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Scuba Diving in Kauai – The Ultimate Guide

by Max
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Scuba Diving in Kauai - The Ultimate Guide

In one word, Kauai can easily be described as a Paradise on earth. This island is the scenic place that you have always dreamed about. Here you will see that nature has painted the prettiest of pictures, seeing it and visiting it is only a flight away. Kauai is that island get-away that is sure to give you that “world-away from home” feeling. Kauai is known for its outdoor wonderland of green above ground while being equally impressive with its pristine views lying beneath it in the water below the surface, making scuba diving in Kauai a breathtaking experience! Its natural beauty was created by volcanic activity and is said to have been formed 5 million years ago. Have no fear, there are no active volcanoes now, just the remains of old ones left behind collecting beauty for the past millions of years. This destination is a world wonder for many reasons, especially for scuba diving!

Let’s dive further to see what Kauai has to offer to scuba divers. Sit back, take notes if you need to, and then get your vacation plans ready for scuba diving in Kauai!

General Background on Kauai

Where is the island of Kauai located?

Kauai is also known as the “Garden Isle”, because of the massive amounts of natural green covering the land. Kauai is a volcanic Hawaiian island in the middle part of the Pacific Ocean. It is situated in the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. It lies approximately 2,450 miles away from different parts of California in the United States of America.  It is 3,900 miles east of Tokyo, Japan. Australia is a little over 4,500 hundred miles away in the northeast. It is located 72 miles (116 km) northwest of Oahu Island across the Kauai Channel. It is a part of the state of Hawaii, one of America’s states.

Are there any travel requirements that I should be aware of?

Given that Kauai is a state in America, you will need the same documentation that is needed when you are traveling to any state in the United States. At this time there are no additional COVID documentation requirements. As we are all aware, COVID specifics do change from time to time, so please double check them prior to your flight into Kauai.

What is the weather like on the island of Kauai and in the water?

Kauai touches its visitors and locals with a consistently comfortable climate. With temperature averages ranging between a mid-70 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, and a slight rise to a mid-80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, it is safe to say that the weather is always nice. The underwater temperatures mirror the above ground temperatures by matching them with a warm average range of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit (24 – 27 degrees Celsius). Rain is prevalent from November to April. So, if you want to avoid the rain, it is best to visit between the months of May till October.

When is it most crowded on the island of Kauai?

Kauai is hit with peaked tourism between the months of December through April and then again between the months of June through September. The Christmas holiday and the month of August are the busiest times of all so please remember this if you are on the look-out for a more serene get-away.

By now you are probably thinking that this island sounds familiar. If it does, let me let you in on a little secret. This is the island that was used in the filming of the first set of the Gilligan’s Island series. You know what they say, if it is beautiful enough to be on television, then it is beautiful enough to see in person.

Scuba Diving in Kauai

Now let us focus in more detail on the real fun! Let’s jump right in and see what Scuba Diving in Kauai is actually like. Here are some more questions and answers to help shed some light on the deep blue water which lies below this lovely island paradise.

Where is a good place to dive on the island of Kauai?

Kauai offers a plethora of diving sites with entertainment options available for all skill levels. Let’s dive right on into the list of diving sites, you can see what each one has to offer below:

North Shore provides a great place for beginners as it is a reef on Kee Beach and Haena beach park. Anini Beach provides a sheltered lagoon for its diving and / or snorkeling visitors.

South Shore has Poipu Beach State Park which offers amazing areas as to snorkel and dive on.  

East Side gives us Lydgate Beach Park, which is a protected snorkeling lagoon, on the island.

West Side is a less visited area with a multitude of pristine views to its divers. It is here where you can find an abundance of marine life in Niihau (The Forbidden Island). This is the place where you will find manta rays and humpback whales in the winter and seals and sharks during the summer. You can also see lava tubes and underwater caves in this location.

What can I see during a typical dive on the island of Kauai?

There are many marine life habitants which live on or near the reefs, caves, and lava tubes in Kauai. You can expect to enjoy seeing the following sea life when diving on this island:

Manta Rays – These are gentle underwater giants that appear to be flying like underwater angels.

Humpback Whales – Hawaiian Islands are one of the main habitats for the humpback whales, so seeing them there is pretty much guaranteed.

Hawaiian Seals – Hawaii is a mating ground for the Hawaiian Seals, so you can bet that they will be there too.

Sharks – With numerous species of sharks in Hawaiian waters, you can see sandbar sharks, hammerheads, whitetip reef sharks, tiger sharks and more! Don’t worry, sharks are seldom a risk to divers.

Sea Turtles – the Honu – the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are the biggest sea turtles in the world and they are native to Hawaii.

