Scuba Diving in Oahu

Oahu’s scenery is just as spectacular below the waves as it is above. Certified divers can explore underwater caverns and shipwrecks, while everyone—from first-timers to dive instructors—can experience the island’s colorful corals, fish, eels, turtles, dolphins, and sharks. Here’s what you need to know about diving on Oahu. 

Highlights
  • Take beginner scuba lessons and walk into the sea from Waikiki, or jump from a boat off Oahu’s west side
  • PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, offers Discover Scuba courses that allow uncertified visitors to experience diving without the cost of full certification
  • Discover Scuba packages include equipment rental (though for certified divers, generally only tanks and weights are included in the price)
  • Oahu offers safe, shallow-water reef dives, great for beginners
  • All tours enable you to see Hawaii’s underwater world with professionally trained and certified divemasters

Where to Go
Many Oahu scuba tours offer pickups from Honolulu hotels and transport you to various dive sites by scenic boat ride. There are loads of honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) and great reef diving at Turtle Canyons, Kahala Barge, the Corsair Fighter Plane, and Koko Crater, a south-shore site perfect for all experience levels. 

How to Go
Whether you book a dive boat charter or shore dive, you’re sure to have a great time underwater around Oahu. Some dive shops and tour operators choose dive sites on the day of departure, based on currents and weather conditions. If you have a specific site in mind, be sure to speak with your dive operator in advance. Keep in mind that beginner divers can’t go below 40 feet (12 meters), and everyone needs to wait at least 18 hours after a standard two-tank dive before flying.
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