Maui, also known as the “Valley Isle” is an island paradise of the Hawaiian archipelago. It is home to breathtaking beaches, stunning Lao-Valley. exotic rainforest, and amazing food. Out of the countless things to do in Maui, scuba diving is one of the most exciting activities.
You can open up a whole new world of beautiful underwater landscapes filled with amazing creatures. Whether it’s your first time in Hawaii or you know this place well, whether you are new to scuba diving or are a seasoned diver, there is something for everyone in Maui.
Here are top 10 scuba dives in Maui
1. Molokini Crater
One of the many wonders of the island is the underwater volcano on the South side. This spot is a magical adventure for any diver. Molokini Crater stretches underwater for about 600 feet. Here, you can discover around 150 feet of the epic reef system clearly visible to the divers.
A great place to view sharks and eels, Manta Ray, octopuses, trumpets, boar fish, and butterfly fish, and many other types of beautiful sea creatures. Cauliflower coral, terraces as well as caves and shelves make it an excellent spot for underwater photography. With many parts of it suitable for beginner divers and some reserved for those who are experienced, Molokini crater promises to be an unforgettable experience.
2. Turtle Reef
Hawaiian Green-Sea Turtle or the Honu, is a majestic creature that you can see in its underwater habitat. Weighing up to 400 pounds, these amazing turtles often come to this place to get a makeover by fish known as Hawaiian Cleaner-Wrasse. They are curious animals and aren’t normally scared of humans, so they may approach the divers. Be sure not to touch them as they are endangered, but feel free to take a closer look.
Formed on the lava, this reef is a unique place that is home to an amazing diversity of creatures. Caverns, caves, ledges and lava fingers are great places to explore. They are full of sponges and corals, fish, sharks, shrimp, octopus, and nudibranchs.
3. Lanai Cathedrals
Just a short ferry ride away there are some of the most spectacular dive spots. Lanai Cathedrals are not man-made, they come from nature. Here you will find caverns 50 feet deep created out of lava. There are 2 Cathedrals, the 1st one is a huge place with an “alter” and a 600 foot arch outside. The 2nd Cathedral has a number of beautiful “rooms”.
There are many holes and openings for the light to shine through, so the site looks epic. This could be one of the most scenic places to take photos. You can see lots of incredible marine life living in the mazes, tubes as well as caves made out of lava, coral and sponge. Dolphins and turtles are also known to visit this area. Either way, you will not be disappointed.
4. Honolua Bay
The Honolua Bay is another famous place for diving and snorkeling on the West side of the island. This place is easiest to get to through the jungle, but make sure you ask someone in advance because it is a private property.
This is a popular spot for scuba dive in Maui because it is accessible to all levels from beginner to experienced. It is also an excellent location for snorkelling, so there is something for everyone. You can see many different types of fish, rays and corals. It is a good place to spend an afternoon with the family.
5. Night Dive
Are you afraid of the dark? Hopefully you aren’t, because that gives you the chance to see the underwater world at night. When the sun sets, everything looks mysterious. Many of the sea animals go to sleep, while others come out of their hiding places.
Night dive is a totally different experience to the one you have during the day. Lights come from unexpected places, and you can discover new types of fish and other sea creatures you’ve never seen before. Shining plankton is an unforgettable sight if you’re lucky enough to catch it.
6. Sunken Treasures
The waters of Maui are home to a large number of sunken treasures waiting to be discovered by you. There is a ship wreck of the Carthaginian, that provides a space at the bottom of the ocean where underwater life gathers.
Hellcat is a fighter plane from World-War II that found its final resting place in the waters of Maui at 32 feet deep. 2 WWII amphibious tractors, one of which was carrying personnel, lay on the ocean floor at 60 feet deep. These machines have become a place for sea life to grow and prosper, and it’s a beautiful site.
If you happen to catch good weather during your Maui stay, you can check out Molokai. About 1.5 miles from the East end of the island, this dive involves crossing the Paiolo channel. This adventure is only accessible to advanced level divers because of the very strong currents.
The struggle to get there is definitely worth it. The star of the underwater show is the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark. Some other creatures you may see are larger sea animals such as the Hawaiian Monk-Seal, the spinner dolphins, and Galapagos sharks.
8. Manta Ray Scuba Dive
Manta Rays are amazing creatures that can grow over 14 feet in size. They are very large, unusual and peaceful animals. You don’t need to be afraid of them because they are completely harmless. They don’t attack humans and the only way they protect themselves is by fleeing.
There are a few companies offering scuba dive in Maui that promise to show you Manta Rays. Some of them even guarantee a free second dive in the unlikely event that you don’t end up seeing them. There are lots of places where Manta Rays gather in the waters around the island. Like the turtles, they also like to be cleaned by Hawaiian Wrasse fish.
9. Molokini Backwall
Suitable only for experienced divers, Molokini Backwall is the dive of a lifetime. This is a drift dive going down to about 80 feet of the back wall of the crater. From the top 200 feet to the bottom the wall hits the ocean floor at over 300 feet. It is an epic site to be seen.
Can you imagine viewing a crater of such enormous size? With its access to the open ocean, this dive could give you the opportunity to see sharks, dolphins, and whales. Only highly skilled divers can try this, and the weather conditions have to be taken into account.
10. Beginner Scuba Dive
Maui is a great place to try diving if you haven’t done it before. There are so many great locations for first-time divers all over the island. There are a number of companies that offer beginner diving lessons.
The instructors are very attentive and patient. They will look after you well as safety always comes first. The classes are small, so you can get the most out of you first experience. The minimum age requirement is 10 years old, adults are also welcome. If you are here with your family, scuba dive in Maui could be the perfect choice for you.
Maui is home to some of the most amazing dive locations. It is an activity suitable for people with or without experience. There are many places to see exotic marine life on the island, so be sure to check them out.