If you’re exploring the ocean by the standard methods of swimming or snorkeling, you’re really just scratching the surface. If you’re eager to discover what lies on the ocean floor, quit splashing around and strap on a SCUBA tank for a real adventure. Getting dive certified is the first step to true underwater exploration and you don’t have to live near the beach to start your training!

There are many places close to home where you can learn to SCUBA dive. Generally, SCUBA centers and dive groups use deep pools in your local community for basic training. Certified dive instructors are trained to teach you all you need to know about proper use of equipment, safety techniques and the procedures required for successful and safe underwater dives. For full certification, you will need a few hours of pool training plus a series of open water dives to ensure you are qualified to dive sans instructor (but NEVER alone)! Certification classes vary by location and organization, but sometimes as few as 20 hours will prepare you with the basics. The bonus of completing your SCUBA certs before traveling is that your certification never expires and you can add SCUBA excursions to your list of must-dos on every travel adventure. Don’t worry, if you’ve been out of the water for a while, refresher courses are always available for you to brush up on your skills.

Getting SCUBA certified is absolutely essential if you want to dive on your own (with a “buddy” of course). PADI is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and the most common option for training amongst SCUBA divers. NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) is also a reputable diving organization. Completing your dive certs will guarantee that you are permitted to dive anywhere in the deep blue sea. With junior certification available for children 10 years or older, diving makes for an amazing family activity to enjoy all over the world.

Once you’ve paid your dues at your local dive center, it’s time for the big leagues! Not only are the beaches and mountains of Maui beautiful, but the ocean remains at a comfortable temperature year-round and the wildlife is sure to keep you amazed no matter how many times you visit one site! The best sites for a dive in Maui are off the South Shore, also a great day trip offered through the resort. You’ll have the chance to see more of the island, plus a whole new underwater kingdom. For the full underwater experience, start by snorkeling at Travaasa. Once you feel the urge to go deeper, head over to Lahaina or Kihei to get SCUBA certified. End with a bang and explore the underwater magic of the Molokini Crater or Lana’i underwater cathedral.

 

Once you become certified, a Hawai’ian SCUBA vacation is just the beginning. There are incredible dive spots all over the world, all offering a different experience of life “unda da sea.” Now the only hard part is choosing where to go next!