Kona Coast Dive Sites
The Kona coast is home to over 80 dive sites
within a short 15 to 20 minute boat ride and several more "long distance" sites within an hours ride. Lava tubes, pinnacles, and swim through arches characterize many of the sites we dive on a regular basis. Large pelagics (Manta Rays, Humpback Whales from December into April, Dolphins, and the occasional Whale Shark) and unique endemic creatures make diving in Hawaii
a very rewarding experience. Water temps range from the mid 70's in March to the low 80's in late September with visibility consistently in the 100 ft. range.
For a complete map of the Big Island of Hawaii
as well as other "Fabulous Maps of Favorite Places!" check out Franko's Maps
. You can read descriptions of some of our favorite sites below.
- The name of this dive site translates to dolphin from it's native Hawaiian and the site lives up to it's name by providing us with the best chance to dive with our beloved Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. Large pods gather here while resting during the early morning hours. We stay a respectful distance from them but more often than not they come in for a closer look at us.
- One of our favorite spots featuring the most dramatic topography on the Kona coast. Numerous arches and canyons with vertical walls make this a very unique dive. This is one of our best octopus encounter sites so if you want to get a peak at this shy cephalopod make sure to request a dive here during your stay.
- This site is known as a turtle cleaning station. Schools of surgeon fish wait for turtles to lay on the bottom or hover just a few feet above and then they move in to eat the algae off of the turtle's shell and skin. This behavior is unique enough to make this one of the two sites filmed by the IMAX crew for "Coral Sea 3D" while they were here in Kona. The other was Garden Eel Cove for the Manta Ray Night Dive.
- Not to be confused with Garden Eel Cove (a.k.a. Manta Heaven). This site affords us with the best chances of Dragon Eel encounters. Frog Fish and Leaf Scorpions make this site one of our best "critter dives".
Pawai Arches and Rock Awash
- A great site for a variety of topography and fantastic fish populations. Butterfly Rock is found here where schools of Millet Seed, Pyramid, and Raccoon Butterflies congregate. A cool double arch way can be found just off the stern of the boat. Carousel Cave is within kicking distance and there is a small cave with a sandy bottom near by where white tip reef sharks can sometimes be found sleeping.
Long Range & Advanced Dive Sites
- Our more adventurous sites afford the best chances of seeing large pelagics including Manta Rays, Giant Jacks, Eagle Rays, and occasional Hammerheads. Some of these dives have maximum depths at around 100 feet and these trips are restricted to divers with at least 50 dives under their belt.