One of our guests recently asked this question, so we thought we’d respond with a blog post. There are no scuba diving tours on Maui that guarantee sightings of Manta Rays (you’ll have to go to the Big Island for that ). However, you may encounter one of these amazing creatures on a scuba excursion to Lana’i.
Lana’i is a small island directly across from Maui’s West coast and once home of the world’s largest pineapple plantation. In recent years, the island industry has become predominately tourism with two Four Seasons resorts located on the island. A boat trip to Lana’i from Maui is convenient and easy, as well as entertaining. On the boat ride to the many dive sites in Lana’i, you’ll often see a pod of spinner dolphins and whales during whale season (December – May).
The dive sites of Lana’i offer an opportunity to see diverse marine life in spectacular settings. There are often turtles, sightings of a white tip reef shark, and the plankton rich waters frequently attract manta rays. Most scuba excursions to Lana’i will feature two locations, one of which is the Cathedrals. The Cathedrals are known as one of the top dive sites in the world with a deep lava tube and light dramatically shining through the openings of lava domes. There are nearly 30 dive sites near Lana’i so you may even want to book a few trips to explore the rich underwater topography.
If you’re staying with us at Honua Kai Resort in Kaanapali Beach, we recommend the two tank Lana’i dive charter with Extended Horizons (certified divers only). They depart at the Mala boat ramp, which is just a 10 minute drive from the resort (near Lahaina). This excursion with a small group of divers will cost about $149 with an additional cost of $30 to rent gear. Their boat is eco friendly (powered by biodiesel) and they get great reviews on Trip Advisor. Check out their website for more info on pricing or to make reservations.
Don’t forget, you cannot fly or visit the Haleakala crater within 24 hours of a dive trip, so plan ahead.
If you’ve been scuba diving in Lana’i before, let us know what interesting fish you’ve seen. And if you have photos, please share those as well. Mahalo!