Best time to visit Hawaii

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Hawaii

Explore picturesque lagoons, tunnels, reefs, and underwater canyons of the Hawaiian Islands​

Best time: May–September

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Diving Hawaii

Scuba Diving

The four most visited Hawaiian islands Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, have plenty of diving spots and attractions. If you are interested in some unique dives in less touristy areas, you might need to rent a dive boat. Weather conditions are most favorable for diving from May to ​September.

Sea Tiger Wreck

One of the most well-known diving attractions is the Sea Tiger wreck In Honolulu. This former Chinese trading vessel is at a depth of nearly 98.4 feet (30 m) and is perfect for experienced divers.

Lanai

Lanai is also famous for its diving attractions: swim-throughs, archways, and caves. You definitely shouldn't miss First Cathedral. This is a huge underwater cavern consisting of tunnels, ridges, and passageways. Since it has a large hole in the top, on a sunny day, rays of light create a marvelous effect inside the cavern.

Snorkeling

For less experienced divers, snorkeling can be an excellent option to explore the marina of Hawaii islands. Vibrant-colored fish and corals can be spotted almost from the water's surface. But you need a private boat or a hike to reach specific locations either by private boat or a hike.

Big Island

Big Island’s treasure destinations like Honaunau Bay, Kahaluu Beach, or Kealakekua Bay boast schools of fish and gardens of corals. You can spot the turtles that enjoy seagrass near the shore.

Around Maui

Molokini Crater near the island of Maui is known not only for its unusual shape but also for its rich underwater world. Teeming with fish emerald waters of Hulopoe Bay of Lana’i or Tunnels Beach of Kauai, every island has something to offer.

Oahu

On Oahu, you can even try an extreme adventure of a lifetime—shark snorkelers. In this fair scenario, sharks in their natural habitat can observe the divers, who are locked in a safe underwater cage. This nerve-tickling experience, as well as other snorkeling, is best during the summer months.

Practical info

What is the ideal time to go scuba diving in Hawaii?

The perfect time for scuba diving in Hawaii is between May and September, a period characterized by clear and warm water conditions which provide the best experience for divers. However, those considering better underwater visibility could explore Hawaii during the winter months. It's an ideal time to visit the Hawaiian Islands to encounter exceptional marine life in their natural habitats and discover a unique world that's rare and precious. Show more

Where is the Sea Tiger wreck located, and can novice divers explore it?

Honolulu is the location of the Sea Tiger wreck, but new divers are not advised to explore the site as it requires experience. This advanced dive spot is situated at approximately 98 feet below the water's surface; the location's depth and strong currents make it an ideal spot for seasoned divers. Explorers need permission from local authorities to dive here; hence novice divers should consider other options that are less challenging. Show more

When is the appropriate time to go snorkeling in Hawaii?

The best time for snorkeling in Hawaii is in the summer season, primarily between May and September. Visitors will experience warmer, calmer waters during this period, thus providing an excellent avenue for memorable snorkeling experiences. Regardless of the season, locals advise that visitors can still have a memorable time snorkeling as the water temperature ranges from 68-80°F (20-27°C ) while the air temperature ranges around 75°F (24°C). Show more

Which Hawaiian island is the best for snorkeling, and what marine life can be seen there?

Hawaii's Big Island, Maui, and Kauai Islands all have snorkeling spots that offer a unique underwater world where visitors can witness colorful fish, turtles, and magnificent coral gardens. Big Island's beaches, Kahaluu Beach and Honaunau Bay have attractive marine life views. Kauai's Tunnels Beach has emerald waters and is an excellent option for snorkeling, while Lana’i's Hulopoe Bay is also an exciting exploring option with its marine life essence that awes tourists. Show more

Are there any unique snorkeling experiences in Hawaii, besides spotting fish and corals?

Apart from spotting various fish and corals while snorkeling, visitors to Hawaii can also enjoy an adrenaline rush by indulging in underwater shark snorkeling. This experience allows visitors to observe sharks comfortably in their natural habitats while hidden behind a secure iron cage; it's a thrilling experience that promises to be heart-stopping but ultimately safe. For those seeking more relaxation, snorkeling off secluded bays while hiking scenic trails that lead to concealed waterfalls, pools, and lagoons are other enjoyable options to explore in Hawaii. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin