Experience Diving Hawaii's Big Island
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Favorite Dive Sites on The Big Island of Hawaii

Our Top Ten Big Island Hawaii Dive Sites

Pentagon:

Lava Tube DivingLava tubes and arches

One of the most interesting dive spots on the Big Island of Hawaii, Pentagon is so named for a unique room-like formation containing five large entrances/exits, including 2 large overhead skylights. Covered with corals, reef fish, and reef creatures this site also has a 40 ft classic lava tube with multiple exits. Just west of the tube on 'outside pentagon' there are a series of arches and swim-throughs full of large porcupine puffer fish. The shallow depth of this site exaggerates the stunning coral cover and makes it an ideal spot for photography.

 

Common species here include: White Tip Reef sharks, Spotted and Green Moray eels, Hawaiian Helmet shells, Green Sea turtles, Tiger Cowry shells, Moorish Idols, & Porcupine Puffer fish.

 

Arena:

Diving with White Tip Reef Sharks in HawaiiArches, tubes, white tip reef sharks

No one quite knows why this site is called Arena, but we do know it is one of our favorites. This gently sloping reef includes mini lava tubes and a series of arches and swim- throughs, including one large set of connected arches in a large 'finger coral' formation. Directly below the mooring ball is a small puka (opening) in the side of the mini lava tube where two juvenile reef sharks call home. Out in the adjacent sand are a few resting places where larger reef sharks can often be found as well. On the south end of the site there is a great set of coral formations inhabited by countless reef fish and often a few 'sleeping' Green Sea turtles.

 

Common species here include: White Tip Reef sharks, Spotted and Green Moray eels, Hawaiian Helmet shells, Green Sea turtles, Tiger Cowry shells, Spotted Eagle rays, & Manta rays

 

KPC:

Whales in the winter with Waikoloa Coast DiversCoral, gradual drop off, winter whales

A deeper site just off shore, KPC allows for divers to explore a steep drop off into the deep Pacific. Ideal for listening to Humpback whales and hopefully seeing them during the winter months, the deep water at this site means you never know what might swim by you. The shallow coral cover on this site also includes the typical array of amazingly colored reef fish and fascinating reef creatures. There is even a spot here where warm water, heated by the volcanic hot spot under the island, is seeping out under a few reef structures.

 

Common species here include: Spotted and Green Moray eels, Tiger Cowry shells, Spotted Eagle rays, Manta rays, Octopus, Dolphins, & Spiny Lobster

 

6th Hole:

Manta Ray Cleaning Station on the Big Island of HawaiiManta cleaning station, eagle rays and golf balls.

Located adjacent to the 14th hole off of Mauna Lani's south course, this site is frequented by one of the most graceful creatures in the ocean—the Manta Ray. Manta's come here to visit a series of cleaning stations where these gentle giants hover over the reef while small reef fish swim up and clean off the Mantas. It's known as a Manta cleaning station and is an experience you won't soon forget. The shallow reefs throughout this site are a beautiful backdrop to this interesting behavior. If you are lucky, you might even find a 'Manta Ray egg' (golf ball), compliments of the sub par golfers on hole 14. Occasionally, this site is also frequented by pods of Spinner dolphins who rest in the adjacent bay during the daylight hours.  

   

Common species here include: Spotted and Green Moray eels, Spotted Eagle rays, Manta rays, Octopus, Dolphins, White Tip Reef sharks, Banded Coral shrimp, Parrot fish, & Fuchsia flatworms

 

Mauna Lani Fingers:

ReefLava-flow coral formations, lots of coral, fish and turtles

Fingers, like most of the dives along this stretch of coastline, is an interesting playground of coral formations, caverns, arches, and captivating passageways. At the northern end of the dive site is Eerie cave. Looking into this cavern formation, your eyes see mostly blackness, but as you proceed you realize that this large tube opens up into a circular room with a skylight projecting an eerie ray of sunlight through the room and onto the coral rubble. It has a mysterious and hallowed feel as you pass through the sunray and turn looking through the darkness into the clear blue Pacific beyond. The remainder of the site consists of a series of large finger formations allowing divers to swim up and down exploring the vast array of reef life. During the winter months the proximity of this site to deeper water makes for great listening to the male Humpback Whales while you cruise over the reef.   

