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Airport Beach in Maui

Airport Beach for Maui scuba diving with Molokai island in the background.

Scuba Dive at the Best Beach in Ka’anapali

The Hawaiian Islands are a tropical paradise and the best place for scuba diving and snorkeling in North America. One of our favorite scuba dives is the excellent Airport Beach in Maui. Also known as Kahekili Beach Park, Airport Beach sits south of the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Ka’anapali. This dive site provides one of Hawaii’s best beach entries for scuba diving tours, beginner lessons, and PADI courses.

Airport Beach features a spectacular coral reef that you can see standing on the beach. The corals here are home to many different sea creatures for you to visit. Underwater the area is ideal for scuba diving lessons because of its sandy entry and shallow descent points. The inside coral reef system extends from the shore to 25 feet deep, where you will again find sand. Here the sand forms a channel separating the inside and outside reef sections. The massive outer reef starts at 30 feet and slopes to 45 feet. At times, your underwater visibility at Airport Beach can be up to 100 feet, averaging 50 feet year-round.

Walking into the ocean, you first notice that the coral reef begins at the shoreline. Quickly your depth drops from zero to five feet, the corals appear, and you gradually descend. Airport Beach in Maui is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving because of this shallow and sandy entry! Indeed, most introductory scuba diving lessons happen at this famous beach in Ka’anapali. 

For non-divers, this public park also has a large grassy area with a pavilion at the center. There are barbecue pits, picnic tables, and restrooms with showers. Airport Beach has an adjacent paved parking lot that usually provides plenty of space. It’s not a surprise to see families and friends gather here for 1st birthday and graduation parties!

Airport Beach has clear visibility and calm ocean conditions, making it the best spot to begin your Maui scuba diving lessons. Similarly, this dive site is an excellent place for certified divers to review and refresh their skills, especially if anyone hasn’t been diving for six months or longer. Overall, the location in Kaanapali is gorgeous, with plenty to experience underwater for scuba divers and snorkelers.

What to Expect at Airport Beach

When you begin a scuba diving lesson at Airport Beach in Maui, you can expect to see colorful moray eels, turtles, octopus, and tropical fish amongst vast sections of fringing corals! The reef sits close to shore in shallow water, so beginner divers experience the best scuba diving in Maui!

On any given day you can expect to see schools of fish hovering over the reef as a sizable Green Turtle eats algae off the corals. Incredibly, Airport Beach also features rare Hawksbill Turtles. Most Maui dive sites do not have any resident Hawksbill Turtles, but here you can find three!

Airport Beach is a great place for scuba divers and snorkelers. The current is generally not too strong, but beware that it can be powerful along the Ka’anapali coastline! You will notice the current always flows north or south along the coast, making navigation easy during your scuba diving lesson or guided shore dive. This natural highway for marine life means you can enjoy multiple dives here!

Humpback Whales Visit Airport Beach

Best of all, if you visit Maui during December, January, February, and March, the Airport Beach dive site gets loud underwater! When you scuba dive here during these winter months you hear songs from nearby male Humpback Whales. The whales make themselves regular features of this dive site! As you can imagine, scuba divers and snorkelers often do not get to see these quick-moving whales underwater, but these enormous animals make themselves heard!

Let our boutique dive service in Lahaina facilitate a personalized scuba diving experience for your group. Each instructor specializes in offering introductory scuba lessonsprivate diving, and PADI certifications. Booking shore diving with Banyan Tree Divers you can rest assured that we will set you up with an expert instructor who always focuses on your safety and personal comfort! Our dive shop in Lahaina operates daily, maintains small group sizes, and advocates awareness for Hawaii’s delicate sea life in the Pacific Ocean. We offer 100 percent guided shore dives because you do not need a boat to visit Maui’s best dive sites! Instead, you can enjoy two shore dives at our favorite spots in sunny Lahaina and Kaanapali, scuba dive near turtles and sharks, and make it to lunch by 1.30 pm.