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Hawaii

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Hawaii

Oahu: Dive the famous wreck of the World War II mine-sweeper, the Mahi and other sites including Makaha Caverns and Hanauma Bay to sample the wide variety of diving Oahu has to offer. Head across the island to the North Shore for a serious dose of the surfing culture, especially if there’s a competition at the famed “Banzai Pipeline” between Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach, both famed big-wave spots themselves. The north shore is also full of quaint restaurants, shops and art galleries. Must-do’s include a visit to the Arizona Memorial, Waimea Falls Park and the most famous volcanic crater in the world, Diamond Head.

MAUI: In addition to the sites along Maui's coast, the island of Lanai and the Molokini Crater offer exciting diving within easy reach of Maui. The spectacular lava domes of the "Cathedrals" of Lanai and the Molokini "Backwall" are favorites. Whale-watching is a popular activity here as opposed to whaling in the island’s past and the town of Lahaina offers plenty of museums, shops and activities which portray the island’s commitment to marine conservation and the protection of the humpback whales which frequent these waters during their annual migration between December and April. For awe-inspiring scenery, pack a picnic and take the “Road to Hana” and make a day out of it.

HAWAII, THE BIG ISLAND: "Big" definitely applies to more than just the size of this island that is dominated by the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes rising to over 13,000 feet. The Earth’s most active volcano, Kilauea, is also one of the Big Islands five volcanoes making up the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Diving takes place along Hawaii’s Kailua-Kona coast where sightings of mantas, dolphins, whale sharks occur. Dive sites are on pinnacles, lava tubes and dramatic formations including swim-through arches. One of the most popular dives is the Manta Ray Night Dive - an experience not to be missed. Hiking, helicopter tours, waterfall tours, surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, cycling, volcano treks and four wheel drive safaris are but a few of the topside options available in-between dives throughout the Hawaiian islands.

KAUAI: Some of Kauai’s most popular dives like the Sheraton Caverns and Turtle Bluffs are located right offshore, but in the summer months (May-September), many divers venture from Kauai to the Forbidden Island of Ni'ihau for some of Hawaii's most pristine and dramatic diving. A must-do when visiting the “Garden Island” is a trip by either boat or kayak along the Napali coast – a rugged and primordial stretch of coastline that is one of the most stunning in the world. Views over this area are equally impressive from the ridge trails of Koke’e State Park.

Hawaii Information

Diving in the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii has year round warm waters and has been a popular scuba dive location for years offering some of the best dive sites in the world. There are only 2 seasons: the summer months (called Kau in Hawaiian) that extend from May to October and the winter months (Ho'oilo) that run from November to April. The average day-time summer temperature at sea level is 85 degrees F, while the average day-time winter temperature is 78 degrees F. See the current weather here. The islands of Hawaii each have their own personalities and characteristics and due to Hawaii's geographical isolation they each offer unique and exciting dive sites, and an abundance of endemic marine life.

Oahu offers an excellent blend of dive sites that range from offshore lava formations and grottoes to plane and shipwrecks, many with large schools of colorful fish and green sea turtles.

Maui has a great diversity of dive sites available and with Lanai and Molokai so close it is easy to dive these pristine locations in a morning adventure. The majority of Maui's dive sites are located off the west coast and offer excellent diving for all levels of divers, including Molokini, Black Rock and Five Caves. Molokini Crater located off the southwestern shore is a State Marine Life Conservation District has a wide variety marine life and offers great diving for beginner and advanced divers.

Most of the diving on the Big Island is off the leeward coast, with some excellent locations stretched all along the coast. As the coast is sheltered from the trade winds by the large mountains conditions tend to glassy with visibility around 100ft plus.

Kauai, the Garden Island, is known for its rugged and pristine diving. During the winter months large swells make the north shore generally inaccessible for diving, but during summer months and on calm days the north shore has some excellent locations.

Ni’ihau, located 17-miles off the southwestern coast of Kauai, is home gigantic sea arches, the endangered monk seal, large pelagic fish and other rare species of fish. Ni'ihau has some amazing dive locations but is generally recommended for intermediate to advanced divers and is only open to divers in the summer months.

