Scarlet-breasted Maori wrasse
Underwater Photography



PLEASE NOTE: The location of the dive sites is in most cases estimated and only approximate.

Click to expand the list of all Kona (area) dive sites. The selected dive site is shown with a red pin on the map.

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Kona (area), USA

Dive Sites Dive Centers etc.


December 2010. The Big Island is formed by five volcanoes, two of which are more than 4.000 m high. The Mauna Kea (4.205 m) hosts some of the largest astronomical telescopes on its summit plateau and is classified as a dormant volcano not active since a couple of thousand years. The Mauna Kea (4.169 m) is still active and the Kilauea (1.247 m) is one of the most active volcanoes of the world. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is definitely worth the visit of the island even if you are not diving. There are two cities on the island, Hilo at the eastern coast with a population of about 40.000 and Kailua-Kona at the western coast with a population of about 10.000. Life is much slower here than on Oahu and for me the Big Island is an ideal vacation destination. A very nice little town close to Kona is Captain Cook. There are no hotels in Captain Cook but a number of very nice and affordable Bed&Breakfast locations. The sunset in the Pacific watched from a hammock in the middle of an old coffee plantation is something you can not buy in any hotel. Most diving is done at the Kona coast and in Kona you will find numerous dive operators. Basically all dive boats start from Honokahau Harbor, and there are very nice dive sites in the bay close to the harbor area. I did two dives with “Big Island Divers”, a smaller and more individual company I can recommend. The dive sites “Spaceship” and “Golden Arches” show very nice lava formations and plenty of reef fish. I logged a maximum depths of 24 m and 23 m, respectively, and a dive time of 80 min each! Not many dive operators take so much care of their customers. The famous Manta Ray Night dive I did with “Kona Honu Divers”. This is a most interesting and fascinating spectacle difficult to describe if you didn’t experience it yourself. After sunset a crowd of divers from several dive boats are forming a big circle on the bottom (about 10 m) of a dive site called “Garden Eel Cove”. Divers from different boats are marked with differently coloured chemical lights, so that they have a chance to find back (or are collected by the dive guides) to their dive boats. Every diver holds his dive lamp up, and in addition a very big light gun is positioned in the center. After several minutes plankton gets attracted and forms a kind of rotating cloud. This subsequently attracts all kind of fish and if you are lucky also a couple of manta rays. I was lucky and during this dive three or four (difficult to guess since the visibility in this fish soup is obviously not great) big manta rays were flying in and passed just short above the heads of the divers. Absolutely great and highly recommended! On the Kona coast you will also find numerous places for snorkelling or shore diving. A very nice one is Honaunau Bay (site called Two-Step) closed to the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau national historic park. Here you will find lots of turtles (Honu is the Hawaiian word for turtle) and if you are lucky (I was once) you can even swim with the spinner dolphins in the bay.

Dive Center
Beach close to Captain Cook
Turtle at the beach
Kona coffee