Kona Village Dives into Scuba Market

New package offers excitement for skilled divers, certification for beginners

By: Dawna Robertson

More than simply an underwater adventure, scuba takes on a new dimension at Kona Village Resort. Situated on The Big Island’s Kahuwai Bay, an area ranked among the world’s best dive locations, the resort offers a special six-night scuba package with thrilling dives for experts, certification for beginners and Hawaiian-style hospitality for all.

Priced from $4,580 per couple and based on double occupancy, Kona Village’s Scuba Package covers three full meals daily, six nights of bungalow accommodations, complimentary airport transfers, five-day certification program for new divers, all diving equipment, Friday evening luau, daily in-room beverage service and use of the resort’s fitness center, tennis courts and water sports gear.

Kona Village is partnering with Hualalai Water Sports and Kona Reef Divers to provide an introductory beginners’ scuba program with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) certification. Two days of closed-water sessions in one of the resort’s two swimming pools are followed by open-water dives from Sea Dreams II, a luxury vessel designed exclusively for scuba diving.

Each participant receives an underwater camera as a souvenir to record the final dive. Instruction is guided by Jim Kilbride, known for his charting of shipwrecks on the Anagada reef system and for his extensive work with Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Cousteau Society.

“Kahuwai Bay is a superb dive location,” said Kilbride, “and our beginners’ program here is geared to prepare new divers for any situation with full qualification in just five days. The fun factor is high too with lots of action at Kona Village Resort. This is an extremely popular program.”

Experienced divers will appreciate the diversity of underwater terrain in this marine life preserve with some 40 dive sites accessible just a few short minutes from the resort. Divers can explore dramatic canyons, lava archways, plateaus, walls and ledges, where angelfish, parrot fish and endangered green sea turtles reside.

Once the site of an ancient Polynesian fishing village, the 82-acre Kona Village Resort features 125 thatched-roof cottages nestled around lush lagoons and white and black sand beaches. Rates also cover the on-arrival lei greeting, use of two swimming pools, glass bottom boat tours, kayaks and petroglyph tours with Hawaiian cultural programs.