Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands, isolated over 2,000 miles from the nearest major land mass, combine some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes to be found anywhere in the world (above and below water!). Hawaii’s marine world is replete with luminous coral reefs as well as numerous endemic species of reef fish and invertebrates. In these pages, we have documented over 70 shore-accessible reef sites; truly premier locations for dive enthusiasts of all levels!
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Koloa Landing

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(48)
Koloa Landing at Hanaka'ape Bay is a very popular dive site, especially for scuba instruction. The entry is easy, and there is plenty to see to the left and right of the landing. From Lihu'i heading West on Highway 50, turn left on Highway 520 (Maluhia Road) at mile mark 6.8. After about 3 miles, you'll hit a T in the road at Koloa. Jog right and then an immediate left onto Po'ipu Road, and head South to Po'ipu. At about mile 4.8, take the RIGHT fork. After .2 mile, take the left fork. You'll see the landing in about a tenth of a mile.
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Lanai Cathedrals

Lanai, Hawaii

beginner
(3)
Off the island of Lanai is a remarkable dive spot known as Lanai Cathedrals. Inside pockmarked lava tubes, beams of light stream in with an ethereal glow creating an underwater cathedral. This beautiful dive is one you won't soon forget. After you take in the gorgeous views, exiting the cathedral can be quite a rush. There is a fun spot where there is a lava shoot where the surge can shoot you out as you exit the cathedral called 'shot gun'. Reef sharks, turtles, and many species found only in Hawai'i live around Cathedrals I and II (First Cathedral and Second Cathedral). With a max depth of 19 metres/65 feet and reliable visibility, Lanai's Cathedrals are accessible for divers of all experience levels. The most common way to dive Lanai Cathedrals is by booking a boat trip from Maui.
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Ahihi Cove

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(15)
This is a must-do site! This picturesque area is perfect for beginners and advanced divers alike. The entry is easy, and the fish are friendly (they know they're protected here)! There are no facilities here, and the parking is limited-- but don't let that deter you! At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui, which becomes Makena Alanui. After 5.0 miles, you'll see the cove.
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Shark's Cove

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(77)
Shark's Cove at Kalalua Point is another must-dive site for Oahu. The entry is easy, and it's just a short kick to get outside the reef. Kids and snorkelers will find the cove perfect for their activities. Rocky coastal area & tidal pools teeming with small fish for snorkeling, plus showers & restrooms. Off Kamehameha Highway on the North Shore in the Waimea area. Why is it called Shark's Cove? Because the outline of the reef from above looks like a shark.
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Five Caves

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(22)
Five Caves is know by several names including Five Graves and Nahuna Point. This is a must-do dive for Maui, as the entry is easy and formations and sea creatures are impressive. If it is your first time to the area, a guide is recommended to ensure you find the caves on your first dive. The nearest facilities are at Makena Landing, just a short drive up the road. At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. After 2.2 miles, turn right onto Makena Road. In a couple of hundred yards, you'll see the parking area.
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Lana'i Lookout (Scenic Lookout)

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

advanced
(17)
Lana'i Lookout is not for the faint of heart. It is for 'extreme divers' only. Fortunately, not too many novices find their way to this extremely challenging spot. You will make your entry by giant stride to the left of the lookout, and exit to a small rocky patch to the right. Again, an experienced guide is a must! Ask your local dive shop to talk you out of it, and if they can't, ask them to guide you through it. The sights are well worth it. For further discussion on diving this coast, see the Halona Blow Hole description. Lana'i Lookout, on the South Eastern shore, is at the only parking lot South of the Halona Blow Hole and North of Hanauma Bay.
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Hanauma Bay

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(43)
What is there that hasn't already been said about Hanauma Bay? Divers' paradise, excellent diving, friendly marine life, etc. Unfortunately, the overcrowding of this popular site has caused major environmental impact and has necessitated the implementation of many conservation measures. As crowded as this place is, it now has only one-third the attendance it used to have before restrictions were passed in 1990. Parking, and access to the beach is controlled, and volunteer docents try to educate the visitors so additional damage is avoided. One of our greatest concerns is the trampling of the reef. Although numerous signs are posted, it still constantly occurs. Although there's not too much live coral inside of the reef, other living organisms inhabit the zone, and it is basic diver etiquette to avoid touching any reef. Take Kalanianaole Highway (72) East to Koko Head. At the top of the hill, turn right into Hanauma Bay.
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Wailea Beach

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(8)
Wailea Beach is a great site for scuba. Full facilities, and a great beach for all ages. At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. In .5 miles, turn right into the public access.
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Napili Bay

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(5)
Entry is sandy, and the bottom is sandy with moderately steep entry and then reef further out. Sea turtles frequent the bay, and snorkeling can be fair when the surf is mellow. When the surf is up visibility, and thus snorkeling, is poor. The water is frequently glassy, but when big swells come in waves can become quite large, and the rip currents which form here pull directly out to sea. Less experienced swimmers should avoid the water here during such conditions. There are restaurants, bathrooms and a general store in the resort. There is a shopping center with supermarket between the main highway and the resort.
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Kahalu'u Beach Park

Kahaluu-Keauhou, Big Island, HI

beginner
(12)
Kahalu'u Beach Park is a wonderfully popular park for sunbathers, snorkelers, and beginner divers. The fish are plentiful, and the turtles are abundant. Facilities are excellent. Directions: You'll find Kahalu'u Beach Park at mile 4.8 on Ali'I Drive, just South of Kailua.
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McGregor Point Site 2

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(2)
This is the North side site of McGregor point found at the mile 7.7 mark. Entry should only be attempted in calm seas. There are no facilities here, so bring water. Look for the light house at about the 7.7 mile mark of Highway 30. Turn onto the dirt road.
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Turtle Heaven

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(2)
This site is half the distance from Turtle Street and is inshore. The reef peaks at 10 feet below the surface and, because of seismic activity during its formation, has a valley below it that drops to a depth of 100 feet. The wall is on a vertical drop and it has a partner another 100 yards inshore. The main focus of the site is along a 200 yard section of the seaward side of the wall and its top has a wide variety of fish, corals, overhangs and arches. Small pukas are found through the side of the wall leading to Turtle Street. The characteristic valley is called the Haleiwa Trench. Another attraction is a substantial coral mound, 20 yards off the wall, which seems to be a remnant of the original structure. The pinnacle of this mound is 100 feet wide and stops 35 feet below the surface. About a dozen turtles sit on the mound and are at ease with visiting divers.
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Hookena State Beach Park

The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(2)
We will be "hooka" diving using an inflatable boat on the big island of Hawaii this Thanksgiving, so shore entry is very important too us. We are sure some of the dive sites you have described will be visited. One beach not mentioned on your site is Hookena state beach park south of Kona. Having snorkeled there I wonder how it compares with the other sites you've reviewed. Thanks for a very good web site.
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Molokini Backwall

Molokini, Maui, Hawaii

advanced
(2)
An advanced dive, the Molokini Backwall is a world class wall and drift dive for certified divers only. The Wall is approximately 300ft in depth, however, divers will level off at 80 ft or less. You may see white tip, black tip, and gray reef sharks, manta rays, dolphins and schooling fish.
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Police Beach

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(2)
Police Beach is a remote beach on Oahu's North Shore, even though it lies between other popular surfing beaches. It is not remote in terms of distance, but rather in terms of accessibility. The beach encompasses a large stretch of shoreline, all the way from Papa'iloa Beach to Pua'ena Point. To get to Police Beach, one either has to walk along the shoreline from Papa'iloa Beach or Pua'ena Point Beach Park because the backshore of Police Beach is private property. Episodes of the popular TV series LOST were filmed on Police Beach. The beach is sandy, but many areas on the water's edge are covered by a lava rock shelf. The ocean bottom offshore is rocky too, so swimming isn't possible here (also because of strong rip currents, especially when the surf is up). Several surf spots are located offshore. Also, local fishermen come here for shoreline fishing.
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Mokule'ia Beach (Slaughterhouse)

