More than the magnificent view above sea level, Hawaii is also famous for what your eyes can explore under water. Hawaii boasts of it rich and diverse marine biodiversity which composes of natural wonders, as well as fascinating pieces of history that helped define its wonderful identity that attracts tourists by the millions every year.
Beneath the hustle and bustle of island life, Hula music, and the amazing Aloha, lay the greatest creations on this planet: the best dive sites of Hawaii.
Here are the top 5 diving sites in Hawaii you should definitely check out:
Manta Ray Night Dive, Kailua, Kona
Listed as one of the top dive sites and experiences on nearly every top 10 dive sites list there is, the Manta Ray Night Dive is an experience like none-other. Not only for the vastness of the open sea during the pitch dark night, the exhilarating experience is worthy to be remembered forever. Large lights are built into the ocean floor, which attract unbelievable amounts of plankton to the area, which in turn provides a smorgasbord for the majestic Manta Rays of Kona, Hawaii.
Many tourists who want to be a little bit closer to nature and the animals have been a fan of this diving site because of the distinct excitement and adrenaline it gives first timers and patrons alike.
Just a little reminder though, don’t be too excited and get close to the Mantas because they can whack into you.
Sea Tiger Wreck, West of Waikiki, Honolulu
Speaking of little pieces from the past residing on the bottom of the Hawaiian Ocean, the Sea Tiger Wreck was once a Chinese trading vessel that was confiscated in the early 1990’s for carrying 90 plus illegal immigrants into the region.
The Sea Tiger was then purchased by ‘Voyager Submarines’, cleaned up and then sunk as a part of a dive enrichment effort. Today, this tourist spot stretches approximately 45 meters and boasts some of the most spectacular sights. Over time, it served as home to a plethora of marine species including colorful fish, a giant sea turtle, eagle rays, and moray eels who live in coral reefs sprouted from the wreck.
Divers are able to penetrate the wreck with the correct dive certifications, entering through the cargo holds and bridge. Even though there is some miner degradation, the Sea Tiger is still in relatively good shape, making it an amazing experience for wreck diving enthusiasts.
Back Wall of Molokini Crater, Maui
For more experienced divers, exploring the Back Wall of Molokini Crater in Maui island is a must. Due to its depths and lack of a bottom, the visibility reaches well over 30m, which is great for seeing wildlife including sharks, manta rays, dolphins and even whales during certain seasons.
The Cathedrals, Lanai
The Cathedrals in Lanai is definitely one of the most popular diving sites in the whole of the Aloha State. In fact, it was classified and identified by professional divers to be one of the best and definitely a world class location for divers.
The depth of this location is around 18 to 20 meters, visibility is excellent and every level of diver can enjoy this dive. The two pinnacles that form the Cathedrals can be used as a great wall dive, as well as providing stunning arches and exciting caves to explore. The cavern roofs have heights of up to 6m and are covered in lava rock that lets in little bits of light from the surface, similarly to a stained glass window.
Koloa Landing, Kaua’i
If you want the best opportunity and best location to see some of the island’s rarest reef fish, including Bandit angels, dragon morays, and frogfish. Eagle rays, green sea turtles, diving into Kauai’s Koala Landing should be at the top of your to do list.
This popular dive spot is protected from the afternoon trade winds and boasts the easiest dive entry. Regardless of how deep you dive, be prepared to carry about 60 pounds of gear down with you.
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Eddie Keliinohomoku is the Director of sales and marketing and co-founder of Go Hawaii Tours and Aloha Trikke, With Direct Ties to the Hawaiian islands, Eddie's passion is sharing the islands and spirit of aloha with the world. "E Komo Mai"