If the Hawaiian archipelago evokes surfing and the sweetness of life, the island of Hawaii, nicknamed Big Island, to differentiate it from other islands, promises you a superb diving trip. This majestic island is the largest, but it is not the most populous. It is home to one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, Kilauea. He keeps spitting fire and increasing, year after year, the area of the island!
Big Island is a land of contrasts with lush green landscapes, fields of coffee and macadamia nuts, tropical forests, vertiginous waterfalls, lunar landscapes, and beaches that are sometimes white, sometimes brown.
During your diving stay on Big Island, you will discover an exceptional and surprising underwater biodiversity, like the terrestrial landscapes: creatures of the abyss with the Black Waters site, reef fish evolving in a fantastic architecture, manta rays by dozens, and offshore humpback whales. The particularity of diving around Hawaii is the significant presence of endemic species.
Big Island has everything to be great! So, take advantage of your Hawaiian diving vacation to admire this tropical paradise in all its forms. If you do not want to stay on the island, we can also discover Big Island on a weeklong diving cruise.
The largest island in the archipelago, discovered by Captain Cook, promises unusual and spectacular encounters, both underwater and on land.
Diving around Big Island – Hawaii
Big Island dive sites are plentiful. We find them all along the west coast. Lava flows and hot magmas have created a fantastic underwater landscape: tunnels, pitons, arches, and caves. The reef walls, which sink into the abyss, reveal a beautiful underwater architecture. Many species coexist. Sharks, rays, dolphins, and turtles evolve in large numbers with the reef fauna. It is not uncommon to hear whales singing from December to April.
The sites are all close, and some are accessible from the edge.
Big Island dive sites
Lava Tubes in the island’s north. It completely covers a huge lava dome with coral. This huge coral head is home to reef sharks, large schools of fish, and nudibranchs.
Ohio Caverns. It is a superb night dive site. You will dive into a cave inhabited by splendid porcelain, shrimp, and octopus.
Kaloko Arches. A site that offers a superb underwater topography: 3 large lava arches. You will come across eagle rays, turtles, and nudibranchs.
Garden Eel Cove at Makako Bay. Makako Bay is the incredibly famous bay where we dive at night with manta rays. During the day, you will dive on a sandy bottom inhabited by garden eels. Keep your eye on the blue, dolphins are frequent on this site.
Suck’em Up Lava Tube. A superb dive in a lava cave. The arch-shaped entrance is shallow. You will explore a second cave, Skull Cave, which is just as impressive. It covers the walls of this cave with sponges. The crevasses are home to moray eels and lobsters.
Golden Arches. This dive offers the most beautiful lava arches in Kona. Bright yellow reef fish roam in large schools. Do not forget your dive light to explore the Pukas (small holes in the wall). On leaving the cave, you will walk along a beautiful drop-off, then a second arch. This site is home to many triggerfish, wrasse, moray eels, and sometimes frogfish.
Pyramid Pinnacles. Still beautiful formations of lava flows, pitons, arches, and caves. There are many butterflyfish there.
Kaiwi Point is one of the most beautiful on the Big Island. The coral formations are superb and very colorful, trumpet fish, triggerfish, and jacks roam in a superb setting. Eagle rays and manta rays are common.
Turtle Pinnacles. The place is aptly named, the green turtles are many. They like to bask on the reef or swim around the peaks. It is a cleaning station. Morays and octopuses are many.
Long Lava Tube. An incredibly beautiful dive site reserved for experienced divers. You will dive through lava tunnels which are home to lots of nudibranchs, lobsters, and beautiful coral formations.
Place of Refuge. The most beautiful dive site on the island. It is accessible from the edge and very frequented by snorkelers. The water is translucent, and the place is home to a multitude of species. The large coral formations serve as shelters for crabs and shells. Around, the turtles are many; it is a bit of their sanctuary; they are very protected in this place. Sometimes manta rays and eagle rays make a small appearance to the delight of divers.
Night dive with manta rays
Every evening, the small Keahole bay offers divers and snorkelers a surprising spectacle of nature. The currents bring up plankton from the depths, which attract dozens of giant manta rays. Underwater spotlights panic the tiny shrimps, which swirl to escape the rays that come to the feast. The spectacle is striking. Be careful, this diving, whether in a bottle or in a mask and snorkel, is very regulated. More than a hundred giant manta rays have been recorded on the site, and it is not uncommon to observe around thirty in a single dive.
Night dive in the Black Waters
The dive centers offer an extraordinary night dive off the island: diving in the Black Waters. It begins in total blue in the open sea, far from the coast, above the abyssal pits.
You will dive into total darkness, tied to the boat. Once your eyes get used to black, the show begins. Dozens of small translucent creatures seem to dance in front of the beams of the lamps, zooplankton is everywhere.
During the day, zooplankton protects themselves from predators in the depths. At night, it rises to the surface to feed on phytoplankton. You will observe the larvae of jellyfish, crustaceans, crabs, and many other species in the larval state. These pelagic creatures will captivate you, sometimes translucent, sometimes bursting with color.
This fantastic and unique dive will remain in your diver’s memory for a long time.