This guide is a complete breakdown of the best places to go scuba diving in Hawaii. Whether you’re a diving pro and are looking for a challenge or want to find the best place for beginners, we’ve got a complete guide for all levels of diving experience.
Are these spots suitable for beginners?
I’ve done my best to find spots that appeal to all experience levels. As you go throughout this list you’ll see some for beginners, and others specific to more experienced divers. Be sure to check in with local diving schools if you are going after the more advanced dives, and really get to grips with the areas(s) you’ll be visiting.
1. Hanauma Bay Marine Life Conservation District
This is a great place for beginners and kids. It’s not uncommon to find turtles, dolphins, moray eels or manta rays here. The water doesn’t get deep so it’s easy to snorkel in the bay if you’re not able to go underwater with your gear on.
2. Molokini Crater
This crater near Maui offers some of the best sightseeing opportunities in Hawaii for scuba divers because there are always plenty of fish living around this area that make it one of the most popular destinations in Hawaii for diving enthusiasts as well as beginning divers who want more challenges than Hanauma Bay can offer them. You may see spinner dolphins cruising by on the surface or humpback whales migrating just outside of Maui.
3. Honaunau Bay
This is a good spot for intermediate to advanced divers who want a challenge. The bay offers some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in Hawaii with plenty of fish, turtles, corals and other sea life making it worth taking on more experienced scuba divers or even adventurous beginners who are looking for new challenges.
4. Kealakekua Bay
This is home to an underwater park where you can see coral reefs that were created from lava rock deposits mixed with sand which has made this spot one of the most popular dive sites in all of Hawaii.
5. The Bay of Puna
This is another good spot for experienced divers who want to go on a more challenging adventure. It’s home to some impressive coral reefs as well as sea caves which offer great snorkeling opportunities and make it worth the effort if you can find your way here.
6. Honokohau Harbor
With plenty of fish, sharks, turtles and other exotic marine life living in this area, Honokohau Harbor offers some memorable diving experiences that are unlike any others you’ll find in Hawaii. The best time to dive at this site is during winter when the water isn’t so warm because it allows visibility into much deeper depths than summer dives will allow since there’s less algae growth or plankton blooms occurring in the water.
7. Aina Haina Marine Sanctuary
For those of you that feel like they’re up for something new, this is a great place to go diving if you want an adventure and are looking for more advanced challenges than most other spots can offer. This location has plenty to explore with its lava tubes, coral reefs as well as underwater caves which make it worth your time so long as you know how to navigate through these tricky waters.
8. Rescue Divers International’s dive site “The Ritz”
If challenging yourself is what you’re after then taking on this spot would be just right for you because it offers some of the best dives in Hawaii when only professional divers who have been trained by experts should attempt them. The Ritz offers a challenge with depths of up to 60 meters (197 feet) so it’s only for those who are experienced and have the proper training.