Kaanapali, Maui, HI

beginner
(7)
Mokule'ia is another great dive and snorkel site, but it's a good hike down to the beach. A great place to spend the day with the kids, so bring a cooler with food and water. The name “Slaughterhouse Beach” comes from the Honolua Ranch slaughterhouse and tanning/storage shed that were (oh, so conveniently) located on the cliff’s edge above the ocean. The buildings were torn down in the 60’s, but the lovely name stuck. In contrast, the Hawaiian name Mokule’ia means “district of abundance”, and like most Hawaiian names, is a very accurate description. Mokule’ia Bay is part of the same preserve as its neighbor Honolua Bay: the Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District. But unlike its rocky neighbor to the north, much of the year this bay has a nice sandy beach to relax on. During the winter months there are often large well-formed waves that are perfect for the more experienced boogie boarders and surfers. But the large surf can often become dangerous, and even the most experienced need to keep a healthy respect for the ocean in mind. In summer months the waves are much more mellow and are often suitable for beginners. When the ocean is tame there is also very good snorkeling around the the north point and into Honolua Bay. Travel North on Highway 31 until about mile mark 32.6. You can't miss the bay off to your left.
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Three Tables Beach

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(27)
Three Tables is great as long as you use some caution. It is a small but beautiful sandy beach with access to the best coral on the north shore. Like every spot on the north shore, this is best snorkeled in the summertime when the water is calm. Three Tables beach offers good scenery for the diver: outcropping of lava, a wall, and lava tubes.Off Kamehameha Highway on the North Shore in the Waimea area, just South of Shark's Cove.
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Mala Wharf

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

intermediate
(28)
Mala Wharf (sometimes called Mala Pier) was once a fully-functioning pier which served as a shipping facility for the island’s pineapple and agriculture. In 1992, however, 30 ft. surf came marching into Lahaina as a result of Hurricane Iniki, and the end of the dock was completely destroyed. Today, the pilings from the old dock lie scattered along the ocean floor, and what was once a shipping facility above water is now a healthy artificial reef which is home to a vast array of marine life.
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Makaha Beach Park (Caverns)

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(31)
Makaha Beach Park offers shore access to a site regularly visited by dive boats: Makaha Caverns. Be prepared to kick out about 150 yards, but the sights are worth it! Facilities are located across the road. On the Farrington Highway on the West Shore.
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Mile Marker 4

Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI

beginner
(35)
Mile Marker 4 is small beach with easy entry. Several lava tubes may be found a short swim to the left. Directions: Mile Marker 4 is, as the name implies, found right at the 4 mile marker of Ali'i Drive just south of Kailua.
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Lawai Beach

Koloa, Kauai, HI

Not ranked yet
(12)
The Lawai Beach park, just next to the Beach House restaurant, has plenty of parking, restrooms, a telephone and shower. Directions: From Lihu'i heading West on Highway 50, turn left on Highway 520 (Maluhia Road) at mile mark 6.8. After about 3 miles, you'll hit a T in the road at Koloa. Jog right and then an immediate left onto Po'ipu Road, and head South to Po'ipu. At about mile 4.8, take the RIGHT fork and head West. After about a half a mile, you'll have arrived!
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Kapalua Bay

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(24)
Kapalua Bay is a sheltered white sand beach on the north west side of Maui. The bay is protected by two reefs that extend out on both ends forming a C-shaped cove making it ideal for snorkeling. The bay’s calm water makes it one of those perfect places for beginner snorkeling and is an ideal spot to take the kids. Getting into the water couldn’t be easier. The ocean will literally be a few feet from your beach towel. The Kapalua Bay Hotel overlooks the beach’s soft sand and tranquil blue water.
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Haloa Point

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(6)
Haloa Point is an excellent dive site for all levels. There are no facilities here, so bring water. At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. After 1 mile, turn right onto Kuakahi. Drive down to the T and turn left. Continue for about .4 mile. Park on either side of the road. You've gone too far if you've come back to Wailea Alanui.
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Garden Eel Cove / Manta Ray Heaven

Kailua-Kona

beginner
(12)
The dive site “Manta Heaven” is located in Makako Bay that is just around the corner of Keahole Point, the most western tip of the Big Island. It’s offshore of the Kona International Airport. During daylight hours, the dive site is called “Garden Eel Cove”. In the summer of 1999, the manta rays essentially abandoned the Kona Surf Hotel as a feeding area. There were no sightings for many weeks. James knew that he could find the manta rays somewhere along the coastline and had heard from local boat captains that manta rays were being seen during the day at Garden Eel Cove. His friends Mike Ho and Mike & Nicki Milligan had done night dives in the bay and a manta swam by.
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Mahukona Beach Park

Waimea, Big Island, HI

intermediate
(29)
Mahukona is an excellent dive for those who have a few dives under their belt. The entry is very easy, the parking is good, and there is a hot water shower to alleviate the chills of an hour long dive (the shower pipe runs over the lava, and is heated by the Sun -- very nice!). Since this is still used as a small boat harbor, a dive flag is recommended, as always. Directions: Located on the North West tip of Hawaii on the North Kohala Coast on Highway 270 about 13 miles from the junction of 270 and 19.
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Ke'ei Beach

Honaunau-Napoopoo, Big Island, HI

Not ranked yet
(19)
We never tire of visiting Ke'ei. The quiet village, the wonderful ocean views, and the excellent diving make for a pleasant afternoon. On this dive, you may be greeted by garden eels, and a rare daylight sighting of a manta ray. The people of Ke'ei have always been nice to us, so be respectful of their property and privacy so we may continue to be welcomed. Parking is the right, and the dive entry is from the small boat ramp on the left. Kick out until you're in about 20 feet of water, drop down, and continue out until you see the sandy bottom, home to the garden eels. Directions: Less than a quarter mile South from Kahauloa Bay, take your first right just before refuse transfer station to your left.
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Fire House

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(5)
See my review below. -- Stephen Porter From h-1 west travel to H-2 north, On H-2 north to Mililani/Wahiawa take exit 8 (right) to Wahiawa/Kamehameha highway (approx 12 miles to Pupukea Beach park/Fire House)<br><br>Comments for Pictures below:<br>pic#1 At this light turn left<br>pic#2 Across the street from food land<br>pic#3 Pupukea park (before the fire house (station)<br>pic#4 Park here, Try to arrive early. On the far end of the parking lot there are bathrooms, but no shower. There is a spigot to rinse gear. The closest showers are at Shark's Cove.<br>
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Pukano Point

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(5)
Pukano Point is just south of Yokohama Bay. There is excellent coast line to explore here for the intermediate diver. At the Northern most end of the Farrington Highway on the West Shore.
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Sheraton Caverns

Kauai, HI

beginner
(16)
First thing’s first: bring a camera and a flashlight. This popular site delights novice and advanced divers alike with some of Kauai’s most gorgeous underwater vistas. Located just off Poipu Beach, the coral and marine life live relatively untroubled by harsh ocean swells. The site’s main attraction is a trio of striking lava tubes that tunnel toward the Sheraton Kauai Hotel’s house beach. Divers kick through these massive structures, with communities of reef crabs, spiny lobsters and shrimp scampering between the nooks to crannies. Remember to crane your neck to the tubes’ lava ceilings: you’re sure to spot some crustaceans and turkeyfish dangling from the cracks. Outside the tubes, even more sea life darts about from yellowmargin and white-mouth moray eels to gentle sea turtles—even the elusive leaf- and giant anglerfish make the occasional appearance
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Leleiwi Beach Park

Hilo, Big Island, HI

beginner
(16)
For the intermediate diver, Leleiwi will offer something new on every dive. Rugged coast line and wonderful underwater vistas await you! Directions: Beginning at the intersection of Kanoelehua Ave and Kalanianaole Ave at South Hilo Bay, heat East toward Leleiwi Point on Kalanianaole Ave. Travel 3.3 miles to the entrance below.
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Place of Refuge (Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park)

Hōnaunau, Big Island, HI

beginner
(97)
The Place of Refuge (also known as Two Steps) is a 'must-do' site. The drive to get there is wonderful, the entry is easy, and the diving is great. Turtles abound! The facilities are a little sparse. Take some water and a picnic lunch. There are porta-potties on the site. Directions: From Kealakekua Bay, you can continue to travel South on Highway 160 for 3.2 miles to find the turn off. If this is your first destination of the day, you can take a faster route: from Kailua, drive south on Highway 11 for about 19 miles, well past Captain Cook. Take a right on Highway 160, Ke Ala o Keawe Road, (about mile mark 104) to Kealakekua Bay, and wind your way about 3.5 miles down to the ocean.
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Makua Beach

