Scuba Diving on Maui

Maui’s diving spots are numerous, as are the different sorts of dives available. Dives are accessible not just on the island of Maui, but also on the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokini.

Molokini is well-known for being a one-of-a-kind diving destination. The island is actually a caldera, the top of an ancient crater-head four miles off the shore of Maalaea Harbor on Maui. Its “bowl” is rather shallow and ideal for snorkeling and diving, but its backside is a massive wall that drops straight down through the clear waters into the abyss. This is a must for qualified divers because you will almost certainly never encounter anything like it again. Also, this is an area where some of the larger fish may be seen emerging from the ocean depths.

The island of Lanai, located eight miles off the coast of Maui’s Lahaina Harbor, has one of the state’s largest coral reefs. Many of which are riddled with caverns and caves. One such location is “Cathedrals”, which gets its name from the way the coral formations seem when viewed from below, with light shafts beaming down through the waters above in a cathedral-like pattern. If you are not prepared for diving, you can find a lot of dive shops in Lahaina.

Maui County is made up of several islands: Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and the tiny inlet island of Molokini. These islands are all connected by an underwater mountain that rises from deep beneath the ocean’s surface. The spaces between these islands are formed by shallow canals sculpted by nature over time. If you drew a circle around the entire island cluster and stuck to the outside borders of each island, the area immediately beyond that circle would be deep water, plummeting quickly with abrupt drop-offs to the bottom of the ocean in most cases. The canals between the islands, on the other hand, would be quite shallow, in many places barely deeper than three hundred feet.

Maui, the largest and most popular island, is made up of two massive mountains: Mount Haleakala, which rises 10,000 feet above the ocean, and the West Maui Mountains, which climb nearly half as high. These islands are separated by a huge valley, which gives Maui the moniker “Valley Island.” There are as many climatic zones on an island that only stretches around forty-eight miles from end to end as there are on the entire coastline from Alaska to Costa Rica. This creates a rich atmosphere for the numerous activities accessible on the island of Maui.


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