Experience A Lifetime of Deep Blue Adventures
Hawaii emerges straight from the world's collective imagination of paradise. With whales, dolphins and sharks, vast clouds of colorful butterflyfish, green sea turtles and whole crowds of creatures found only in the waters of this Polynesian undersea Mecca, Hawaii offers a vast realm of discovery and exploration. These spectacular volcanic wonderlands have all the blue thrills you can handle.
The home of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, the Big Island teems with life. It has 12 of the world's 16 climate zones within its boundaries, so every corner and turn of this island is unique. This diversity has seeped into the waters that surround its shores. A virtual dive town, Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island's western shore, is crowded with dive flags and for good reason.
Just offshore, incredibly clear water harbors a wild variety of underwater experiences. From January through March, pods of humpback whales come to give birth off these shores, their whale song providing an enchanting soundtrack to every dive adventure. In the open water within sight of shore, pilot whales are frequently seen, often followed by oceanic whitetip sharks. Huge aggregations of dolphins fill the waters, making surface intervals spectacular with their aerial acrobatics. Close to shore, the dive sites that dot the area have become world-famous. At Garden Eel Cove, massive manta rays come in at night to feed on tiny krill and other organisms attracted to lights set on the sea floor.
It's a world-class site straight from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. City of Refuge and Turtle Pinnacle attract green sea turtles by the dozen to their cleaning stations. The lava substrate has riddled the shoreline with underwater caverns, in which you'll find nurse sharks, legions of squirrelfish and every kind of ray of light imaginable. Sequestered in the nooks and crannies of the dive sites, you'll find brightly colored frogfish, dragon, zebra, whitemouth and yellowmargin morays, and fluttering extravagances of endemic milletseed butterflyfish. There's even an extremely photogenic wreck, the Naked Lady, in the harbor.
Spectacular diving also can be had along the Kohala Coast, just northwest of Kona, famous for its pristine hard coral gardens and lava formations and its lack of crowds.
Top Dive Sites: Hawaii
Garden Eel Cove (manta night dive)
Suck 'Em Up
Mile Marker 4
Open Water Offshore
City of Refuge
Wreck of the Naked Lady