The Hawaiian archipelago is a string of enchanting islands whose only evocation invites travel and exoticism. All the islands are born from volcanic activities and it has sculpted the seabed, over time, by the various eruptions, thus forming a landscape of lava caves, canyons, and arches. An impressive and spectacular relief and the diversity of species and their high rate of endemism!
Hawaii is a great destination for nature and exotic diving trip.
This American state is the archipelago of superlatives: the most distant, the most varied population, the most active volcano, etc. These islands will amaze you with their beauty, extravagant nature, and the mix of American and Polynesian culture. This vast melting pot is governed by the spirit of Aloha, the art of living in harmony, the joy of living, and respect.
Hawaii is also a National Park protected by UNESCO and the refuge of humpback whales, which are present from October to April.
Oahu – Honolulu
The island of Oahu is the most famous and most populous of the Hawaiian archipelago. With its world-famous beach and popular surfers’ waves, Oahu is much less known for diving. And yet, the island of Oahu alone deserves a diving trip. For more about diving there find HERE.
Big Island – Hawaii
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. For more about diving there find HERE.
The underwater species of the Hawaiian archipelago
We have designated much of the Hawaiian waters a marine sanctuary, they are home to great diversity, with a high rate of endemism. Hawaii is also home to one of the largest concentrations of seabirds in the world. Aware of this fragile wealth, the government and ecological associations are doing everything to protect this extraordinary ecosystem, and protect nature, invasive species, and growing tourism.
A diving trip in the Hawaiian archipelago promises you great encounters.
Underwater wildlife in Hawaii
There are nearly 20 species of cetaceans and 8 species of dolphins in the waters of the Hawaiian archipelago. Around the coasts, we observe a myriad of tropical fish, such as damselfish, emperors, blennies, butterflyfish, cardinals, parrots, angelfish, but also moray eels, groupers, fusiliers, or jacks.
The warm waters of Hawaii are home to around 70 species of corals, and many invertebrates offering beautiful underwater atmospheres.
Because of its isolation, the Hawaiian archipelago is home to many endemic species. Like the “Hawaiian Ruby Cardinalfish”, the “Hawaiian Shrimp Goby”, the “Hawaiian Chub”, or the “Hawaiian Bigeye”, the “Hawaiian Sergeant” and many more.
The Hawaiian monk seal is also an endemic species. It is the only species of seal that lives in warm waters. It is small and basks on some beaches; we observe it from time to time while diving. The Hawaiian monk seal is an endangered species with only 1,200 individuals.
The lucky ones may come across a tiger shark on the dives off Oahu.
The manta rays are undoubtedly the stars of the Big Island, Kona, the night we dive at a site where they abound. Diving centers have made a habit of lighting up the site to bring up the plankton, and the rays swirl around to feed.
The stingrays inhabit the wrecks of Oahu, including Corsair.
The spinner dolphins or “Hawaiian spinner dolphin” and bottlenose dolphins roam in large schools in the warm waters of the archipelago. Approaching and swimming with dolphins without supervision is prohibited.
Pilot whales have occasionally been sighted around Kona.
Humpback whales in Hawaii
They spend the summer in icy waters, where krill and small fish are abound. Then, in the fall, they leave for warm waters, some stop in Hawaii, others leave for Baja California, or further afield. They live on their reserve, and the vast majority congregate in the Maui Channel. This period being the mating season, the males compete in seduction to attract the favors of an unmarried female, singing… and the fights between males give rise to beautiful acrobatics.
The humpback whales are visible from October to March (especially from December).
We find several species of turtles in Hawaii’s waters, including the Hawaiian green turtle, which is another endemic species. We see it very regularly, diving and on the beaches, thanks to a fierce struggle by environmentalists, and its population is increasing year after year.
The best season to dive in Hawaii
Hawaii is a paradise and enjoys a mild climate all year round, tempered by the trade winds. The climate is like the islands, totally contrasted. On the same day, you can enjoy the warm waters and ski on Mauna Kea. Thus, on the islands, there are tropical zones, alpine zones, and arid zones.
Hawaii has 2 seasons, summer from May to October and winter from October to April. In winter, the temperatures are a little lower and the climate is more humid. The best season will therefore be summer, from June to October, however, it is preferable to avoid the American school holidays, a period of high attendance. If you want to observe humpback whales, you will need to travel in winter.