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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

By Hawaii.com Team

Family on the beach to snorkel a North Shore cove.  | Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Family on the beach to snorkel a North Shore cove. | Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Scuba Diving

Thanks to the lava that has poured into the ocean for centuries, Hawaii’s underwater landscape is a fascinating place to explore. With the advantage of warm water and high visibility, divers will discover a world of lava tubes, arches, caves and caverns, canyons, crevices and pinnacles. Add the occasional sunken vessel or plane, an abundance of reef fish and scores of curious sea creatures to the mix, and expect nothing short of an awesome dive.

If you’re a certified diver, there are several options available. Rent equipment from a dive shop and venture out on your own, or book a ride on a dive boat and head for a good offshore spot. For those wanting to learn to dive, there are introductory dive or “resort courses” available.

Oahu’s waters are a great place to explore, with a plethora of dive spots waiting for you.

Snorkeling

The ocean’s thoroughfares are teeming with life. Truth is, it’s just one big jungle down there. Fins are the preferred mode of travel. There are bad guys and good guys, creatures decked out in wild attire, others appearing in drab. And not unlike their terrestrial cousins, the inhabitants of the deep are locked in a struggle to survive. Left to their own devices, sea dwellers—ingenious and adaptive to the max—manage to exist without governments, rules or cops. And in Hawaii, many of them are downright hospitable, happy to put on a show for anyone wearing diving gear or a snorkel mask.

Snorkeling is an activity that can be done either by booking a cruise or finding a good spot on a beach. If you book a cruise, expect gear, lunch and other amenities to be provided.

Check out these snorkeling spots: Haunama Bay (closed Tuesdays), Kuilima Cove on the North Shore, Kahe Point Beach Park, Sharks Cove (in the summer) and Kaena. Pupukea Beach Park, an 80-acre beach park on the North Shore, is usually not crowded.

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