The Hawaiian Islands are renown for the endless beauty and lush landscape that can largely be explored on foot, as well as playing host to some of the world’s best places to dive. While there are incredible dive opportunities to be found on each island, we thought we’d start right at the beginning: the Big Island. Based on the unique characteristics and accessibility of each of these sites, we present to you what are often considered to be the five best dive sites on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Arena is a dive site known for its subtle sloping reef that consists of small lava tubes and an interesting series of swim-throughs and arches, including one massive set of linked arches in a big “finger coral” structure. Out in the nearby sand rests a few places where bigger reef sharks like to hang around as well. On the site’s south end there’s an amazing set of mysterious coral formations populated with an endless stream of reef fish and sometimes a few passing Green Sea turtles.
One of the best dive sites on Hawaii’s big island is Pentagon, so called for its distinctive room-like formation that has five key entrances and exits along with two big skylights overhead. Covered with beautiful corals, reef creatures, and reef fish this unique spot also contains a 40 ft standard lava tube with several exits. The site’s shallow depth amplifies the breathtaking coral cover, which makes it the perfect spot for capturing some spectacular photos.
Mauna Lani Fingers
Fingers is a fascinating underwater field of astonishing coral formations, arches, caverns, and enchanting passageways. On the north side of the dive site rests Eerie Cave. Peering into this strange cavern, the eyes mostly see blackness. But, as you continue further in, you notice that the large tube turns into a circular-shaped room with a murky skylight that projects a peculiar ray of sunlight throughout the room and onto the coral debris.
Located next to the Mauna Lani’s 14th hole, this special diving site is often visited by one of the most mystifying and graceful creatures found in the ocean: the manta ray. Mantas frequent the site in order to visit a set of cleaning stations where the elegant gentle giants simply hang around while tiny reef fish swim up to them and clean them off. The shallow reefs all along this site are breathtakingly beautiful and make the perfect background for the Manta’s peculiar behavior.
An even deeper dive site found just off the shore, KPC enables divers to discover a vertical drop-off into the deep blue waters of the Pacific. It’s the ideal spot for listening to the language of the Humpback whales and with any luck you’ll get a glimpse of them in the winter months. Because the water is so deep, virtually any kind of creature could end up swimming by. The shallow coral includes the classic assortment of intriguing reef creatures and brightly colored reef fish.