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Exploring the Waters of Hawaii: Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Want to see some of the most colorful reefs and marine life in the world? Head to the islands of Hawaii for unforgettable undersea adventures. From Kauai to Maui, you are sure to have fun whether you go scuba diving or snorkeling. You can even take classes to get certified in scuba. Most tour companies cater to first-time scuba divers and offer introductory classes. It helps if you’re already certified when you come here, so you can jump right into the most breathtaking waters on Earth. Follow your dive master who will guide you to the most abundant spots for anything from fish to sting rays. For every ability level, there is a scuba diving site that caters to you.

Of course, snorkelers can get equally as good views underwater, from the safety of the surface. First let’s take a look at good scuba diving spots, then explore the best places for snorkeling.


Tunnels Beach, Kauai: Located just past Hanalei near the Ha’ena Beach Park on the North Shore, this beach features an inner reef that runs up to the shore with an outer reef that juts out about 60 yards offshore. This is a calm spot so it’s ideal for those who don’t like too much surf; however, this area is geared more towards experienced divers. Catch sight of reef fish and green sea turtles, with lava formations and caverns dominating the landscape.

Mauna Lani Caves/Haunted Cavern, The Big Island: Ideal for both beginner and advanced scuba divers, you’ll enjoy unicornfish, surgeon fish, green sea turtles and colorful coral among caves dipping into 15 to 30 feet of water. There’s a lot of depth and range here as the landscape goes from shallow seas to up to 40-foot drops pretty quickly. Hop in from the beach or a boat tour.

Waimea Wall, Oahu: Found on the east side of Waimea Bay, you’ll experience an ancient lava flow and stunning marine life as part of three coral fingers starting at 25 feet then dropping down to 60 feet. Snowflake coral dances atop lava tubes, making a cozy home for lobster, whitetip sharks, turtles, eagle rays and ulua.


Makaha Beach, Oahu: Punctuated by clear, aqua blue water, this relatively calm area is excellent for viewing caverns, arches, and tunnels that plummet up to 40 feet. You’ll enjoy watching schools of taape, octopus, eels, green sea turtles, dolphins, and even manta and eagle rays.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu: While it can get fairly crowded here, that’s only because the marine life is so diverse, making for superior snorkeling. With clear, warm water and friendly fish, this spot is deal for kids as well. Navigate in waist deep water in the shallow inner bay or head to Witch’s Brew cove for a more challenging experience.

While in Hawaii, and Oahu in particular, check out Hoku Hawaii Tours to set up an excursion that’s just your speed.