Man diving in Oahu with clear water, lots of coral and fish.

7 Best Scuba Diving Tours on Oahu You Need to Book Today

Not all of Hawaii’s beauty lies above water; the underwater scenery is just as magnificent. While snorkeling provides a stellar opportunity into this world, nothing gives you as much freedom – and depth – as scuba diving. The diving excursions around Oahu may seem similar to any other such experience in the tropics, but their uniqueness comes from the secluded environment of the island.

The scuba diving tours mentioned in this list are the perfect way to see hundreds of species of fish and marine life that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

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In case you are in a hurry, our top three picks for the best scuba diving tours on Oahu are:

Important Note: Before you book your Oahu scuba diving tour, keep in mind that you cannot dive if:

  • You are pregnant
  • You have heart or back problems
  • You have a low level of fitness
  • You are under the age of 10
  • You have flown in or are going to be flying within 24 hours of diving

1. Oahu Discovery Scuba Diving for Beginners

RATING: 4.7 out of 5 stars — With more than 50 positive REVIEWS

Duration: 3 Hours

Operated By: Dive Oahu Inc

Why should experienced divers have all the fun? The Oahu Discovery Scuba Diving beginner-friendly tour is designed in a way that ANYONE can experience the magic of scuba diving. A PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certified instructor will teach you all you need to know before you enter the water, and then supervise your dive every step of the way.

This is a half-day charter so plan accordingly. You’ll get up close to marine life including dolphins, Hawaiian endemic fish, rays, eels, turtles, and sharks. All you need to bring is bottled water, snacks, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and a towel.

Why We Love This Tour: This is one of those experiences where you not only have fun but also learn something that just might prove life-changing. That may sound cheesy, however, we are convinced that underwater adventure can be meditative and even soul-healing when done properly – and the experienced instructors will make sure that you do it right.

What’s Included: Instructor, diving gear, access to Waikiki Beach, transportation for activity duration, and snacks

What Customers are Saying:

“Our overall experience was excellent, the dive instructors were very patient and funny. We will definitely go back for another lesson.

— Catherine, TOUR REVIEW

Side note: Going to Oahu and need recommendations on what to do? Here is a review of the Best Parasailing Tours on Oahu and the Best Restaurants in Waikiki.

RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars — With more than 250 positive REVIEWS

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Operated By: Try Scuba Diving-Honolulu

The tropical waters of the Pacific are teeming with sea stars, octopuses, green sea turtles, and a variety of colorful marine life, so you’ll have plenty of great footage to brag about!

Why We Love This Tour: This is another great Oahu scuba diving tour for beginners and moderately experienced divers. You can learn to go deep into the ocean with a small group (3 or 4 people), and take home a stunning underwater video of your adventure.

What’s Included: All scuba diving gear and equipment

What Customers are Saying:

“This was such a great experience and the best intro to scuba diving! Liz was an amazing instructor who made us feel so comfortable in the water and explained the ins and outs of diving very well. Would highly recommend this to anyone interested in trying out scuba diving for the first time.”

3. Wreck & Reef Scuba Dive for Certified Divers

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars

Duration: 3 hours

Operated By: Dive Oahu Inc

Want to feel like an underwater Indiana Jones and explore the hauntingly beautiful wreck sites? The Wreck & Reef Scuba Dive for Certified Divers will take you through one of the archipelago’s deepest recreational diving wrecks in Oahu. You can choose to visit the YO-257 and San Pedro wreck sites or the Sea Tiger dive site, which is where a sunken trading ship rests under 123 feet of water. Following your wreck dive adventure, come up for a break with snacks and refreshments onboard.

Why We Love This Tour: This scuba dive is perfect for thrill-seeking certified divers. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the fascinating sunken wrecks, how they went down, and the marine life (dolphins, Hawaiian endemic fish, rays, eels, turtles, and sharks) surrounding them now. A PADI certified diver is there to be your guide. 

