Hawaii Guide


Scuba Diving on Kauai Hot Spots and Tours

Divers, Scuba, Reef, Underwater, Sea, Ocean, Diving

Kauai's scuba diving hot spots are well worth a visit. Lava rock formations and diverse marine life are the main attractions below the waves. Expect to find turtles, lobsters, lionfish, nudibranchs and conger eels among other forms of marine life. The coral reefs around Kauai are not particularly spectacular but there are plenty of other wonderful underwater sights around the island.

Scuba diving can be limited by weather conditions on the island. Generally speaking the north shore seas get quite rough in the winter making them great for surfing but not so good for scuba diving. Therefore during the winter scuba divers head to Kauai's protected south shore. However during the summer months it is the other way round with the south shore having larger surf than the north shore. Conditions can vary though from day to day and within different parts of the island so divers should ask whether there will be strong currents and what the visibility will be like before going on a dive trip.

Kauai scuba diving companies get booked up quickly during the summer months so plan ahead and book your dive trip early. Boats are not allowed to moor on the north shore so diving trips by boat are only possible on the south shore. There is some wonderful diving with great visibility and large fish such as sharks, rays and dolphins just off Niihau IslandNiihau Island. This are is considered suitable for advanced divers only. It takes about an hour and a half to get to the island by boat so take seasickness medication before departure if necessary.

There are some good shore dives from the following beaches :

  • Kee Beach on the north shore at the end of Highway 560;
  • Tunnels Beach off Highway 560;
  • Cannons Beach near Haena;
  • Tortugas in the Poipu region of Kauai is good for turtles;
  • Sheraton Caverns near the Sheraton Kauai Resort ;
  • Koloa Landing on the south shore has a small reef with plenty of fish.

Scuba diving equipment can be bought or hired from dive shops on Kauai. Two of the dive shops are:

Dive Kauai, Kapaa, tel: 1 808 822 0452;

Fathom Five Adventures, Koloa, tel: 1 808 742 6991.

Both rent or sell scuba diving equipment and also conduct scuba diving courses and operate dive trips. In addition to the dive shops, there are other tour operators who organize dive boat trips and course. Try Bubbles Below Scuba Charters, Kapaa, tel: 1 808 822 3483 or Mana Divers, Koloa, tel: 1 808 335 0881.