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(8)
Makua Beach offers an easy beach access to an interesting shoreline. There are no facilities at many sites on this stretch, so take plenty of water with you. At the North end of the Farrington Highway on the West Shore.
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Makena Landing

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

intermediate
(35)
Located in a stone’s throw from the Grand Wailea in south Maui, Makena Landing is a favorite retreat for both Maui locals and visitors. Despite its relatively small, sandy beach, Makena Landing boasts one of the most accessible coral reefs on the island. While not ideal for sunbathing, it is a perfect spot for those looking to enjoy Maui’s underwater world. From snorkeling and SCUBA diving to kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, Makena Landing offers a wide range of ocean activities. The area is an active launching area with numerous tour operators offering local kayak and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) trips.
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Kahala Barge

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(1)
This dive site features the wreck of a barge that was sunk for use as an artificial reef in roughly 90 feet of water, 250 yards off the Kahala Hilton. The wreck, a 200 foot Matson Barge, lies upright and intact with a pilothouse one can penetrate, this makes for amazing photos. Visibility is great due to the currents cleaning the water, but one should take care not to get swept up in them. Overall, one should have some underwater experience before attempting this dive.
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Nohili Point

Kauai, Hawaii

advanced
(1)
Nohili Point is at the far Western edge of the island just North of the Pacific Missile Range Facility. This is an extreme, open-ocean dive with unpredictable currents. Do not attempt this dive without a guide. Directions: From Lihu'e, drive West on Highway 50 until the final fork, bearing right on Kao Road as if you are heading to the Polihale State Park. About .25 mile after the fork, turn left as shown in the picture below.
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Ahihi Bay

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(1)
For a more rugged adventure, try Ahihi Bay. You'll find no facilites here, but you will find a private beach some excellent snorkelling and diving. At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui, which becomes Makena Alanui. After 5.5 miles, you'll see the parking to the right.
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Pelagic Blackwater Night Dive

Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI

advanced
(1)
Start the Pelagic Dive in Kona, Hawaii just after dusk, floating tethered offshore in the deep dark sea. Just wait to see what goes by, usually not descending any lower than 50 feet. The mesmerizing jellies put on a colorful display that can only be described as breathtaking. Some zooplankton, that only rises to the surface to feed when the lights go out, are now visible to us. Our lights are but small twinkles in the vast blackness of the sea.
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Hale'iwa Ali'i Beach

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(16)
Hale'iwa Ali'i Beach Park is just to the West of the harbor. It is an alternate entry site for Hale'iwa shore dive. Enter at the right of the trench (looking makai) and swim to trench and descend to avoid stepping on the coral. Off Kamehameha Highway on the North Shore in the Hale'iwa area.
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Halona Blow Hole

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

advanced
(24)
At first glance, Halona Blow Hole appears to be an easy, protected site for both snorkelers and divers. However, a list of SCUBA fatalities since 1971 shows that more fatalities by far occur at Halona Blow Hole than any other dive site in the state. First off, the sea cliffs that make this stretch of shoreline so great for diving also precludes any easy exit sites. This, coupled with the strong current, slippery rocks, waves on the ledges, and lack of lifeguards makes this coast one of the most hazardous on the island. Be especially careful on this stretch of coast! The nearest facilities are at Sandy Beach to the North, so take plenty of water. Halona Blow Hole, on the South Eastern shore, can be found at a large touristy turn out between Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach Park.
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Puako Village End

Waimea, Big Island, Hi

beginner
(48)
Puako Village End is 3.0 miles from the turn off of Rt. 19. The diving is excellent and entry is easy. This is a favorite site of the Kohala locals. Directions: The turn off to Puako is on Highway19 about 3.4 miles South of the junction of 270 and 19. Continue down Puako Road for 3.0 miles.
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Kailua Bay

Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI

Not ranked yet
(7)
Kailua Bay, although right on the main drag through the Kailua coast, is a much overlooked diving spot. Access is very easy, and the sights are worthwhile. Directions: You can't miss the harbor right in the heart of Kailua.
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Prince Kuhio Park

Koloa, Kauai, HI

beginner
(11)
Prince Kuhio is a small park, but 'big' diving awaits you!. The entry is a little rocky, but easy, and you may find a turtle or two in the shallow protected area. Shallow beginning through advanced snorkeling. A little shallow for scuba. Rocky entry, but very protected bay. Turtles are the highlight. 3-21 feet. Directly across from the Prince Kuhio Park. Directions: From Lihu'i heading West on Highway 50, turn left on Highway 520 (Maluhia Road) at mile mark 6.8. After about 3 miles, you'll hit a T in the road at Koloa. Jog right and then an immediate left onto Po'ipu Road, and head South to Po'ipu. At about mile 4.8, take the RIGHT fork and head West. After about a quarter of a mile, you will arrive!
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Mana Kai Hotel

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(4)
Mana Kai Hotel has a public access to some very fine diving. The snorkeling is good here, and diving is good in calmer seas. In Kihei, driving South on Highway 31, turn right at mile marker 9 onto Keonekai Road. At the T, turn left onto South Kihei Road. After .6 miles, turn right into the Mana Kai Hotel.
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Tunnels Beach

Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii

intermediate
(26)
Snorkeling Tunnels is great if you know where to go and are a confident swimmer. Tunnels, also known as Makua Beach, is a deceptively massive snorkeling area. Standing on this wonderful wide, long beach, looking out at the waves breaking on the reef edge offshore, it just does not look like all that big of an area, or that far away to its outer edge. But the reef here is a big horseshoe that protects what amounts to a small bay inside. It is much bigger than it appears when you start trying to swim around in it. Snorkeling Tunnels is some of the best you can find on the island. It is one of the best places on Kauai for seeing big coral formations. Because it is a large area and there are currents, the snorkeling out on the larger reef is not for beginners, but for strong swimming, experienced snorkelers. Tunnels, like any north shore Kauai snorkeling spot, is seasonal. Often in the winter the waves are too big and the current too dangerous to attempt to snorkel here. We recommend in the winter to snorkel on the south side of Kauai. The parking for snorkeling Tunnels is even more scarce than at Ke’e Beach. You must arrive very early in the morning to guarantee yourself a spot here. If you don’t get here early enough to get one of the few spots nearer the beach, you can park farther down the road at Ha’ena Beach Park and walk down the beach to Tunnels area. It is over a half mile walk along the beach. If you don't want to try to find parking, you can ride the Kauai North Shore Shuttle to Ha'ena Beach Park.
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Polo Beach

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(5)
Polo Beach is a good site for beginner diving. Easy access and all facilities. At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. In 1 mile, turn right onto Kuakahi. Drive down to the T and turn right into the public access.
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The Hideaway at Princeville

Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

beginner
(5)
The Hideaway is best for snorkeling, if you are in the area. We would call this a good beginner scuba dive, but the climb up and down the bluff can be difficult with 40 pounds of equipment. Definitely take a drive there to check it out for yourself, if for nothing more than admiring the sights of the Princeville Resort. Directions: On the North coast on Highway 56, turn into the Princeville Resort area at about mile mark 28. Drive 1.5 miles all the way up to just before the Princeville Resort gate, and you'll find beach access parking to the right, next to the tennis courts.
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Kea'au Beach

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

advanced
(5)
Kea'au Beach is for advanced divers only because of the difficult entry along the lava ledge. This dive should only be attempted in the calmest seas. Consult your local dive shop to get the current conditions. On the Farrington Highway on the West Shore.
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'Alula Beach (Kona Dog Beach)

Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI

Not ranked yet
(28)
Alua Beach is a pleasant little cove that has easy access to a popular boat diving site. Take water and a snack with you. There are facilities nearby (water, restrooms) in the harbor proper, but not at the beach. Watch for the boat traffic, as they may not be watching for you. It is not recommended to snorkel here for that reason. Directions: On Highway19, coming North from Kailua-Kona, the turn off will be 2.4 miles from the junction of 19 and 190
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Black Sand Beach

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(7)
During good conditions, Black Sand Beach can provide excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. Expect no facilities, so bring along your comforts of home! At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. After 2.2 miles, turn right onto Makena Road. In 1.6 miles, you'll see the turn-off.
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Pahoehoe Beach Park

Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI

beginner
(7)
Pahoehoe Beach Park is a well-groomed park with all the necessary facilities. Parking and dive entry are very convenient. Directions: You'll find Pahoehoe Beach Park at mile 3.7 on Ali'I Drive, just South of Kailua.
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Captain Cook (Kealakekua Bay)

Captain Cook, Big Island, HI

intermediate
(21)
Kealakedua Bay is a wonderful diving area also shared by kayakers. The bay has been designated a State Park, and you'll easily see why. The view is spectacular, the water is clear, and wildlife abundant. Don't miss diving this site. Directions: From Kailua, drive south on Highway 11 for about 13 miles to get to Captain Cook. Take a right on Highway 160 (mile mark 110.5) to Kealakekua Bay, and wind your way about 4 miles down to the ocean.
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Olowalu Mile Marker 14

Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(21)
Mile Marker 14 is the common nickname for a beach in Olowalu, on the west side of Maui. You can find it by looking for the “14” mile marker sign between Lahaina and the cliffs that separate west Maui from central Maui. It’s seven miles south of Lahaina on the Honoapiilani Highway (Route 30). This area is said to be the best snorkel spot for beginners. The water is shallow close to shore and is calm on most days (usually most calm in the mornings). Be careful not to step on or touch the coral reef. No facilities. No turn lanes or paved parking, so watch for traffic when turning back onto the highway. The beach is not as wide or beautiful as some other Maui beaches, so this spot is best for snorkeling but not best for lying on the beach.
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Airport Beach (Kahekili Beach Park)

Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(23)
Kahekili Beach Park is the park that includes Airport Beach Maui. It’s sometimes called North Beach because it is the north half of Kaanapali Beach. Airport Beach Maui in Kahekili Beach Park is one of Maui’s best beaches for several reasons. It is adjacent to Kaanapali Beach, the most famous beach in Maui, but it is not nearly as crowded as the main section of Kaanapali Beach, because it does not have any of the major resort hotels found in that nearby area (the Hyatt, Marriott, Westin, and Sheraton). It has a long wide stretch of smooth light sand. The ocean near shore is shallow. The waves are usually not too big for swimming. It’s a great snorkeling spot with plenty of fish to see, including the Hawaii state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Kahekili Beach Park has a large free parking lot. There is a pavilion with benches and picnic tables. Additional picnic tables are on the grassy areas. There are real bathrooms. The boardwalk through the park provides a paved path for walking several miles along the beach. Airport Beach Maui is within a ten minute walk of several large condos, including Maui Kaanapali Villas, Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, Nanea Ocean Villas, Honua Kai, and Mahana. Why is this called Airport Beach? From 1961 to 1986 there was a small airport here called Kaanapali Airport (HKP). Royal Hawaiian Air Service was the airline that flew small twin-engine Cessna propeller planes here from Oahu. The 2615-foot runway was surrounded by sugar cane. The small A-frame terminal had an upstairs bar called the Windsock Lounge. Who was Kahekili that this park is named after? He lived from 1737 to 1794 and was the last king of Maui from 1766 to 1793, before King Kamehameha came from the Big Island of Hawaii to conquer Maui and unite the Hawaiian islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii.
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Ke'e Beach

Kauai, Hawaii

Not ranked yet
(9)
Ke'e Lagoon is at the Northern most end of the road where you are more likely to find higher surf than normal. In good conditions, it can be a good snorkel site and an easy dive. Only advanced divers should go beyond the barrier reef. Directions: Simply drive to the end of Highway 560, mile marker 10.
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Lydgate State Park

Lihue, Kauai, HI

Not ranked yet
(10)
Lydgate State Park is nice area with all the facilities. The sandy beach makes a wonderful kid's paradise! Snorkelers will find the area perfect during most weather conditions; beginning divers will find it adequate for a first dive or two. Directions: Heading North from Lihu'e on Highway 56, turn right into the park at about mile mark 5.5. If you've crossed the Wailua River, you've gone too far.
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Pu'u Olai Beach

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(10)
Pu'u Olai Beach has an incredible rocky point to explore! With two beaches to choose from, you may begin diving from either. The hike to remote beach is a bit tiring but may be worth it for you naturists! Due to the open-water nature of this area, do not dive unless you are capable of high surf entry and exit. At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. After 2.2 miles, turn right onto Makena Road. In 1.7 miles, you'll see the turn-off.
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Anini Beach

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

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(12)
Anini Beach Park is a must-see area. The drive there is beautiful, with a pleasant waterfall just before the turnoff. You'll find restrooms, water and telephone service right on the beach. This is a family area, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and beginner diving. Heading North on Highway 56 from Lihu'e, turn right on Kalihiwai Road #2 at about mile mark 25.6. Take the LEFT fork to Anini Road in about .2 mile, and then in another 1.5 mile, you'll find the park.
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Honolua Bay

Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(37)
Honolua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District located on the north western end of Maui. No fishing of any kind is allowed here making for a sealife density and diversity that is second to none on the Valley Isle. Honolua Bay is surrounded by high rocky cliffs on both sides that shelter it from the wind and keep the water calm. An old cement boat ramp in the center of the beach divides the shoreline in two. As you sit on the beach you will be looking out across the Pailolo Channel at the eastern shores of the Island of Molokai.
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Molokai Hammerhead Dive (Mokuhoʻoniki)

Molokai, Maui, Hawaii

advanced
(2)
An advanced dive that leaves from Maui over to the coast of the neighboring island of Molokai. In the summer, there is a pod of hammerhead sharks that swims in the area. The best time for this dive is in the summer months, around May to September. The crossing is notoriously rough, so be prepared with some anti-nausea pills.
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Hoala Point

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(2)
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Honokohau Bay

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

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(2)
Under Construction! Under Construction!
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Nakalele Point

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

advanced
(2)
Level Of Skill: Advanced Divers, No Exceptions Depth Of Location: 150 feet max, but you only need to dive to 80 to conserve air Transportation Needed: A car How To Get There: Drive North on Honoapiilani Hwy. 30. past Lahaina and Kapalua. It is at the 38 mile marker. Turn left at the Nakalele Point Light Station sign. Park as close to the lighthouse as your car will allow you. Walk your way in. When To Snorkel Or Dive: Summer and Autumn. To rough in winter. Also, all site are better in the morning before the wind kicks up. Where To Snorkel Or Dive: Check the map. Go along the wall till your halfway out of air and start back at a different depth for another view. What You May Find: A extremely large amount of reef fish and a beautiful, colorful reef. One of the best dives on the island. Best wall dive outside Molokini. Site Hazards: High surf in the winter, tricky entry/exit, tough walk down Site Facilities: None Notes Of Interest: Wear a wetsuit for protection from rocks. Only advanced divers.
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Keauhou Bay (Manta Village)

Kahaluu-Keauhou, Big Island, HI

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(2)
The zone in front of the Kona Surf Hotel, in Keauhou on the west coast of the Big Island, was the first manta ray viewing site. The official name is Kaukalaelae Point, but most people know it as “Manta Village”. In May 2000, the Kona Surf Hotel was closed and the lights were turned off. As the plankton stopped accumulating, the manta rays stopped frequenting the area. It's not recommended to snorkel here as there is a lot of boat traffic because the channel drops off quickly. In October 2004, the resort reopened as the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. James teamed up with the resort re-creating a favorable manta ray venue. A short time later, manta rays returned and many new mantas have been identified and named since.
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Manini Beach

The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands

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(2)
Easy sand entry. May see turtles, sharks, sea cucumbers, dolphin, and big critters in boat channel. Watch out for boats and leopard cone shells. Another good source is a diving club in Kona called Kona Reefers Dive Club. You can find them online. Also check Dick Dresie's website for shoreline diving in Kona: http://home.hawaii.rr.com/ddresie/ From Kona go south on Queen's Hwy. Turn west (toward water) on road to Kealakekua Bay to the dead end (boat launch straight ahead) (parking area to view Capt. Cook's monument to right) and turn left until road makes a sharp bend to the left. Look for a 2 story blue house. Entry to Manini beach is just behind this house. Continue past house for parking spot.
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McGregor Point Site 1

