Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Help on which island(s) for Scuba Divers

Help on which island(s) for Scuba Divers


Jul 25th, 2014, 01:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Help on which island(s) for Scuba Divers

I've been searching and reading and trying to figure out where to stay. My husband and I are planning a 2-week trip to Hawaii and we've never been there before. We are recreational divers (generally diving the Caribbean - calm, clear waters). We definitely want to get some diving in and were considering staying 1/2 the time on Maui and the other 1/2 on Big Island. However, now we're getting sucked into considering Kauai because we keep hearing so many great things about it. I know there's not time for all 3 islands this trip, but not sure we'll ever make it back (coming from Maryland and my husband hates flying over 3 hours!). Besides diving, we'd like to do a little hiking and exploring, beaches, and most of all just relaxing! We do like convenience to some extent, but we're not into "night life" and don't have kids that will be with us. It's for my husband's 50th birthday, so our time frame is the end of Sept - 1st week of October...which is kind of between seasons I think? Trying to figure out which islands, which resorts, and which side of the islands for good weather and calmer waters (even if we don't actually stay there). We will plan to rent a vehicle wherever we go, though with diving we prefer not to have to get up too much earlier to meet up (generally about 6:30-7am I think). Any advice, tips, or help would be greatly appreciated!!!
deballie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30,479
You might want to put the following phrase into the Google search box and hit "enter"

hawaii scuba diving resources
Dukey1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 01:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
LOL - yes, I did do that - many times and many ways, and it's all so confusing and overwhelming. Was just trying to get some "personal experience" input. Was originally looking at just input on which islands - but thought I'd share a little more because it seems that often people respond with "if I knew if...then..."
deballie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 87,194
hmmm... interesting question. I read a lot about snorkeling on each of the Hawaiian islands. I don't remember reading about diving them.
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,665
We do beach dives in Maui because it's free. Mostly at a place called Five Graves or Ahihi Reserve.
There are dive boats leaving to the Molokini volcano from the Kihei marina. The inside of the crater is not as interesting as the outer slopes. Visibility at Molokini has been 100 plus feet on our dives there.
The boats from Kihei vary in size but they are all trailered in so they are not huge. They do leave fairly early, I'm guessing 7:30. Almost all the boats are back by 11:00 because of the trade winds. It takes just a few minutes to get out to the crater.
There are many dive shops on the island to rent tanks and weights or, the whole works.
logandog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 25th, 2014, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
Good vis all over Hawaii - and have dove/snorkeled on/around all of the isles. Lotsa good choices.

The trip I most wanted to do was to small - crescent shaped isle -like Molokini on Maui - close to Niihau - off southwest Kauai - and the day I checked with them (a group out of Port Allen) they said - no sweat Bruddah - plenty of spots tomorrow - and then some fricking wedding party chartered the whole boat.

My wife got certified during our Honeymoon on Kauai ('88) - up on the North Shore - and there is also some nice diving there - Tunnels, in Hanalei Bay, etc.

The company was called Bubbles Below - the one that my wife got certified with. The guy who was running it was the son of a famous photographer/diver - published in National Geographic, etc - but not sure if she is still active with them. see: http://bubblesbelowkauai.com/
Tomsd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 27th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,960
For your timeframe I'd recommend Maui+Kauai instead of Maui+Big Island. The Ironman tournament is held on the BI every October (10/11 this year), and hotels/condos are usually booked solid for the weeks prior to the event.

Also, both Maui and Kauai offer picturesque diving spots, while most of the best diving on the BI is on its west/dry side -- which consists almost entirely of barren lava flows. Tourists expecting to see "South Pacific" are often disappointed.
fdecarlo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2014, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,007
I've been diving on the major four islands. Big Island has diving with manta rays which is amazing, but it's also pretty strenuous (was not prepared for being tossed around as in a washing machine). Maui is great b/c you can do Molokini from the South shore (I prefer Ed Robinson's) or Lanai from the West (love Expanded Horizons). There are also some easy dives you can do from shore like Mala pier in Lahaina.

BUT - you won't see the colors/coral that you see in the Caribbean. Hands down the prettiest place I've been for diving (so far) is Cozumel.
beanweb24 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2014, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,665
Hawaiian diving is different in several ways.
The water is colder, you'll need a wetsuit and more weight.
Reefs are lava, decorated by coral not made from it.
The only "wall" dive is the side of Molokini facing south-west.
I think the sea life rivals the Caribbean.
I too believe that Cozumel is the most amazing dive location I've been.
logandog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 25th, 2014, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1
It depends on the beach you're diving in , All beachs have their own way of throwing you in the water , Scuba diving lots of training and tips to do it safely ,.I would prefer going to http://www.aesdives.com/educate.html
peter1818 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2014, 02:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,841
Notable dives in Hawaii that I did were Molokini, the Cathedrals in Lanai, Sheraton Caverns & Tunnels Beach in Kauai and the Corsair in Honolulu, which was amazing. Did not find Cozumel to the be the most amazing dive location, so far have not found anything to beat Grand Cayman.
Odin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2014, 05:23 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 45,543
I'm not a diver, but have snorkeled at Tunnels on the North Shore of Kauai and loved it. Be careful though and check with dive shops about the water conditions there. It can be dangerous and as I recall there are no lifeguards.
nanabee is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2014, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,593
The healthiest and most varied sea life will be found (generally) on the Kona side of the Big Island. That area also has the opportunity to do the night time manta ray dive.

Molokini Crater off of Maui also is a good dive (it's a marine preserve), though the back side is healthier than inside the crater itself.

On Oahu, the Shark's Cove area (another marine preserve) has generally IMO the healthiest sea life to see on the island. Oahu diving is known more for the wrecks than sea life.

I haven't done any diving on Kauai.

If diving were the sole criteria, I would choose the Big Island and Maui - or Oahu, if you have an interest in diving wrecks.

If you plan to do boat dives, all shops have the morning dive, which usually leaves around 8 - so yes, you would have to get up early. Some shops offer afternoon dives, but you would have to call to make sure. If you just want to rent tanks/equipment and do some shore dives, you could go whenever you wanted.

Check out the forum for Hawaii at http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/hawaii/

It will give you lots of information on different dive shops on the island, as well as info on various dive sites.
chepar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 28th, 2014, 09:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2
There is a nice little website that has snorkeling and diving brochures for some of the outfits on the Kona side listed..you might find it helpful...the link is http://islandsource.com . Diving on the Kona side is really nice..no wetsuit needed...just a thin lycra one to keep the sun off your body works fine.... I specially like to go to Kealakekua...
K_Freeman is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:45 PM.