Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Kauai

Known as the ‘Garden Isle’ because of abundant rainfall and lush green vistas, Kauai has more white sandy beaches than any other island of Hawai’i. Opportunities for world-class swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and diving abound!
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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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Lawai Beach

Koloa, Kauai, HI

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(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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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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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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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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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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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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Ke'e Beach

Kauai, Hawaii

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(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

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(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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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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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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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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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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Salt Pond

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

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(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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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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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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Moloala Bay

Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

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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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Lehua Crater

Lehua, Kauai, Hawaii

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(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.