Dive Amongst Lava Arches at Lanai Cathedrals in Hawaii

Lanai Cathedrals is an awesome Maui dive site near Lanai Island, Hawaii. It’s famous for the underwater structures that look like cathedrals – they’re made of lava tubes and arches.

Lanai Cathedrals

Lanai Cathedrals Dive Site Brief

  • Maximum Depth: 85 feet (26 meters)
  • Visibility: Typically 60-100 feet (18-30 meters)
  • Dive Time: Around 45 minutes per dive
  • Required Certification Level: Open Water certification, but Advanced certification recommended for deeper exploration
  • Current: Generally mild
  • Type/Category of Dive Site: Primarily a cavern dive site, with unique lava tube formations

About Lanai Cathedrals Dive Site

Lanai Cathedrals has two main sites: First Cathedral and Second Cathedral. They’re large caverns formed naturally, with openings that let sunlight stream in, creating a peaceful, church-like feel. 

lanai cathedrals maui

It’s a place where you can see colorful fish, sometimes turtles, and even dolphins.

The water is super clear, making everything easy to see and great for photos. It’s a peaceful, beautiful spot, perfect for exploring and seeing all kinds of sea life.

It does not feel like diving in Hawaii, but rather a cenote dive in Tulum without the halocline.

The Dive Plan for Lanai Cathedrals Dive Site

If you’re planning to go diving at Lanai Cathedrals, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Firstly, it’s recommended that you start with the big room in First Cathedral. This is a breathtaking experience that you simply cannot miss. 

Once you’re inside, you’ll be treated to a spectacular light show in the ‘altar’ area. The play of light and shadow in this area is truly breathtaking and is a must-see for any diving enthusiast.

After you’ve enjoyed the light show, you can explore the tunnels and look out for sea life by the reefs. This is a great opportunity to see some fascinating marine life up close in their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for brightly colored fish, sea turtles, and other interesting creatures.

lanai cathedrals dive depth

Once you’re done exploring the tunnels in First Cathedral, it’s time to move on to the smaller room in Second Cathedral. This room is home to some really cool rock formations and light effects. 

Btw, you don’t need a cave diving certification. This dive sites only consists of cavern and not caves (open areas)

While you’re diving, it’s always important to keep an eye on your air and depth. Make sure you’re not getting too close to the walls or the ceilings, and always be aware of your surroundings. 

Lanai Cathedrals dive site FAQs

What’s the best time to dive at Lanai Cathedrals?

Morning is the best time to dive at Lanai Cathedrals for the most impressive light effects, especially in the First Cathedral’s ‘altar’ area. The early sun brings out the beauty of the formations and the sea life.

Is Lanai Cathedrals suitable for beginner divers?

Yes, Lanai Cathedrals is okay for beginner divers with an Open Water certification. The main areas are suitable for beginners, but there are deeper spots that need Advanced skills. It’s best for beginners to dive with a guide for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Can I touch the lava formations at Lanai Cathedrals?

You shouldn’t touch the formations at Lanai Cathedrals. They’re fragile, and touching can damage them. Keeping them intact is important for the environment and for other divers to enjoy.

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