Scuba diving at the Marine Life Conservation District in Honolua Bay, Maui

Honolua Bay is more than a popular Maui dive spot. It holds great cultural and environmental significance.

Honolua Bay is located on Maui’s northwest coast, specifically in the Mokuleia Marine Life Conservation District – a protected area. It’s prohibited to fish or take any natural resources from the Conservation District. Therefore, this area is helping to preserve Hawaii’s unique underwater world and natural habitats.

Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay Dive Site Brief

  • Maximum Depth: 65 feet (12 meters)
  • Visibility: 30-100 feet (9-30 meters)
  • Dive Time: 50 – 60 minutes
  • Required Certification Level: Open Water
  • Current: Mild from May to October; potential swell and waves during winter months
  • Dive Site Category: Shore dive, reef dive

About Honolua Bay Dive Site

Honolua Bay means “two harbors” in Hawaiian, and has a rich history linked to Honolua Ranch. It’s cradled by tall, rocky cliffs that create calm, wind-protected waters, perfect for diving and snorkeling. However, during the winter months, Honolua Bay turns into a surfer paradise with big waves, Hawaii is famous for. This creates swell and potentially underwater currents that make it harder for divers. The upside is that this brings in nutrition-rich waters and potentially filter-feeders such as manta rays.

The bay is known for its clear water, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life including colorful coral, fish, turtles, and even mantas.

honolua bay scuba diving

The beach is rocky and not great for relaxing. There might be some smells from a nearby farm. The water is a bit murky close to shore, so you’ll need to swim out for clearer views. Additionally, parking is a walk away, so it’s more for those who really want to dive or snorkel, not just for a quick visit.

The Dive Plan for Honolua Bay

For the best dive experience at Honolua Bay, the best time to visit is during the summer months, as winter turns this otherwise calm and peaceful bay into a popular surf spot creating swell.

The dive is a shore dive. Divers enter the water from the beach and swim into the bay until it’s deep enough to decent. The dive site is very shallow between 40 and 65 feet (12 and 20 meters) at the outer parts. However, the average depth is beginner levels.

The west side of the bay, near Kalaepiha Point, is an excellent spot for snorkeling, where you can see colorful fish and other marine life up close.

On the east side of the bay, divers can explore the deeper waters that are home to fascinating coral formations. Honolua Bay is a protected marine reserve, which means you’ll be able to see a wide variety of marine life. Here are also the highest chances to find mantas during the winter months.

honolua bay diving

How to get to Honolua Bay dive site?

To get to Honolua Bay, you’ll need to head north on Highway 31 and turn left at mile marker 33. Once you’re there, you’ll need to park your car and take a short walk through a lush and verdant rainforest path that leads to the entrance of the bay.

When is the best time to dive into Honolua Bay?

The best time to dive at Honolua Bay is in the morning. This is when the water is usually calmer and clearer, and there are fewer people around. Always check the weather and water conditions before you go, for the safest and most enjoyable experience.

What is there to see at the Honolua dive site?

In Honolua Bay, you’ll see lots of fish, colorful corals, and turtles in the clear waters. You might even get a glimpse of spinner dolphins. The bay’s protected status as a conservation area means there’s a rich and diverse range of marine life to observe.

What certification level is required to dive at Honolua Bay?

Divers of all levels, from beginners to advanced, can dive at Honolua Bay. It’s a good spot for all skill levels. Always make sure to dive within what you’re comfortable and experienced with.

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