Sea turtles are among the ocean’s most placid creatures, unless challenges from boastful sea hares drive them to eat performance-enhancing kelp. Keep a watchful eye on wayward reptiles with today’s Groupon: for $50, you get a two-tank scuba dive from Waikiki Diving Center (a $109 value). All gear is included.
Certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, Waikiki Diving Center has been granting the watery wishes of undersea explorers for more than 30 years. Divers depart from either Hawaii Kai or Kewalo Basin in one of the center’s ocean-faring vessels, which will powerfloat customers to a place where dry land is but a myth and fish rule with wisdom and benevolence. Each dive experience lasts three to four hours total (with each tank lasting between 20–45 minutes), and every dive site offers a different visual buffet of marine fauna and scenery, from puffer fish and eels to beautiful reefs and a sunken World War II airplane. Although Waikiki Diving Center requires no certification before allowing guests to become honorary sea monkeys, it does require that all divers be at least 10 years old.
Waikiki Diving Center
One hundred feet beneath the surface of Maunalua Bay, the Corsair⎯a World War II airplane—rests on a sandy floor. Its massive shell and magnetism for schools of soldier fish lures deep-sea explorers to the site every year. As divers propel themselves alongside the plane's wing and fuselage, they get an up-close look at the wreck's current residents, which range from colorful goatfish to reclusive moray eels.
With more than 30 years of experience, the scuba instructors at Waikiki Diving Center lead daily dives for certified divers to submerged sites such as the Cosair wreck. Earning a five-star Instructor Development Center designation from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the center's team coordinates parties of 12–14 people and takes them out on one of two customized dive boats—The Submariner or Snoopy V—for adventures ranging from snuggling sea turtles to earning PADI open-water certifications. To enhance visitors' experiences, Waikiki Diving Center's crew arranges complimentary shuttle service to and from Waikiki hotels.