 

Common species here include: Spotted and Green Moray eels, Spotted Eagle rays, Manta rays, Dolphins, Green Sea turtles, Crown-of-Thorns sea star, Parrot fish, Frog fish, Nudibranchs, & Fuchsia flatworms  

 

Turtle Mound:

Turtle Cleaning Station on the Big Island of HawaiiTurtle cleaning station, arches, lava tubes, white tip reef sharks

Just north of Fingers, this site attracts a large number of Green Sea turtles who are commonly found atop a mound of coral on the northern end of the site. They come to the mound to rest and most importantly get cleaned by the large numbers of small Cleaner wrasse and hungry Surgeon fish. Known as a turtle cleaning station, this fascinating behavior is both picturesque and unforgettable. There are few places in the world where divers can regularly approach Green Sea turtles so easily, but to watch from only a few feet away as this seemingly choreographed behavior unfolds is simply amazing. As if that alone weren't enough just off the mound two White Tip Reef sharks regularly rest in a small puka (opening). This site also has an extensive array of arches, swim-throughs, and caverns making it one of the best and most unforgettable dive sites anywhere.   

 

Common species here include: Spotted and Green Moray eels, Spotted Eagle rays, Manta rays, Dolphins, White Tip Reef sharks, Green Sea turtles, Crown-of-Thorns sea star, Parrot fish, Frog fish, Nudibranchs, & Fuchsia flatworms  

 

Paniau, Puako:

Fish and Reef on the Big Island of HawaiiCavern, coral, turtles and walls

Close in to shore and north of Turtle Mound and Fingers, this site continues with the same profile containing numerous coral formations that divers can swim around, above, and through. A great site for beginners to get their buoyancy in check, it allows for easy access to the amazing mix of life out on Hawaiian coral reefs. There are a number of tall and narrow passageways with steep walls on either side that give the impression of a gate or entranceway to some grand or ancient location. It is amazing to think that the tiny coral polyps surrounding us by the thousand on the reef actually built these structures. The shallow depth and calm location here also make this an excellent spot for photography.


Common species here include: Spotted and Green Moray eels, Spotted Eagle rays, Manta rays, Dolphins, White Tip Reef sharks, Green Sea turtles, Crown-of-Thorns sea star, Parrot fish, Frog fish, Nudibranchs, & Fuchsia flatworms  

 

Puako Point, Puako 3, Puako 4:

Diving Through ArchesCoral, arches, garden eels, and turtles.

Situated just offshore of the upscale community of Puako, a number of beautiful reefs including Puako Point and Puako 3 & 4 stretch north along the coast. All of these contain a dizzying amount of formations, arches, and caverns that divers can spend countless hours swimming throughout. Underwater exploration is what these reefs truly have to offer. With each bend and turn you discover some seemingly hidden nook or cavern that just begs to be investigated. Turtles creep out of small pukas (openings) after a morning rest and slowly bob to the surface for a breath of air. The intricate formations that characterize this diver's paradise create an unlimited number of homes and spaces for an enormous amount of reef fish and creatures. You will constantly be drawn to discover what is around the next bend or opening in the reef until, sadly, you must turn around before your curiosity outlasts your air supply. This is a location where there will always be another dive you will want to take.  

 

Common species here include: Spotted and Green Moray eels, Spotted Eagle rays, Manta rays, Dolphins, White Tip Reef sharks, Green Sea turtles, Crown-of-Thorns sea star, Parrot fish, Frog fish, Nudibranchs, & Fuchsia flatworms