What’s Included: Diving gear, instructor, bottled water, beverages (tea and soft drinks), light snacks, and transportation for activity duration

What Customers are Saying:

“The diving on the sunken ship is sensational. + or- at 28m depth, we spotted moray eels, puffer fish, and common fish from the region. The crew is super attentive and fulfills the promises.

— Verified User, TOUR REVIEW

4. Shallow Reef Scuba Dive for Certified Divers

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars

Duration: 3 hours

Operated By: Dive Oahu Inc

When style and comfort meet excitement, you get Dive Oahu’s Shallow Reef Dive for Certified Divers. Ride on a well-furnished boat with a shaded and sun deck, an onboard restroom, and plenty of space to move around. A certified guide will share information about what marine life you might encounter and water conditions for the day as you explore the beautiful reef formations and turquoise waters.

The tour will take you to Turtle Canyon, a reef area that was naturally created thousands of years ago because of volcanic activity. The coral formations around the shallow shores of Waikiki are home to exotic life, including the endemic Gold Ring Surgeon Fish, Flame Angels, Saddleback Butterflies, and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles.

Why We Love This Tour: For the price, this is one of the best guided tours that offer two reef dives along the clear waters of Southern Oahu.

What’s Included: Instructor, bottled water, beverages (tea and soft drinks), diving gear, and transportation for activity duration

What Customers are Saying:

“The team is great, super good. The schedule is strictly followed, it is good that it starts and ends early, and you can enjoy the rest of the day in peace. The dive sites are similar to other places, I dived on Maui and there is not much difference.”


5. Beginner Scuba Diving Adventure

RATING: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Duration: 3 hours

Operated By: Try Scuba Diving Honolulu

The Beginner Scuba Diving Adventure lets you explore the Magic Island Lagoon in Honolulu, even if you have no diving experience. Before you get into the water, a professional instructor will teach you the basics of how to use the equipment and navigate your way in the water. Your instructor can also take a video of your underwater experience, which you can download directly to your phone right after.

Why We Love this Tour: As if the stunning, abundant sea life wasn’t enough, the tour guides also take a video of you, so you can share your memories with your loved ones.

What’s Included: Instructor, videos, and scuba diving equipment

What Customers are Saying:

“Amazing Experience. Kyle was knowledgeable, patient, and awesome to dive with. Highly recommend this experience!”


6. Discover Scuba Diving Experience in Honolulu 

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars — With more than 60 positive REVIEWS

Duration: 3 hours

Operated By: Dive Oahu Inc

Description: The Discover Scuba Diving Experience in Honolulu combines introductory lessons about scuba diving with actual diving. You’ll receive one-on-one instructions from a PADI-certified instructor and will then go explore one of the most famous reefs in Hawaii, where dolphins and sharks are frequent visitors.

Why We Love This Tour: Not all instructional diving tours provide a 1-on-1 skills session, making this tour super popular amongst those who want to master scuba diving fast.

What’s Included: Guided tour, diving gear, snacks, and refreshments

What Customers are Saying:

The dive instructors were amazing and knowledgeable. They worked their butts off for us! and the captain and crew were helpful. Everyone was kind and compassionate and very patient with beginners and equipped us with safety skills and inspired us with their passion for diving. 10/10 recommend!


7. 2-Tank Deep Wreck and Shallow Reef Dives off Oahu

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars

Duration: 3 hours

Operated By: Dive Oahu Inc

The 2-Tank Deep Wreck and Shallow Reef Dives is touted as one of the best wreck diving tours in Hawaii. This tour allows you to explore the unique seascape of the islands via daily charters. You will dive through a popular wreck with the help of a PADI-certified guide, followed by a surface interval, and then take a guided tour of a reef site.

Why We Love This Tour: This guided Oahu scuba diving tour offers an excursion to two of the most famous sites in Honolulu. 

What’s Included: Guided tour by a PADI instructor, gear, snacks, and refreshments. You are going to need plenty of energy for this day, so make sure you eat a well-balanced breakfast beforehand.

