Oahu, the Heart of Hawaii, is renowned for its lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture. While the island offers a plethora of activities, from shopping to luaus, there’s a hidden world beneath the water’s surface that beckons the adventurous and the curious. In this blog, we’ll guide you through some of Oahu’s most captivating underwater caves, each with its unique geological features and stories to tell. Read on to learn all about these incredible natural wonders and learn how you can see them in all their glory on your next Oahu vacation.
Lava Tubes: How Underwater Caves Are Made
Before setting out on your subterranean adventure, it’s helpful to understand how they’re made. These geological wonders are the result of flowing lava that moves beneath the surface of a hardened lava flow. As the lava cools and solidifies, it leaves behind hollow, tube-like structures known as lava tubes. These tubes can range from a few feet to several miles in length and are often adorned with intricate formations like stalactites and stalagmites, making them a dream for photographers looking to capture a truly unique side of Hawaii.
Sharks Cove: A Marine Paradise
Location: North Shore
Sharks Cove is more than just a cave; it’s a marine sanctuary teeming with life. Located on Oahu’s North Shore, this underwater cave is part of a marine conservation area, making it a haven for snorkelers and divers.
What Makes It Unique
The cave features a labyrinth of underwater tunnels and chambers, each filled with a vibrant and diverse range of marine life, from colorful fish to the occasional Hawaiian green sea turtle.
Makaha Caverns: The Diver’s Playground
Location: Makaha Beach
The Makaha Caverns offer a multi-level diving experience that’s unlike any other. Located near Makaha Beach, these underwater caves are accessible from both boat and shore, with tons of exploring to be had along the way. Once at the caverns, you’ll enjoy a lesser-known beach that’s perfect for families, and each cave offers its own set of challenges and rewards.
What Makes It Unique
The caverns are known for their “Cathedrals,” large chambers that allow sunlight to filter through, creating a surreal, almost spiritual diving experience. As you explore, you’ll be greeted by sleeping sea turtles, giant puffer fish, spiny lobsters, and beautiful schools of fish.
Bonus: The Halona Blowhole
While not a cave, the Halona Blowhole deserves a special mention. This natural blowhole can shoot water up to 30 feet into the air, making it a fantastic spot for photography. The blowhole is the result of a lava tube that opens into the ocean, allowing water to be forced through its narrow passage and creating this spectacular phenomenon. When you visit, be sure to check out nearby attractions like Hanauma Bay and Koko Crater.
More Unique Experiences for Your Oahu Vacation
Oahu’s caves offer a unique and enriching experience that allows you to explore the island’s geological history and natural beauty from a different perspective. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or someone looking for a serene escape, these caves have something to offer for everyone. And for those looking for more unique diving and underwater experiences, visit Island Water Sports Hawaii! While cave diving often requires scuba experience, the Sub-Scooter and Snorkeling excursions offered at Island Water Sports Hawaii don’t require any previous experience, making them the perfect activity for your family.
The submarine scooter tour with snorkeling experience is a two-hour tour in the exquisite Maunalua Bay, where you’ll get to marvel at the peaceful marine life while enjoying our safe, eco-friendly submersible scooters. Effortlessly ride your self-propelled scooter through the calm waters as you enjoy all the sights of the underwater world.
Check out all our available tours and excursions, and book your next Hawaiian adventure directly with us on this website!