The Top Dive Sites in and Around Honolulu

There are many locales around the world where you can venture for some really awesome scuba diving experiences. On every continent (including Antarctica!), there is an experience waiting to be had, unique forms of life underwater to be discovered, and many different geological formations to behold. Hawaii has long been known as one of the most spectacular places in which to scuba dive, thanks in large part to its volcanic activity, pristine shores and diverse marine life. Oahu is the center of attention for scuba diving (and vacations in general) in Hawaii, so it only makes sense to start your scuba experience here. We’ll review the top dive sites in and around the Honolulu area, so that you can consider each when visiting the island in the near future.

Waimea Wall

The Waimea Wall dive site is a great place on the North Shore to explore and can be fun for people with any skill level of diving. Ranging from depths of 25 to 60 feet, portions of Waimea Wall can be accessed either by boat or directly from the shore. You’ll enjoy upwards of 50 feet of visibility in the water and can expect to see creatures like whitetip reef sharks, lobsters, shellfish and eagle rays, as well as plenty of coral. Snorkelers will also have a great time here and will be able to see plenty of lava formations and tunnels – even from the surface. At the bottom of the dive, there are masses of boulders and other forms of sea rubble that make the overall diving experience an aesthetic treat for anyone in the mood to take the plunge.

100 Foot Hole

Aptly named and not for beginner divers, the 100 Foot Hole dive site in Southern Oahu is an amazing experience that can only be accessed by boat. Found originally by fishermen, its name comes from their estimation of the depth of the area. While the hole actually descends more than 150 feet, most dives will not venture beyond 75 feet or so for safety reasons. You’ll witness cauliflower coral, a series of caves and caverns, volcanic rocks and other formations while in the hole. A variety of nocturnal fish, manta rays, eels, turtles, lobsters and crabs can be spotted in the vicinity. The water is quite clear here, with visibility extending for 100 feet or more depending on the day.

Corsair Plane

Absolutely breath-taking and only for advanced divers, the Corsair Plane dive site in Oahu is located on the South Shore and is home to an array of green sea turtles, sharks, sponges, manta rays and anglerfish. The main feature of the dive is the WWII-era plane that crashed after a training mission and settled a little over 100 feet below the surface. The brilliant bright sand at the bottom of the dive site helps illuminate it in a way that few other sites at this depth enjoy; you’ll be able to see for 100 feet or more in most cases. The water here never dips below 70 degrees, putting it in line with most Hawaiian dive sites. Even expert divers must be careful here, as strong currents are quite common at this site.

Have you dived Honolulu? Let us know your favorite dive sites in the comments!