Barracudas – With sharp teeth like sharks, these 5 feet long fish lurk in the waters so be on the lookout!

Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals – This is one of the most endangered seals in the world living in the waters of Hawaii.

Fish, coral, and many more living things lie beneath these waters. The dives here will be full of ocean animals and so much more!

Popular Dive Shops on the island of Kauai

Here are some of the best dive shops in Kauai. Of course, prices and certain deal offerings may vary or change, so be sure to check for the price differences prior to making any final bookings. Here, let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer

Dive Kauai

  • A two-tank beach dive on South Shore costs $155.50 per certified diver (to see the sea turtles and more).
  • The Experience package is the most popular two-tank dive from a Zodiac for $195.50 per certified diver (to see the caverns, collapsed lava tubes, and more).
  • For the night divers among us there is a dive for $175.50 per certified diver (to see an octopus, eels, sleeping turtles and more animals which swim at night).

Seasport Divers

  • The experienced early divers leave at 7:30 am for a two-tank boat dive on Poipu which costs $169 (plus $45 for gear rentals) per certified diver.
  • The rusty, new and non-certified divers leave out at 12:30 pm for a two-tank boat dive which costs $169 (plus $45 for gear rentals) or an all-inclusive $225 for non-certified divers.
  • 3-tank dives are an option as well for the more experienced divers. They cost $295 (plus $45 for gear rental) per certified diver.
  • Night dives are available for $195 (plus $45 for gear rental) per certified divers for a two-tank boat dive OR a one-tank shore dive is available for $135 (plus $35 for the gear).

Bubbles Below Scuba Charters

  • A three-tank advanced boat diving adventure will cost $300 per certified diver.
  • A two-tank middle-of-the-road skill level boat dive will cost $280 (to see the NaPali Coast) per certified diver.
  • A two-tank most popular, fun and casual boat dive will cost $170 per certified diver.

Explore Kauai Scuba, LLC

  • A two-tank dive boat dive on Mana Crack and Na Pali costs $375 per certified diver.
  • A two-tank most popular boat dive will cost $215 (to see marine life) per certified diver.
  • A two-tank boat dive to Ni’ihau (Forbidden Island) will cost $375 (to see the large marine life like sharks, seals and more) per certified diver.

This list is composed of the more popular rated dive shops on Google, Yelp and Booking.com but there are more dive shops on the island. So, you can feel at ease when it comes to finding a great dive shop for scuba diving in Kauai. The island is well-stocked with dive shops and stores to help you stay fully ready for many gorgeous dives that will be unforgettable for you. 

Out of the Water Fun – What to do if you need a break from Scuba Diving in Kauai?

Kauai has plenty of other activities to keep you entertained when you are not in the water. Let’s take a look at some of them here.

  1. Go sailing, snorkeling, or a combination of both in tour packages being offered.
  2. Go for a Helicopter Tour over the island. Some tours have a waterfall safari available too!
  3. Go Ziplining over the island.
  4. Go hiking, kayaking, or a combination of both in tour packages being offered.
  5. Go on a rafting adventure!
  6. Take a surfing lesson, or just go surfing if you are already trained!
  7. Go for a dolphin and / or whale-watching adventure on a zodiac boat.
  8. Take a Hawaiian movie tour; 50 first dates, Gilligan’s Island, and more!
  9. Go on a bike ride through Waimea Canyon.
  10. Visit Limahuli Garden.
  11. Go on a photography adventure!
  12. Go to the beach… of course! There are plenty of spots waiting for you to get that perfect tan.
  13. Go shopping!
  14. Watch a movie.
  15. Go eat! There are plenty of dining options available on the island of Kauai. You can eat on a boat or in a restaurant. Also, don’t forget to check out the Luau scene while you are there… It its dining entertainment at its finest!

After that last one, I bet you are hungry. I am sure am! If you are foodie like me, you probably are wondering what dishes are worth trying. Well, I have good news, they do have many great food options to choose from. When you head over to the first eatery be sure to pick up one (or maybe all – just kidding of course!) of the following:

  • Poi – This staple of native Hawaiian cuisine is known to have an acquired taste, but it is traditional.
  • Poke – This is a colorful dish of fish, vegetables and more! It is a popular crowd-pleaser for both natives and visitors.
  • Hawaiian Plate – This is a combination of all of the goodies! Why not try a bit of it all? Go for it!

Conclusion

I hope that this post about scuba diving in Kauai finds you more than “well-prepared” for your trip to Kauai. As you can see, the beauty is there, and it is just waiting for you to come see it in person.

Safe travels!

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