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

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(2)
McGregor Point Site 1 is the Southern side of the point at the mile 7.7 mark. Entry is considerably easier than Site 2. There are no facilities. Look for the light house at about the 7.7 mile mark of Highway 30. Turn onto the dirt road.
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Pauwela Point

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

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(2)
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The Blow Hole

The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands

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(2)
The floor gradually drops off to 100 feet, lots of corals, fish, etc. Navigate carefully because immediately north of the blow hole is an another cove and it is easy to mistake this cove for the one you went into. It isn't a big deal to go back out of the old cove and enter the right one, but you can't always see the arch until you get all the way into the cove. WATCH YOUR AIR. As always the case when diving Hawaii watch the waves and wind. The visual effect of the arch, both in and out, is quite stunning. There are some little caves in and around the cove that are very interesting; a flashlight is good. On the Big Island, go North on Highway 19 from Kailua Kona about 7 miles to Natural Energy Road (Last road West before the Airport). Drive about 1 mile West to the point where the paved road turns north. Turn South on the Dirt road. Drive (VERY CAREFULLY) about 500 yards to a gate which should be open during the day. Go about 100 yards past the gate and look to the ocean. You will see 3 large lava heads along the ocean. Within the lava heads is a cove with an arch on the ocean side which is partially submerged. There is a nice exit on the South side of the hole right by a rusted piton which is there. Gear up and jump in to the cove. Drop down to the bottom, about 15 feet, and swim out under the arch.
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Palauea Beach (White Rock)

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(3)
Lesser known Palauea Beach, or White Rock in the Scuba community, is an excellent dive site. Perfect for beginners and intermediates. Closest facilities are a short drive North to Polo Beach. At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. After 1 mile, turn right onto Kuakahi. Drive down to the T and turn left onto Makena Road. Continue for a little less than half a mile. Park on shore side of the road onto an unpaved small parking area. Basically, this is the South side of Haloa Point.
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Point Panic

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(3)
This is a popular dive training site located on the south shore, near the Kewalo Marine Laboratory. Once you enter from the staircase, you'll swim south, parallel to the boat channel. Remember that the area between the red and green buoys is a boat channel, so stay to the west! Once you swim south of the 2nd green buoy, you can drop down and choose which spot to visit. To the northwest is Horseshoe Reef (named for the shape of the reef). To the west is the Kewalo pipeline, which you can follow south to pipe discharge. To the north/northeast is Secrets Reef. Be aware that there is a lot of boat traffic going in and out of this area with charters. If you have to approach the surface for any reason, deploy a surface marker or come up near your dive flag buoy. Right next to Magic Island, and Makai Pier near Makapu'u
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Mile 6.3

The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands

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(3)
Mile 6.3 is one of those dirt roads that heads from the main road toward the sea. The spot is unspoiled and very beautiful, mainly because it is so hard to get to. Don't try to head down the road unless you have a reliable 4 wheel drive. Take plenty of water with you, since it can get quite hot there. Found at Mile mark 6.3 North of the junction of 270 and 19.
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Brennecke Beach

Koloa, Kauai, HI

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(3)
Brennecke Beach is just a couple hundred yards down the road from Poipu Beach Park. You will find the left coast line an interesting place to explore. Directions: From Lihu'i heading West on Highway 50, turn left on Highway 520 (Maluhia Road) at mile mark 6.8. After about 3 miles, you'll hit a T in the road at Koloa. Jog right and then an immediate left onto Po'ipu Road, and head South to Po'ipu. At about mile 4.8, take the LEFT fork. After 1.2 mile, take a right on Ho'owili. When you come to the T, turn LEFT and drive for .2 mile and you'll see the small parking area.
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Miloli'i Bay

Milolii, Big Island, HI

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(12)
Miloli'I Bay is a great dive for a day's outing. Take a couple of tanks, water and a lunch and be prepared to be overwhelmed with relaxation. The small village is fairly isolated and children abound, so be very careful and respectful when driving and parking in this area. Remember that you are guests in their community. Here, the entry is quite easy: just walk down the shore and ease your way into the water. You'll find the best diving around the point to your right. Be aware of small boat traffic. Directions: Miloli'I Bay can be found after mile mark 90 on Highway 11, about 30 miles South of Kailua. Now the adventure begins: take a right on the Miloli'I intersection and wind your way several miles of lava fields, through residential area (watch for kids!) to the bay. Drive slowly and carefully, as you will not want to make a mistake on this road.
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Ahukini Landing

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

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(12)
Ahukini Landing is a fun dive for an experienced diver. The water entry, kick-out, and jetty negotiation are all advanced, but the sights can be worth it. Apparently the site was used as a small harbor during World War II. A ship or two jettisoned its ammunition making for an eerie landscape. Don't touch, however. The reef creatures now make the debris their home, and it should stay that way. Going into the Lihu'e airport (junction of 570 and 51), you'll have a chance to veer to the left toward the dive site. There may a lot of new construction going on, but just follow the well-beaten path to the end of the road.
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Koko Kai Park

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(11)
Koko Kai Park is mostly used as an entry for the previous site, Koke'e Park. It has a natural ledge that you may step on -- to do your giant stride on the next incoming swell. Exit is not easy at this site, which is why most will wait until the incoming tide, and then drift/swim to Koke'e Park beach. We recommend a guide to assist you with the first dive at this site. Take Kalanianaole Highway (72) East toward Koko Head. Before heading up the side of Koko Head, turn right on Nawiliwili Street. After .3 miles turn left onto Poipu Drive. Bear right. After .6 miles turn right onto Hanapepe Loop. Bear Left. After .25 miles turn right into the park area.
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Kukio Bay

Holualoa, Big Island, HI

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(4)
This site will involve a lengthy surface swim to the edge of the drop-off point where the reef can be accessed. The general slope of the bay becomes more shallow as you go north and deeper as you go south. I would consider this dive worth the surface swim to the drop-off point if the surf is not high, if it is I would abort your plan to dive this site as it will tucker you out. With surf there is also some current, so expect to fight some current on your way out to the drop-off point, once you reach the drop-off point the current is not bad. Directions: 1. Directions from Kailua-Kona. The dive-site is accessible via the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu. Pull up to the guard-station and ask for a beach pass for Kukio Beach, turn left immediately after the guard-station and drive to the end of the road. 2. The road leads behind the guard-station and ends at a partially shaded parking lot with nice rest-rooms and outdoor showers mounted on the outside of the restroom building. There is an obvious paved and boarded trail at the end of the road that takes you directly to the beach, it is not a difficult walk, even with heavy gear. Take the trail until you see an exit on your left that leads you directly onto the sand. 3. You can setup on a picnic table that is on the beach, located close to the trail. Once you are setup walk to the center of the Bay with your gear and there should be a less painful entry point over lava rocks and urchins. Otherwise enter to the right, as there is a deep break in the lava that allows for easy access to deeper water, but be prepared for the surface swim of your life. 4. The Reef and actual dive site starts far from shore, if you enter the water at the center of the bay then simply swim out in a WSW direction and eventually you will reach the dropoff to a beautiful reef. You can see the dropoff point on the map. If you entered near the picnic table then you have quite a long surface swim in the south-west direction to the dropoff point. The Topology of this bay is as follows: Towards the North side of the bay you will never get deeper than 12 feet and you will find a little bit of coral and fish and lots of golf balls. Towards the Center of the bay are concrete blocks with lots of coral and fish on them, depth gets to 15 to 18 feet deep. If you head towards the South end of the bay it drops off at a wall to about 40 feet and slopes deeper as you go further away from shore.
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Anahola Beach Park

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

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(4)
Anahola Beach Park offers something for everyone. There is a great beach for soaking up some Sun; the sandy entry makes it perfect for kids playing in the surf; there is good snorkeling and beginning diving just off shore; and, for the more adventurous, a good kick-out will get you to some excellent diving at the point. Heading North on Highway 56 from Lihu'e, turn right on Anahola Road at about mile mark 13.6. You'll find the park after about .6 mile.
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Turtle Town

