5 Best Places to Scuba Dive in Hawaii

by Austin Jacob

Hawaii is one of the most popular dive locations in the US and for good reason. Its remote location allows for much different wildlife than other United States locations such as Florida. As long as travel time and cost aren’t an issue, Hawaii is one of the best dive locations available. The reason it’s so special to me is that its the first place (other than a pool) I’ve ever scuba dived at! 

Kona’s Manta Ray Night Dive

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This might be Hawaii’s most well known dive.
On the dive, several boats point their powerful lights underwater attracting tons of plankton.
No more than a few minutes later, enormous manta rays start doing flips catching the small meals in their mouths. When I did this dive, I had accidentally grabbed the wrong tank and found myself being extremely low on air. I ended up doing this dive mostly on the surface. I lucked outas some manta rays made breaks to the surface and brushed up right against me!

Sheraton Caverns

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This was another amazing dive that had a bunch of lava tues to dive through. If you’re afraid of small spaces I wouldn’t recommend this dive. I was around 40 feet deep for most of this dive which means its great for beginners.
When diving, it’s important to have a dive watch so you can keep track of vital information like depth.
This dive site has even been referred to as “The Circus” because of the wide variety of marine life that visits here.

Sea Tiger Shipwreck

This is the first shipwreck dive that we’re going to discuss this article. In this case, the ship was intentionally sunk to promote diving in Hawaii. Diving at a shipwreck is an amazing experience that I recommend to all divers. Expect to see plenty of moray eels, sea turtles, white tip reef sharks and more.
One downside to this dive is that it’s somewhat deep (100+ feet), which can be difficult for newer divers. There is a small amount of decay inside the wreck but it’s still an extremely popular dive site.

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Corsair Airplane Wreck

While I’ve never dived at this specific site, I’ve heard great things. This dive isn’t really for beginners (which I was when I went to Hawaii) as there are some rough waters and tough spaces.
There are plenty of larger marine animals such as sharks and stingrays. The plant that is crashed here was heading to Pearl Harbor in 1948 but ran out of fuel. In case you were wondering the pilot made it out ok.

Lanai Cathedrals

This is an extremely awesome dive that involves some cave diving so bring a flashlight.
I remember this dive having great visibility (considering parts were in a cave), and was around 70 feet deep.
As you can probably tell by the name, this dive has some really awesome natural arches and structures. You’ll find some of the most unique underwater formations here than you will almost anywhere else. Because the water is rich with plankton, you’ll often run into Manta rays and sea turtles.


And there you have it! 5 of the most popular dive sites across Hawaii. Overall, Hawaii is a great place for scuba divers of all background to do some diving. One of my favorite parts about diving in Hawaii is that no boat is required. Most of the time we’d just pull up to the beach and walk right in. 


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