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Scuba Diving in Kauai

Nicknamed the Garden Isle, Kauai is the oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It occupies an area of 562 square miles (1,456 square kilometers), with lush tropical rainforests, sharp mountain spires, and cascading waterfalls. Kauai’s economy is largely based on tourism, receiving over a million tourists each year. From kayaking to trail hiking, the island is renowned for the multitude of outdoor activities that take place here.

Kauai Scuba Diving Info

Kauai is a remarkable diving location. The waters surrounding the island offer a diversity of reef topography and marine life in combination with lava tubes and rocky outcroppings. Advanced divers will find more thrilling dive sites on Kauai’s East and West shores, where they can explore caves and lava tubes.

Turtle in Kauai
Diving with sea turtles. Photo by Carson

When to Visit

The tropical climate makes scuba diving enjoyable year-round.

Water Temperature

The water temperatures in Kauai range from 77° F/ 24° C in the winter to 82° F/ 28° C in the summer.


Currents are common in Kauai and can pose a serious threat to inexperienced divers.


Visibility in the waters of Kauai is high and often exceeds 100 feet (30 meters).

Types of Diving

  • Reef diving
  • Drift diving
  • Cave diving
  • Cavern diving
  • Night diving

Kauai Diving Highlights

Cave and Caverns

Lava flows have created wonderful underwater caves and caverns that can be explored by experienced divers. A popular dive site with some of the most stunning underwater views is Sheraton Caverns. Three partial lava tubes, archways, and overhangs inhabited by spiny lobsters, reef crabs, moray eels, and other species of marine animals can be admired here.

Marine Life

spotted trunkfish
Spotted trunkfish in Kauai's waters. Photo by Carson

The waters surrounding the Garden Island abound in all sorts of marine creatures, from the huge humpback whales to tiny reef fish. The Hawaiian green sea turtles, spinner dolphins, monk seals, and various species of butterflyfish, tangs, triggerfish, and wrasses are some of the common encounters here.

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Dive sites in the area:

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Turtle Bluffs (Hill)

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Sheraton Caverns

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Cannons & Tunnels

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Mana Crack

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Coral Grotto

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Ahukini Landing

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Dragon's Head

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Blue Bluffs

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