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Top Hawaii Vacation Activities: Big Island Scuba Diving 101

If you’re looking for Hawaii vacation activities that will truly take you out of this world, Big Island scuba diving is one of the best ways to go.

There are plenty of great dive spots, as well as some fantastic scuba diving companies for those who are still learning. And what better place to learn to scuba dive than in Hawaii? The marine life is extraordinary, and dive conditions are often fantastic.

Here are some tips to help you dive in to the Big Island scuba diving scene.

Where to Get Your PADI or NAUI Certification

Not certified yet? No problem.

While you can’t rent equipment on your own unless you have a certificate, you can find operators that will take you out to sea and help you get one. There are a few reputable operators on the Big Island:

  • Jack’s Diving Locker is a well-established diving school that caters to the whole family. They offer scuba diving classes, refresher courses, and they can help you obtain basic or advanced diving certificates.
  • Kona Honu Divers also offers a variety of certifications, as well as charters, scuba packages, and more.
  • Kona Diving Company offers daily dive trips, multiple-day packages, and a full range of diving classes and certifications.
  • Kohala Divers, another reputable company, offers tours, classes, charters, and more.

If you’re already certified, you can go to these same companies to rent your equipment.

Jack’s Diving Locker, Kona Honu Divers, and Kona Diving Company are all located in Kailua-Kona. Kohala Divers is located on the northwestern corner of the island, in Kawaihae.

The Big Island’s Best Dive Spots

Once you’re certified, where should you go diving?

The easiest way to find the best spots is to take a diving tour. Neptune Charlie’s offers a great tour called Neptune Charlie’s Dive Adventure. On this tour, your expert guide will escort you to two of the Big Island’s most popular dive sites. Gear and instruction are included if you’re a beginner.

All of the companies mentioned above also offer guided tours and charters.

Chances are, you’ll only be able to hit one, two, or a few of the Big Island’s dive spots. With over 50 to choose from, which should you pick?

Here are just a few of the island’s best:

  • Mauna Lani Caves, also known as the Haunted Caverns, provide plenty of underwater space to explore. The site contains coral reefs and many caves, which vary in size from small to huge. Here, you’ll see a variety of tropical fish and sea turtles. You can access these either from a boat or from the shore, right off the coast of the Mauna Lani Resort.
  • Puako is north of Kona. This site is easily accessible, and the best spot to visit is the turtle cleaning station. The underwater architecture includes a breathtaking coral cave and an extensive field of coral.
  • South of Kailua-Kona you can find the Place of Refuge, located in Honauna Bay. The coral in this spot give rise to innumerable species of marine life, including fish, invertebrates, and sea turtles.


Ready to get your flippers wet?

To learn more about scuba diving, snorkeling, and other marine activities in Hawaii, visit Hawaii Discount’s travel blog.

And to book affordable scuba tours on the Big Island or any other Hawaiian Island, visit HawaiiDiscount.com. Hawaii Discount provides discounted Big Island tours, Big Island activities, and Big Island vacation packages.