The Best Scuba Diving in Hawaii for Beginners

best scuba diving in hawaii for beginners
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > The Best Scuba Diving in Hawaii for Beginners

You’re ready to “take the plunge” and scuba dive in Hawaii, but you’re still a beginner. No problem – we have you covered! Today, we’re revealing the best scuba diving in Hawaii for beginners! We’ve also got a few tips to help make the most of your scuba excursion along with some jaw-dropping photos that will inspire you to reach new depths!

Tips for Beginner Scuba Divers in Hawaii

Before you dive in, there are some key things to know about scuba diving, whether you’re new to the sport altogether or simply new to Hawaii. 

  • Our warm water makes scuba diving great year-round. But, you will have the warmest conditions in August and September.
  • You don’t have to be certified to go scuba diving with a company – as long as they offer beginner excursions. 
  • You can get scuba-certified in Hawaii if you choose to dedicate multiple days to a course. 
  • Contact Hawaii Aloha Travel to book a great beginner scuba diving excursion that works with your vacation plans!

Best Beginner Scuba Diving Spots in Hawaii

Angler’s Reef – Maunalua Bay (Oahu)

Angler Fish Reef is a ridge made of lava rock and coral that runs parallel to the shore.  Common marine life includes numerous sea urchins, frogfish, sponge crabs, reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, and eels.

Koko Craters – Maunalua Bay (Oahu)

The site includes a group of circular craters that lie in about 30 to 35 feet of water.  The craters were formed when Koko Head erupted nearly 10,000 years ago.  This is one of the best beginner scuba diving spots in Hawaii to see turtles. In fact, the Koko Craters area has been nicknamed turtle heaven due to the abundance of green sea turtles.  

Scuba Diving Hawaii Turtle

In addition to turtles, commonly seen marine life includes eels, striped belly puffer, octopus, snapper, scorpionfish, Potter’s angelfish, and schools of other reef fish.

Electric Beach (Oahu)

Kahe Point Beach Park got its nickname ‘Electric Beach’ from the HECO electric plant located across the road, so it should be easy to find. The site includes a mostly sand bottom with large coral heads close to shore. The farther out you go, you’ll find large rocks, caves, and coral reefs.  

Be careful of the blue underwater outflow pipes from the electric plant where hot water is shot out at a high rate.  The water is clean and the warmth attracts various sea life.  You can see the change in the surface water above the pipes, so look for it before you enter the water.  

Common sea life includes the spinner dolphin, needlefish, triggerfish, snapper, and green sea turtle.

Magic Island – Ala Moana Beach Park (Oahu)

Magic Island, which is not an island, is a small man-made peninsula connected to Ala Moana Beach Park and next to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. 

At the end of Magic Island is a nice beach protected by a sea wall.  This is a safe place for snorkeling because you won’t have to worry about boats or large waves.  It’s also a great place to start your scuba practice sessions.  

Diving is an option outside of the sea wall, but waters can be murky and there is a lot of boat traffic. Common marine life includes porcupine fish, manta rays, green sea turtles, spotted puffer fish, morays, moorish idols, triggerfish, and fantail filefish.

Airport Beach (Maui)

Located along the northern shores of Kaanapali Beach, this dive site is perfect for beginners because it is easy to access. 

While depths reach 40 feet, the best diving lies between 20 and 30 feet. Along the coral, you’ll find dozens of fish species, including lemon butterflies, Moorish idols, lionfish, yellowtail coris, and needlefish.

Molokini Crater (Maui)

Molokini Crater a great beginner snorkeling spot in Hawaii
Molokini Crater a great beginner snorkeling spot in Hawaii

Without question, Molokini Crater is the premier snorkeling spot for tourists. It sees up to 2000 snorkelers visit per day! But its real treasures lie deeper. In fact, this is widely considered the best scuba diving in Hawaii for beginners.

After a quick 30-minute boat ride from Maui, divers descend to 60-70 feet, where white tip sharks, manta rays up to 15 feet wide, and Garden eels glide effortlessly along. 

If you’re interested in diving Molokini Crater, book your Maui Scuba Diving excursion package through Hawaii Aloha Travel. You’ll enjoy the best guides and amazing discounts.

Pawai Bay (Big Island)

Clear waters, abundant reef life, and interesting coral formations make the protected Pawai Bay Marine Preserve ideal for diving. Explore sea caves, arches, and lava rock formations and dive into lava tubes. Though this Kona dive spot is just offshore, you can only access it by boat. Book a beginner Hawaii scuba tour to see the many fish at Pawai Bay Marine Reserve. 

Puako (Big Island)

Just south of Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, beautiful Puako offers easy entry to some fine reef diving. Deep chasms, sea caves, and rock arches abound with varied marine life.

Koloa Landing (Kauai)

Koloa Landing is on the south shore of Kauai at Hanakaape Bay. This is a great spot for scuba diving in Hawaii for beginners. The water entry is easy and it’s teeming with marine life. The waters reach a depth of about 30 feet and it’s generally calm all year round. 

Scuba Diving Hawaii Fish

The remarkable feature of this spot is its horseshoe-shaped reef which makes it easy to gain dive experience. On one side of the horseshoe reef, you’ll find lava tubes. On the other side, you’ll get to see tropical fishes and sea turtles. The best sights though are located towards the west side of the reef.

Kahala Barge (Kauai) 

Kahala Barge on the east shore at Anahola Beach is another great offshore scuba diving site. At Kahala Barge, you will find a large well-protected reef with tons of fish. Currents here keep the water clean, so it’s also a great underwater photography spot. 

Diving In: Having the Best Scuba Diving Experience in Hawaii for Beginners

You may not be an advanced diver—yet, but these 10 dive spots will help you train for the big leagues if and when you’re ready!

In the meantime, your team at Hawaii Aloha Travel can’t wait to plan a vacation full of the best experiences and sights!