The dive sites in Lanai are best known for their lava formations which not only house a large variety of marine life but make for some amazing light effects. The lava formations range from archways, ridges, tunnels and pinnacles. Dive trips depart Lahaina Marina on Maui for day dive trips to Lanai.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements

Hawaii entry requirements are the same for all US States. Hawaii has an extremely strict quarantine control forbidding the importation of all plants and animals into the State from the Mainland or anywhere else in the world.

Immunizations

There are no immunizations required to travel to Hawaii.

Culture and Customs

Hawaii is a tropical paradise which has more than its share of pristine beaches, stunning sunsets, towering waterfalls and reefs teeming with colorful fish. Hawaii is different: unique, special, unforgettable, and the native Hawaiian culture is one of the things that sets it apart from the rest of the world. It's a culture that is filled with fascinating customs, music, legends, traditions and values. Some local customs include the flower lei (which should be offered graciously with a kiss and removed only in private), canoe building, the Hula, and the language (comprised of only five vowels and eight consonants) which has the shortest alphabet in the world. “Aloha” not only means hello, goodbye and love, it also means sympathy, kindness, compassion, affection and fondness. This word is more than a greeting or expression of love – it is the basis of what Hawaiians consider to be one of the culture’s core values.

Electricity, Telephone and Internet Access

Hawaii, like the U.S. mainland and Canada, uses 110-120 volts (60 cycles).

The area code for the entire state is 808. For long distance calls between the islands, dial 1-808 and then the number. When placing calls to the mainland from Hawaii, dial 1, the area code and the number. All calls within an island are local.

Most of Hawaii’s larger hotels and condo resorts have internet access, and high-speed DSL for an additional charge.

Water Quality

The water in Hawaii is drinkable.

Language & Currency

Unique in the nation, Hawaii has two official state languages: English and Hawaiian. The melodious Hawaiian language is a polynesian dialect.

The US Dollar is the official currency.

Time

Hawaii is 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time and 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time. In other words, when it's noon in Hawaii, its 2pm in California and 5pm in New York during standard time on the mainland. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time, so during the summer, Hawaii is 3 hours behind the West Coast and 6 hours behind the East Coast. Hawaii is east of the International Date Line, putting it on the same day as the U.S. mainland and Canada, and a day behind Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

History, Art, and Culture

It is generally believed Hawaii's first permanent inhabitants sailed in voyaging canoes from the southern hemisphere islands of the Marquesas, between 300 and 800 A.D. Later waves of settlers arrived from Tahiti by the 12th century. In 1778, Capt. James Cook of the British Royal Navy arrived on Kauai, renaming the island chain the “Sandwich Islands” in honor of the Earl of Sandwich. He was subsequently killed by Hawaiians on the Big Island in 1779. King Kamehameha eventually unified the Hawaiian Islands and established the Hawaiian monarchy. Kamehameha engaged in lucrative trade with American sea captains interested in Hawaii's sandalwood forests; and later Hawaii became the center of the Pacific whaling industry. In the mid-1800s, descendants of missionaries established Hawaii's sugar industry. The declining native population forced plantation owners to recruit foreign labor (from China, Japan, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Korea, and the Philippines). As Hawaii's sugar industry grew, the USA became more integral in the affairs of the Hawaiian Islands. As a means of eliminating tariffs, the plantation owners announced a provisional government which eventually led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishing of Hawaii as a territory of the USA in 1900. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, and the United States entered World War II. In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th of the United States.

Location and Size

Hawaii is the most remote island chain in the world. It is located in the Central Pacific Ocean, 2,390 miles from California and 3,850 miles from Japan. Formerly known as the Sandwich Islands, the Hawaiian archipelago spans the distance of 1,523 miles from the Big Island of Hawaii in the southeast to the Kure Atoll in the northwest. This makes Hawaii the world’s longest island chain.

The Hawaiian Islands cover 10,932 square miles: 6,423 square miles are land and 4,508 square are covered by water. The Aloha State is the 43rd largest of the 50 states in the USA. The Big Island of Hawaii covers 4,038 square miles, just about double the land mass of all the other main islands combined. Maui: 729 square miles / Oahu: 607 square miles / Kauai: 551 square miles.

Dive primer
  • Water Temp: 74-79°
  • Visibility: 100'+
  • Wetsuit: 5mm to 7mm
Best time to travel
  • Year-round - but Plan your trip between November and April for the humpback whale migration.
Topside attractions Oahu:
  • Go to a traditional luau at Paradise Cove
  • Check out a surfing contests at the Banzai Pipeline
  • Visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
Big Island:
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Hike or mountain bike around the Crater Rim Trail
  • Whale watching from December to April
Maui:
  • Visit historic Lahaina
  • Take the "Road to Hana"
  • Horseback riding to the Haleakala Crater
Kauai:
  • Na Pali Coast kayak tours
  • Koke's State Park hiking trails
  • Helicopter tours
  • CARIBBEAN
    0-CARIBBEAN,CARIBBEAN,http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Caribbean.aspx
    • Aruba
    • CDA-AUA|Aruba|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Aruba.aspx
    • Bahamas
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    • Barbados
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    • Bonaire
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    • CDA-KY|Cayman Islands - Grand Cayman|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/GrandCayman.aspx
      CDA-KY|Cayman Islands - Little Cayman|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/LittleCayman.aspx
      CDA-KY|Cayman Islands - Cayman Brac|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/CaymanBrac.aspx
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    • Dominica
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    • Puerto Rico
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    • Saba
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    • St. Eustatius
    • CDA-EUX|St. Eustatius|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/StEustatius.aspx
    • St. Kitts & Nevis
    • CDA-SKB|St. Kitts & Nevis|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/StKitts.aspx
    • St. Lucia
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    • St. Vincent & The Grenadines
    • CDA-SVD|St. Vincent & The Grenadines|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/StVincent.aspx
    • Tobago
    • CDA-TAB|Tobago|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Tobago.aspx
    • Turks and Caicos
    • CDA-PLS|Turks and Caicos|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Turks-Caicos.aspx
    • British Virgin Islands
    • CDA-BVI|British Virgin Islands|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/BritishVirginIslands.aspx
    • United States Virgin Islands
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  • MEXICO
    1-MEXICO,MEXICO,http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Mexico.aspx
    • Baja
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    • Cozumel
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    • Riviera Maya
    • CDA-RIV|Riviera Maya|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/RivieraMaya/Mexico.aspx
  • CENTRAL-AMERICA
    2-CENTRAL-AMERICA,CENTRAL-AMERICA,http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/CentralAmerica.aspx
    • Belize
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    • Costa Rica
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    • Honduras
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  • PACIFIC
    4-PACIFIC,PACIFIC,http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Pacific.aspx
    • Australia
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    • Fiji
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    • Galapagos
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    • Hawaii
    • CDA-HAW|Hawaii|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Hawaii.aspx
    • Micronesia
    • CDA-MIC|Micronesia|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Micronesia.aspx
    • Solomons
    • CDA-SOL|Solomons|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Solomons.aspx
    • Tahiti
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    • Tonga
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    • Vanuatu
    • CDA-VAN|Vanuatu|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Vanuatu.aspx
  • EXOTIC
    5-EXOTIC,EXOTIC,http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Exotic.aspx
    • Indonesia
    • CDA-IND|Indonesia|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Indonesia.aspx
    • Malaysia
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    • Maldives
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    • Papua New Guinea
    • CDA-PNG|Papua New Guinea|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/PapuaNewGuinea.aspx
    • Philippines
    • CDA-PHI|Philippines|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Philippines.aspx
    • Red Sea
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    • Thailand
    • CDA-THA|Thailand|http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Thailand.aspx
  • ADVENTURE
    6-ADVENTURE,ADVENTURE,http://www.caradonna.com/Scuba-Diving-Vacations/Ultimate-Adventure.aspx
    • Great White Expeditions
    • CDA-GWE|Great White Expeditions|http://www.caradonna.com/Adventure/Ultimate/Shark/Index.aspx
    • Photography Expeditions
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    • Sardine Run
    • CDA-SARDINE|Sardine Run|http://www.caradonna.com/Adventures/Sardine.aspx

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