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

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(4)
Across the road from the parking area is a trail leading into the dive site. About mid-way the trail branches; to the left lies 5 caves, to the right lies turtle town. Follow the right trail into the narrow bay, and crawl down the rocks on the north (right) side of the bay into the water. This is actually easier at low tide as a series of stone "steps" becomes exposed, thus easing entry. From the bay you want to swim straight out to sea, following the rock point to your left. The dive itself consists of a series of interlinking reefs. The life among these reefs is the same as you would see at 5 caves, although not as densely packed. The dive site is well named, as you are bound to see several turtles every dive (we saw a dozen in a 40 minute dive). This is also a popular site for dive boats to drop off snorkelers, so there can be a lot of traffic on the surface. The dive itself is 20' to 35' deep. Visibility is good once you clear the entry point - the water upon entry is very turbid due to a fresh-water stream which flows into the bay. For an easier exit you can swim around the rock point to the 5-caves entry, although if there are waves the turtle point entry is safer and more protected. This site is located immediately next to 5 caves, and shares the same parking area/access trails. At the South End of Highway 31 bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui. After 2.2 miles, turn right onto Makena Road. (There are two Makena Roads, its the second one ie NOT the one right before Po'olenalean Beach). In a couple of hundred yards, you'll see the parking area.
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Papawai Point

Maui, Hawaii

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(8)
Papawai Point is a great vantage point for viewing the Maui coast line. The diving here can be spectacular, although the entry is for advanced shore divers only. Check it out to see if you are comfortable. Also, be sure to look for the local artists, working on their baskets and drawings. Talk to them and patronize their work!
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Maliko Bay

Haiku-Pauwela, Maui, HI

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(5)
Maliko Gulch is located on Maui's north shore. Just passed Hookipa beach park on the road to Hana you'll head down hill to the bridge that crosses Maliko stream. Immediately on the other side of the bridge turn right and follow the road beside the stream and under the bridge. You can dive either side of Maliko but the steam ship anchors and most interesting swim throughs are on the right (East) side of the bay. There is a small wall at the end end of the east finger. At its base and 10 meters north are the 2 steam ship anchors. The hard corals at Maliko bay are healthy and the topography is interesting. If you continue around and to the east you'll find 3 deep ravines in the cliff side and any of them lead south west back into the bay. Going this far requires good air consumption a hot fill and a long surface swim. Turtles are common here but shy. They see few divers here on the wilder side of Maui. This is a good place to spot Devil Scorpion Fish, Spiny Lobsters, Ridge Back Slipper Lobsters. Lots of little caves hide surprises such as large Conger eels and Spanish dancers. Some of the caves are large enough to enter but use caution. They are sometimes less easy to get out of.
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Old Kona Airport Beach

Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI

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(19)
The Old Kona Airport beach is a popular weekend relaxation spot for the locals. But not to worry! There is plenty of parking on the old asphalt runway that stretches the length of the beach. Directions: The entrance is a very short drive, just North of Kailua. Drive to the North end of Kuakini Road just a mile or so out of town, take a left and follow the road toward the ocean until you reach the entrance.
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Puako Church

Waimea, Big Island, HI

advanced
(27)
Puako is considered by some to be the heaven of the Kohala Coast with lava tubes, garden eels, fish and turtles. What more could you ask for?! After making the turn off to Puako, travel 2.1 miles until you see the Church of Ascension on your left. Water shoes are highly recommended. Directions: The turn off to Puako is on Highway19 about 3.4 miles South of the junction of 270 and 19. Continue down Puako Road for 2.1 miles.
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Ko' Olina Resort

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(9)
Ko'Olina is a series of four protected coves that are really only suited for snorkeling. The currents are too strong just outside the breakers. The sites include well-groomed parks with all the facilities -- a great place to take the family! On the South West corner of the Farrington Highway on the West Shore. Turn off on the exit for Ko'Olina Resort.
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Ulua Beach

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(37)
Ulua Beach is one of the beaches in the Wailea resort complex development on Maui's south shore. The sandy beach is located between two rocky points. Ulua Beach is a bit more popular than neighboring Mokapu Beach, with which it shares a parking lot. When the surf is up, it is usually a little higher here than at other beaches in this area, attracting many bodyboarders who enjoy the waves. During calm days, the snorkeling and diving here is excellent. There are many colorful corals and fish. Ulua means `adult crevalle fish in the Hawaiian language.
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Turtle Bay

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(7)
Turtle Bay is a nice family beach area with all the facilities. The diving is excellent beyond the barrier reef, but snorkelers can find fish and an occasional turtle in the shallows. Remember not to approach a resting turtle any closer than 20 feet. Off Kamehameha Highway. Northern most bay on Oahu in the Kawela area.
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Mile 4.9

The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands

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(7)
Mile 4.9 is another excellent site just up the road from Mile 6.3. This is also a popular site for boat divers. The road is pretty much impossible to drive, so be prepared for a two hundred yard hike. Carry a bottle water in with you. Found at Mile mark 4.9 North of the junction of 270 and 19.
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Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(14)
The ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u reserve is located on the southwest corner of the island of Maui and was the first designated Natural Area Reserve in 1973. The 1,238 acres contain marine ecosystems (807 submereged acres), rare and fragile anchialine ponds, and lava fields from the last eruption of Haleakala 200-500 years ago. Native plant communities that include naio, wiliwili and native cotton exist in kipuka, or pockets, but are severly imperiled by the encroachment of weeds and feral ungulates such as goats. A coral reef survey done by the Division of Aquatic Resources in 2007 indicated that the reef community within the NAR boundary waters was the only reef from their test sites that was not declining overall. Preserving the integrity of the anchialine pools is a major management focus. All access to them is closed. Main threats to these wetlands include non-native invasives such as fish or prawns, algal mat formations, and human disturbance.
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Isaac Hale Beach Park (Pohoiki)

Pāhoa, Big Island, HI

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(4)
Isaac Hale is boating, camping, sunning and diving all-in-one! You will find view of a rugged underwater environment here that you will never find on the West side of the Island. The boat ramp to the left offers a very easy entry. Only attempt this dive after talking to a dive shop about the local conditions. It is best to dive with a guide if you have never dived here before. Directions: Starting from Hilo Bay, head South on Highway 11 (Kanoelehua Ave) for 7.4 miles to Kea'au. Head South on Highway 130 for 7.5 miles. Make a left on Pahoa Pohoiki Road (132) and travel for 7.3 miles. You will enter the park at the end of the road.
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Black Rock

Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(59)
Black Rock was formed from one of the last-gasp lava flows on this side of the island. It is a rocky outcrop at the far North end of Ka’anapali Beach and blocks off access (from the beach) to the lesser-known Ka’anapali Resort beach called Kahekili Beach Park. The Hawai’ian name for Black Rock is Pu’u Keka’a, and ancient Hawaiians believed that this was the place where their spirits went to jump off to join ancestors forever. Unlucky souls who could not be shown the way by their family ‘aumakua (guardian animal spirit), would wander and attach themselves to rocks in the area. This is likely where the “it is bad luck to take a Hawai’ian lava rock” superstition comes from. This is also a popular spot for cliff jumping. If you are cliff jumping, swim to the far side of the rock and climb up from there. It's much more challenging and dangerous to reach the rock by click up it from shore.
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Molokini

Molokini, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(3)
Molokini Crater in Maui boasts some of the most unique geological features in the world. Not only is it a marine preserve, it is also a federally owned and protected Seabird sanctuary. The two nesting birds that most frequent the area are the Wedge-Tailed Shearwater and the Bulwer’s Petrel. The visibility in this beautiful crater is often 150 feet deep and there are an estimated 250 species of fish and 38 hard coral species. The humuhumunukunukuapua’a, which is Hawai’is state fish, can often be spotted at the crater. You may even see moray eels, octopus and reef sharks. From the months of December-April our guests also frequently see majestic humpback whales on their boat ride to and from the crater. The waters surrounding the area are part of the Hawaiian Islands Humback Whale Marine Sanctuary. Considered to be an underwater paradise by many, it is no wonder that Molokini is one of the most popular dive and snorkel sites in Hawaii.
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Kamaole 2

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(9)
Another fairly wide sandy beach, the Maui Banyan sits on the end of this beach. While they like to tout it as “one of the finest beaches on Maui”, that claim is a bit exaggerated. What they don’t share in the glossy literature is that after large Kona storms, the sand can temporarily be removed by the ocean leaving rounded lava rock (resembling river rocks, except black.) In fact, the old-time Hawai’ian name for this beach (you know, from the folks that weren’t trying to sell you a condo) is “Ili’iliholo”, which literally means “running pebbles.” (Salesman bashing aside, most days of the year this is still a pretty nice beach!)
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Kehena