What Customers are Saying:

“Really great crew and equipment. Saw sharks, sea turtles, and lots of fish on this deep then shallow dive. Would definitely dive with them again!”


How to Choose the Best Scuba Diving Tour

We get it, Oahu can be expensive, and so are most of the amazing experiences in it. Trying to save money by finding great deals is almost always a good idea, UNLESS it’s a question of your safety. Be wary of diving tour operators that offer deals and discounts, as this could be at the cost of quality of their gear and your personal safety.

With that being said, here’s what you need to look for when choosing a tour:

Ask the Right Questions

Make a list of tour companies that seem interesting and then ask them the following questions to gauge the quality of their operations:

  • How often do you service your rental equipment? 
  • Do you have any dive agency affiliation, like SSI, PADI, etc.?
  • What’s your safety record?
  • Do your instructors have an instructor card? If yes, can I see it?
  • Can I see your boat logs from your previous dive tours?
  • Can I see your latest test certificates?

If you come across staff that seems unwilling to answer any of these questions, steer clear of them and go to another company.

Trust Your Gut

You don’t have to be a professional to look and judge the state of the rental equipment you’re offered. If you have booked the tour online before visiting their on-site office, look at their online reviews and customer testimonials. We highly recommend visiting the office before the day of the tour to inspect the equipment closely – if you have time. This could be a little ostentatious as well. This way, if you’re not sure about the quality, you can cancel the tour and ask for a refund.

At the end of the day, you need to trust your instincts. Do you trust the person you spoke with? Or are you just booking the tour because it’s “super cheap”? Unless it’s an extremely high-end outfit, you shouldn’t book the tour without checking the boat and the equipment and talking to the staff first.

There are plenty of dive stores around Oahu, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a good one. Again, don’t choose anyone you are uncomfortable with!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Oahu have good scuba diving?

Oh yes! All of the Hawaiian Islands have great opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling, and surfing, and Oahu is no different.

Pertaining to this, what makes Oahu especially popular for scuba diving is the wreckage surrounding the island. Several tragedies and military activities in the 20th century alone left quite a few aircraft and ships sunken underwater. Today, sea creatures like dolphins, rays, octopuses, and turtles have turned this wreckage into their homes.

How much will it cost me to go scuba diving in Oahu?

If you’re an experienced diver and want to go on an unguided scuba charter, it will cost you about $60 or so. But if you’re looking for guided tours with a certified instructor, expect to pay anywhere between $90-$250. The more amenities a tour has (like complimentary snacks and beverages), the more expensive it will be.

Is diving better in Maui or Oahu?

This is a hard one to answer because both islands have great diving opportunities. If you want to explore the wreckage under the sea, Oahu is the best; Maui is known for shore diving and day tours.

Which Hawaiian Island is the best for scuba diving?

There is no such thing – each Hawaiian Island has its own specialties when it comes to underwater adventures. As mentioned above, Oahu is awesome for wreck divers; Kauai is the best if you want to see green sea turtles, the Big Island has the greatest number of diving sites. If you’re on a budget, pick Maui for shore diving.

Where can you free dive on Oahu?

The best places to free dive here are Electric Beach at Kahe Point, Makaha Beach Park, Makua Beach, and Pukano Point (south of Yokohama Bay).

Can you shore dive in Oahu?

Yes, you can. Shark’s Cove, Lanai Lookout, and Hanauma Bay are the best spots to shore dive in Oahu.

Do you need a wetsuit to dive in Hawaii?

We’d have to say yes. The water temperature in Hawaii can be surprisingly cool even during summer months, so a wetsuit is a prudent idea if you’re planning to scuba dive.

Wrapping It Up: The Best Scuba Tours on Oahu

Whether you’re a pro diver or new to the activity, scuba diving off the coast of Oahu is sure to be a grand adventure. We hope the tours mentioned here help you take advantage of the bustling diving scene Oahu has to offer!

To recap, below are the top tours mentioned in this article:

Mahalo for reading our post. Until next time, Aloha!


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