Break the surface of these teal waters and you might wonder why this diving destination isn’t as popular as some of the other islands. You might wonder but you certainly won’t mind…or care. On the island’s west side, myriad wildlife, tranquil conditions, aquarium visibility, and top-shelf reefs collaborate to create some of the world’s most spectacular subaquatic venues. Honaunau Bay is its star, with smooth lava flats ushering you into a theatrical underwater stage where neon fish dance with sea turtles and spinner dolphins make special guest appearances. Reef-skimming swims and deeper dives are equally rewarding here. Other prime locales for the goggle-eyed include Kahaluu Beach, Kaunaoa Bay, and the Kapoho Tide Pools. But don’t pack it in after dark–nighttime manta ray dives invite you to swim or scuba alongside the winged angels. Not certified for the depths? Scuba schools abound here, as do ideal training waters, making it the perfect place to get your feet wet. Those with a bit more ocean under their weight belt can DIY or join charter groups for cruises to some of the Pacific’s best showrooms. Slip beneath the waves here and you might not want to slip out.
Woohoo! We just returned from Paradise where we completed 15 dives over 8 days, all with Big Island Divers (BID). Our first experience with BID was a Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) 16 months ago. The DSD wasn't easy for my instructor, Jeff. I was terrified to go under the water. He was very patient with me and after much work, he gained my trust and I was finally able to go beneath the surface. On my first dive, he had my husband brought to me so we could have a dance on the bottom of the ocean. A pod of dolphins made an appearance on my second dive. The experience was magical. Following the DSD and snorkeling with the Manta Rays, I was hooked, both on scuba diving and Big Island Divers. My dream was to get certified so we could dive with the Mantas. That dream became reality last week. I completed the PADI eLearning before my husband and I returned to the Big Island (my husband has been a certified diver since the 80s). Our first day on the island was spent with me completing the classroom portion of training and doing the pool work. Again, I had a problem going under, and again Jeff showed great patience with me. I made it through that portion, so all that was left was four open water dives to demonstrate all the requirements.
Snorkeling and Diving and More Nearby
Big Island, California