Pahoa, Big Island, Hawaii

advanced
(6)
For Gorilla Diving only! When the weather is cooperating, this is a great site to explore the raw, underwater lava formations and the marine life within. Never dive this spot unless the surf is low. We recommend a guided dive to begin with, if you have never dived this side of the island. Directions: Starting from Hilo Bay, head South on Highway 11 (Kanoelehua Ave) for 7.4 miles to Kea'au. Head South on Highway 130 for 7.5 miles. Make a left on Pahoa Pohoiki Road (132) and travel for 7.3 miles, and turn right on Highway 137. Take this scenic road South for 8 miles until you see the parking below.
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La Perouse

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

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(11)
This is a site for every skill level. The entry is easy and protected, with lots to see close to shore and further out into the bay. Beware of the surf conditions-- talk to your local dive shop to be sure. This is a bare-bones park-- bring everything with you! At the South End of Highway 31, bear right onto Wailea Iki. Continue to the T, turn left on Wailea Alanui, which becomes Makena Alanui. After 6.7 miles, you'll see the intersection below.
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Devil's Rock

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(2)
Fifteen minutes from Haleiwa Harbor at the east end of Dillingham Airfield is a finger of the Wailalua Wall which stretches seaward. On that plateau, about half a mile offshore, rests a large wash rock. The position for diving in varied topography is marked by Devil's Rock which rises four to five feet above the surface. The inshore rock drops suddenly to a sandy bottom and a depth of 70 feet. There are frequent turtle sightings at this spot. One can find shells (such as tiger cowries) in the few 5 to 10 vertical cracks, although these hide the resident lobsters. The washrock provides an excellent snorkeling spot and is also coated in healthy corals. On the seaward side the drop falls to 90 feet and is a good spot for dolphins in the summer and whales in the spring.
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Kahauloa Bay

Honaunau-Napoopoo, Big Island, HI

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(2)
Kahauloa Bay is in the midst of a quiet residential area. Be respectful of the locals' privacy and parking areas. Directions: Less than a quarter mile South from Kealakekua Bay.
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Salt Pond

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(4)
The Salt Pond is a beautiful area with restrooms, water, and showers. It is perfect for getting your feet wet with snorkeling or shorediving for the first time! Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the beach between dives. Follow Highway 50 West to mile 17 (In Hanapepe), and make a left on Highway 543. Follow the signs to Salt Pond Beach Park.
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Richardson Beach Park

Hilo, Big Island, HI

beginner
(8)
For a protected diving experience, try Richardson. This park is perfect for non-divers and kids. While you are exporing the underwater sights, you're companions can sun and stroll in some amazing beauty. Directions: Beginning at the intersection of Kanoelehua Ave and Kalanianaole Ave at South Hilo Bay, heat East toward Leleiwi Point on Kalanianaole Ave. Travel 3.6 miles to the entrance below.
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Kamaole 3

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(7)
Kam III is the most popular of the three beaches. It is also the best for boogie-boarding, with a regular break here that can get fairly large during south swells. It is shortest and least wide of the Kama’oles, but it does have the most facilities and a gigantic grassy park area. It also has a new playground and bathroom, and plenty of parking (But weekends & holidays are very popular here – so you will probably need to park in the overflow parking lot.) Be aware that some Large rocks are found protruding from the ocean (and less so, the sand) along some pockets of Kam III. There is also a second rock-bracketed area that forms a more protected cove at the south end Kam III, the cove is called Ana’iao by old-timers. (You’ll likely be the only person there that knows that name!)
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Koke'e Park

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

intermediate
(5)
Koke'e Park is a great public access to a magnificent shelf. This is sometimes used as an exit point from the next dive site, Koko Kai Park. Take Kalanianaole Highway (72) East toward Koko Head. Before heading up the side of Koko Head, turn right on Nawiliwili Street. After .3 miles turn left onto Poipu Drive. Bear right. After .6 miles turn right onto Hanapepe Loop. Take your first right into the public access.
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Kamaole 1

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(3)
A wide, sandy beach, with good swimming. The north end of this stretch of beach is called “Charley Young Beach.” Charley Young was a military reporter who came at the wrong time to build his house here – during WWII all these beaches were taken over and made to simulate enemy beach landings. Anyway, Charley got his land back after the war, and built his house. The Charley Young end of Kam I is more popular with locals, and since the lifeguard and more visible parking and beach access for Kam I is at the other end of the beach, Charley Young is not usually as crowded with visitors. The Charley Young parking lot is on Kaiau St., as is a public access path and stairs to that end of the beach. Parking for the rest of Kam I is at the main parking area right in front of the beach, on street, and at an overflow lot across the road. (see Google map below for all Kam parking lots.)
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Manohole

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(3)
Manohole is another great dive. Entry should be attempted only during calm seas. There are no facilities here. Manohole is located at the mile 8.2 mark on Highway 30. Look for the washed out entrance road.
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Marriott Beach

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(1)
Marriott's parking is just before the hotel. Walk to the beach and enter in front of the activity booth. The reef is to the left, very large turtles here. This is a intermediate/advanced site because of currents and surf.
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Pine Trees

The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(1)
Just south of the natural energy lab. It's not an easy entry/exit but the dive is well worth the tears in the wet suit!
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St. Anthony Shipwreck

Kihei, Maui, HI

intermediate
(1)
Location to tire reef and boat is approximately a 240 degree heading from bottom of stairs, about a .4 mile swim, 70 feet depth. Dive site is do-able from shore, with scooters or fairly long surface swim, many use kayaks to get there. Keep going South on S Kihei Road, do not veer left to go to Wailea, road dead ends, turn right at end, Park at Keawakapu Beach Parking. There is a beach shower near stairs, no fixed restroom facilities, porta-pottys only. Reef dive is very good here. St. Anthony is a 65-foot shrimp boat was intentionally sunk in October 1997, creating Maui’s most popular wreck dive and home to many Green Sea Turtles. The turtles can be seen on the decks, inside the V-berth and cabins. On occasion you even may encounter a turtle clinging on one of the horizontal or vertical bars while it rests. What a great dive! Along the sandy bottom next to the wreck, old tires and cement blocks are scattered, creating an artificial reef that is fun to explore. In addition to turtles, you may see Moray Eels, Trumpetfish, Batfish, reef sharks, and an abundant supply of curious Milletseed Butterflyfish.
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Maluaka Beach (aka Turtle Town)

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

beginner
(2)
At the south end of the beach, there is excellent snorkeling, and good diving a bit further out. At the north end of the beach there is decent snorkeling, but it is a bit shallow for diving. As with most beach in the islands, if the surf is crashing, stay out of the water. Rip tides and strong currents pose a genuine threat. There is no full time lifeguard. Parking is just past the Maui Prince Hotel. Do not leave any valuables in your car or unattended on the beach. There is a second parking lot near the Keawala'i Church but it is kind of isolated. The showers and restrooms are at the parking lot across the street from the church.
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Poipu Beach Park

Koloa, Kauai, HI

beginner
(19)
Poipu Beach Park is a very popular site for snorkelers and first-time shore divers. All the facilities are available, including great places to have lunch right across from the beach. A great place to spend the day! Directions: From Lihu'i heading West on Highway 50, turn left on Highway 520 (Maluhia Road) at mile mark 6.8. After about 3 miles, you'll hit a T in the road at Koloa. Jog right and then an immediate left onto Po'ipu Road, and head South to Po'ipu. At about mile 4.8, take the LEFT fork. After 1.2 mile, take a right on Ho'owili. When you come to the T, you are at Poipu Beach.
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Kahakuloe Head

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(1)
Under Construction! Under Construction!
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Turtle Street

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(1)
Located a half-mile off the west end of Kaiaka Bay is a coral reef at depths of 25-30 feet. This site has a variety of overhangs and arches. On top of the shelf there is a large crack that is 60 yards wide by 100 yards long, where a school of 15 to 20 porcupine fish reside. At its center, several formations rise into the arches, tubes and caves. The residents of the formation and the topographical aberration give this site its name, Turtle Street. Six very tame turtles provide an excellent opportunity to photograph these gentle creatures, and the site is nestled with lots of pukas and is good grounds for lobster.
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Carthaginian

