Big Island Divers

Big Island Divers-Dive and Snorkel with Manta Rays
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Big Island Divers is one of the largest and highly rated dive shops in Hawaii. They offer the typical day and night dives, but their claim to fame is the manta and blackwater night dives. Snorkeling packages are also available, as are certification classes. 

- The Local Expert Team

So you’ve been eyeing the Pacific Ocean, wishing you could explore the depths and reefs. But you’d need to get scuba certification, or maybe you only want to snorkel. Big Island Divers has a package tailor-suited for your adventure.

On the flip side, you’re a certified diver looking for something besides another tank dive on a reef. Big Island Divers has some dives you’ll want to check out! Before we look into these, we want to explain why Big Island Divers is one of the most successful and highly rated dive shops in Hawaii. 

While scuba diving and snorkeling are exhilarating sports, some risk is involved. Big Island Divers has done everything possible on their end to make sure you’re safe in the water. All captains hold a Merchant Mariner Credential issued by the US Coast Guard. They’ve also earned a Marine Radio Operator Permit and passed a TSA background check. 

Divemasters and instructors hold current PADI membership with an active teaching status. Big Island Divers facilitates regular workshops to enhance their knowledge in ecological and marine life environments. 

Snorkel guides at Big Island Divers hold at least one of the following qualifications:

  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • Lifeguard
  • Freediver Certification

Big Island Divers holds their crew to the highest industry standards and conduct regular performance evaluations. They also require all to be trained in CPR, AED, emergency oxygen, and first aid.

We could say much more about Big Island Divers’ high safety standards and protocols, but if you still aren’t satisfied, you may read more on their website. Now, let’s look at the snorkeling and dive packages! Scuba enthusiasts can rent gear and choose either day or night dive packages. 

Day dives include:

Kona local two-tank dive (morning)
Advanced two-tank dive (must have a minimum of 25 logged dives to participate)
Private scuba charter

Big Island Divers are known for their night dives. Divers will have an other-world experience. Here’s what we’re talking about:

Manta ray night dive
YouTube videos of these dives look like something out of a sci-fi movie! Picture divers in black water shining dive lights toward the service. Plankton is drawn to the lights and fills the area. And then the stars of the show appear! Manta rays doing summersaults dining on the plankton and swooping every so close to divers. 

Blackwater night dive
The prerequisite for this dive is you must have a minimum of 25 logged dives. This night dive takes you 2-3 miles from shore into deep water. Here, you’ll enter the water and are tethered to a 50′ line below the boat to keep you from drifting too far from the boat or becoming disoriented in the pitch-black water. From this vantage point, divers will witness what scientists call the biggest migration in the world. Flip on your dive light and watch countless creatures from the abyss rise to the surface to feed. You won’t see any sea monsters, although an occasional shark may appear. Instead, you’ll see a wide array of animals like salps, Laval-stage critters, squid, hunting dolphins, and other species biologists have yet to identify. 

Snorkelers have great options, too. You may opt for the standard reef snorkel, but we suggest looking into this trip:

Manta ray snorkel
You’ll be in the water shortly after 5 PM and will be beside a lighted raft that attracts the plankton and manta rays. You’ll float on the water watching these graceful giants do acrobatics to scoop up their meals. 

Big Island Divers also offers certification courses and is one of the largest scuba retail and rental centers in Hawaii. Take the plunge and let Big Island Divers introduce you to the incredible underwater world of Hawaii.

Insider Tips:
It’s customary to tip your crew 20%, so be sure to factor that into your budget. And be sure to check out their “manta guarantee” posted online.