving and enjoying the view.
Now that we have given you a list of some of the best scuba diving sites in Hawaii, you can begin your plans for your scuba holiday and enjoy the best diving experience.