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Not ranked yet
(1)
Carthaginian II sits at a max depth of 97 feet on a sandy seabed. There is typically a slight current on the site, but the wreck is appropriate for scuba divers of beginner and intermediate skill levels. The masts have collapsed on deck, and divers can swim through the large, accessible hold. The engine room and forward compartment have been closed off, but scuba divers can still peer in through the bars. Frogfish can be found all over the wreck, so keep a sharp eye out. Trumpet fish, sergeant major, orange spine unicornfish, rainbow cleaner wrasse and other small fish can be seen swimming about the ship. It is also possible to see turtles, sharks and eagle rays on this site.
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Papalua Beach

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(1)
Beginner and Intermediate Diving. Average depth is 35 to 45 feet, maximum depth is about 125 feet. This area is located at the East end of Papalua beach (near the highway tunnel). Entrance is on the beach right where the shoreline changes to rocks. There is wonderful coral here, some of the best in the area. There are also lots of turtles. There isn't a big variety of reef fish, and the fish are timid and won't let you approach them. There are some restrooms (actually port-a-johns) and a phone. There are also a few picnic tables and some of the area is shaded by trees. The nearest food and drink is either Ma'alaea Harbor or Olowalu General Store. There are no life guards at this location. Snorkeling is great, scuba diving is excellent, and when the surf is up, this is a great place to surf .The calm water area on the east is called "Coral Gardens" and is great for snorkeling and diving. The area on the west is called "Thousand Peaks", a good place for surfing. Thousand Peaks has hundreds of large coral heads ranging from 5 feet to 30 feet from the surface. Whale watching at this beach during the humpback whale season, December thru April is great. Papalua beach is located between Olowalu and the tunnel on the main highway. Travel from Lahaina along the Honoapiilani past Olowalu, mile marker 14, and right before the tunnel pull off the highway and park anywhere you can along here.
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Landing Craft and Tank

Kihei, Maui, HI

Not ranked yet
(0)
Remnants of World War II, the Tank and Landing Craft wrecks are in 60 feet of crystal clear water off the coast of the Makena Golf and Beach Resort. Still recognizable after 60+ years underwater, eels have taken up residency in the pipes and barrels. A strange mix of weaponry and old ammunition are interspersed with a plethora of sea life. Schools of Weke or goat fish swim around the wreck in synchronistic harmony. Octopus are regularly found here. The short swim from one wreck to the other over a sandy bottom, offers an opportunity to find shells. Fragile, but beautiful, Sea Biscuit’s litter the sandy bottom and challenge scuba divers to pick them up without breaking them.
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The Wall, Molokai

Hawaii

advanced
(0)
The Wall is a scuba dive site on the backside of Molokai. If verticals are what you're looking for, then this dive is for you. 280 foot depth a boat length away from the rock face! Large amounts of sea life and pelagics. This area is protected from the prevailing trades and is usually done as a drift dive. We take our time on this one to scour the wall for critters! http://www.scubadivemolokai.com/molokai-backside.php
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The Cone of Silence, Molokai

Molokai, Hawaii

advanced
(0)
The Cone of Silence is a scuba dive site on the backside of Molokai. When the conditions allow, this us a must do dive! 70 foot depth with sand bottom. We drop 40 feet to enter the cone which has been carved out so the bottom of the island is completely hollowed out. There is a huge exit on the far end so light penetrates the whole area. You look up for 60 feet above you and see bubbles at the top of the cone. Surreal. http://www.scubadivemolokai.com/molokai-backside.php
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Kahana

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(0)
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Lehua Crater

Lehua, Kauai, Hawaii

Not ranked yet
(0)
A volanic crater off the coast of Niihau. One of the only places in the world where you can reliably dive with Hawaiian Monk Seals. Boats leave from Kauai, and it's usually an all day 3-tank trip.
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Ni'ihau

Ni'ihau, Kauai, HI

intermediate
(0)
Monolithic lava formations provide for an array of habitats. Ni’ihau has the most amazing labyrinth network of lava tubes in the state. The mouths of the tubes are 100 feet wide and extend back 150 feet+, only to drop into another passageway. Huge underwater erosional sea caves and arches change the colors around you. This topography is sure to blow your mind. It is the only dive destination in the world where you have an excellent chance to swim with the most endangered marine mammals in U.S. waters, the Hawaiian monk seal. Boat's leave from Kauai, and it's usually an all day 3-tank trip to get here.
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Hyatt Reef

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(0)
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Honomalino Bay

The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(0)
The parking area is at Miloli'i County Park and you have to hike in from there. It's a great snorkel area.
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Moloala Bay

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(0)
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Turtle Canyon Reef

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(0)
Turtle Canyons is a great scuba dive for both beginners or first time diving and novice divers alike. The reef is approximately 20 to 45 feet deep. The boat ride out to Turtle Canyons takes around 15 minutes depending on your boat and what harbor you depart out of. Turtle Canyons was formed thousands of years ago when volcanic activity was in action here on Oahu. Large lava/rock encrusted fingers point out from the shallow shores of Waikiki in a south eastern direction. In between these "fingers" are mostly small rock boulders , coral heads and sand. If you're really into colorful corals, this dive won't be for you. The area where this dive site is situated leaves no room for fragile corals and soft corals to flourish. Heavy swells roll in from the south east like blazing freight trains only to leave an area that almost resembles a whitish blue desert. So why the heck even bother? Well my friends, this dive is an incredible one if you want to view the Hawaiian green sea turtles in their natural habitat. We get divers with hundreds of dives who really "freak" out when they meet these calm spirited attitude laid back reptiles. You can literally swim right with these rare reptiles without a care in the world. I do want to mention that turtles are on the endangered species list so harassing or harming these beautiful creatures will leave you with a painful fine. So please give these cool marine creatures your utmost respect, after all you are in their "house."
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Mokolea Point

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(0)
Under Construction! Under Construction!
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Wahikuli Park

Maui, Hawaiian Islands

Not ranked yet
(0)
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Koloa Landing at Hanaka'ape Bay

Koloa, Kauai, HI

beginner
(0)
Koloa Landing at Hanaka'ape Bay is a very popular dive site, especially for scuba instruction. The entry is easy, and there is plenty to see to the left and right of the landing. Directions: From Lihu'i heading West on Highway 50, turn left on Highway 520 (Maluhia Road) at mile mark 6.8. After about 3 miles, you'll hit a T in the road at Koloa. Jog right and then an immediate left onto Po'ipu Road, and head South to Po'ipu. At about mile 4.8, take the RIGHT fork. After .2 mile, take the left fork. You'll see the landing in about a tenth of a mile.
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Kaena Point

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

beginner
(0)
You guys are missing a very good dive site from your repertoire of Oahu sites. May I suggest Kaena Point on the extreme West side of the island? There is a real entry point that is easy and on a calm day can make this site a beginner to intermediate site, but on rough days or days that have a strong current an advanced site. At the end of Farrington Hwy. there is a small cove in the Kaena Point Beach Park that makes an easy entry point. Navigation in the site is super easy since you follow a trough that loops around making it a ledge dive that lasts about 60min at a slow pace and ends where you began with 500psi. and Max. depth will be around 36ft. with average depth being about 20-30ft. I can almost guarantee a white tipped reef shark to be sleeping under one of the ledges at around 34ft every time you dive this site. I took my dive club here last weekend and we had a blast. Make sure to put this one on your sites list.
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Mole Heaven

Oahu, Hawaiian Islands

advanced
(0)
This is a shore dive from Haleiwa Beach Park and is best accessed by swimming out from Jameson's Restaurant to the green (#3) buoy on the starboard side of the channel. There is a surface layer of poor visibility (2-3 feet) that clears to about 60 feet deeper down. The site is a labyrinth of channels, with walls that run from 25 feet, to within 3 feet of the surface. They are 12 to 15 feet across, and separated by a silt bottom, with the offshore end tapering to a width of one diver. This site is best dived when working in towards the shore. The matrix of pukas is filled with tiny lobster and a number of tiger cowries. Though inaccessible during the day, everything comes out at night for good photography, making this an excellent night dive site. As such, this is an advanced dive site that should be led by a guide.