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Best scuba diving in Hawaii

Toronto, Canada
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Best scuba diving in Hawaii

A friend and I are planning a December trip to Hawaii. One of the main thing we want to do is to scuba dive. We are both beginners. We would like to know which island provides the best diving for beginners who want to see wonderful underwater life without having to fend off hoards of tourists. We don't mind being surrounded by some vacationers, but we're not looking to be surrounded by lots of families with young children. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Ideally, we would like to rent a cottage or vacation suite for a week or so during the holiday season. If anyone has any suggestions for that (in addition to good scuba locations), we would be grateful.

Corvallis, Oregon
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1. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

The Kona side of the Big Island has the best overall reefs in the state. Oahu will have wrecks, Maui will have a little of both. The Big Island is the least developed of the three. I haven't dove Kauai yet, I'm pretty clueless about it but there should be some diving on the south side in December.

Portland, Tennessee
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for Waikoloa
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2. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

My son got certified last year in December in Maui. Maui offers some great shore dives. We are also returning again this December, 2011.

When we arrived on the Big Island last December, 2010, we hooked up with Jack's Diving Locker in Kona: http://www.jacksdivinglocker.com/

They recommended the Place of Refuge for shore diving:

shorediving.com/Earth/…index.htm

Hint on the Place of Refuge - GO EARLY! The surf in the afternoon gets "hard" ;o)

GC
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for Cayman Islands
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3. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

Check out Wanna Dive in Kona.

Smaller groups, but still a very nice boat

http://www.wannadivekona.com/

We did the night manta dive with them recently . That is a not to be missed dive

Tequesta, FL
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4. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

The night Manta Ray dives sounds very cool . . and the diving on Kona seems to be some of, if not the best diving in Hawaii.

What about entertainment/things to do for non-divers?

We are experience divers looking for the best combination of super scuba diving sites and also fun things for our non-diving spouses.

Thanks.

Richard

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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5. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

Richard - what kind of things do you enjoy? What is kind of fun are you looking for? City? Nightlife? Lots of shopping? Or things like hiking, swimming, etc? The more details you can provide, the better. :)

Tequesta, FL
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6. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

Non divers would probably enjoy the shopping, touring, etc. as opposed to actual swimming, hiking etc. These are ladies in their 50s not looking for sweaty exhausting excursions if you know what I mean. We aim to take them on some snorkeling trips but good food, music and entertainment in the evenings would make up for our absence diving during the mornings. Some have said that Kona on the Big Island might be a good choice for our group . . what do you think?

Chicagoland
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7. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

I think Maui will be a better fit for ALL of you. It has a wide choice of lodgings and many easy-access beaches. There is some shopping. There are many restaurants. The sealife is not AS good as off Big Island, but it's better than Kauai or Oahu. In winter, stay south of Kahana. We stay South Kihei Jan. -Feb. The ocean will be calmer south.

Good luck finding availability if you plan a Christmastime trip! OTOH if you come early December you will have your pick of places -- and rental cars -- at the lowest rates of the year.

Big Island is much less developed and, because it is the chain's newest island, it has a LOT of bare lava and much less 'typically tropical' -- except along the largely agricultural Hamakua Coast and in Hilo/Volcano. If you wanted to explore the volcano, you'd stay IN the town of Volcano at least one overnight. Best lodgings on the sunny side are in Kohala area, not Kona Town. (We have stayed Keauhou -- it's OK. Kona itself is what I'd term 'tacky'.)

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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8. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

The original poster said they were coming in Christmas - TheAppleCorps didn't say when they were coming . . . or for how long.

The Big Island is pretty rural . . . so if you are looking for nightlife & lots of shopping, you need to head to Oahu or Maui. :)

Bristow, Virginia
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9. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

We're going to Oahu and Kauai Dec 2013. Any suggestions for Dive sites and shops? I hear the water is rougher in the winter, are there calmer locations to dive at that time of year. We are beginner divers that have been about 4 times. One of us is open water certified and the rest of us have done resort dives.

Cleveland, Ohio
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10. Re: Best scuba diving in Hawaii

same here! Hawaii for diving in December, for newly minted certified divers, any suggestions?