Cliff Diving in Hawaii: The Top 10 Spots

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Hawaii is renowned for its natural beauty and adventure activities. And for thrill-seekers, cliff diving offers the ultimate adrenaline rush. With towering seaside cliffs, picturesque waterfalls, and crystal clear waters, Hawaii has some of the best cliff diving in the world. Here are 10 of the top spots for cliff diving in Hawaii.

cliff diving in Hawaii

  1. Spitting Caves

Spitting Caves on Oahu’s east coast is considered one of the greatest cliff diving locations in Hawaii, with jumps from up to 70 feet high possible. The narrow landing area wedged between rocks and the reef’s edge adds an extra element of danger, especially on rough days when the surging waves make the jump nearly invisible. This spot is best left to the experienced locals, but it’s an exciting place to watch others take the plunge.

  1. Kapena Falls

Kapena Falls on Oahu features a straightforward 40-foot jump into a large basin, making it more accessible for less experienced divers. The lush jungle surroundings and towering banyan trees also make the quick hike to Kapena Falls worthwhile. Just be cautious of murky water after heavy rains. Checking the landing area ahead of time is a must.

  1. Waimea Falls

Once home to professional high divers, the 45-foot Waimea Falls on Oahu still attracts those wanting to emulate the daring stunts of the past. But hidden rocks can pose a hazard, so carefully scouting the cliff diving spot before jumping is critical, even though you don’t have to contend with waves. The waterfall itself is also part of a lovely botanical garden.

  1. Mokulua Islands

Also known as the Mokes, the iconic Na Mokulua Islands off of Lanikai Beach can be accessed by kayak. It takes about 30 minutes to paddle out to the islands, where brave divers are rewarded by leaping from the rocky clifftops into beautifully clear waters. Choose your difficulty level from just over 10 feet to scaling the jagged peaks high overhead.

  1. Alan Davis Beach

Alan Davis Beach on Oahu’s east coast is a local favorite. Wooden planks wedged between the rocks allow for creative jumps, spins, and falls from a few feet up. Thanks to the beach’s calm conditions, it’s one of the safest cliff diving spots around. And since it flies under the tourist radar, you’re likely to have more seclusion.

  1. Laie Point

Recognizable to Forgetting Sarah Marshall fans, Laie Point provides a memorable 25-30 foot jump. But tread carefully, as dangling from the cliff face is a real possibility if you aren’t prepared. Save this north shore spot for summer when the water below is more forgiving. Recreating a movie scene makes for some extra fun!

  1. Waimano Falls

Secluded Waimano Falls offers a ordinarily 13-foot jump into a refreshing pool, with brave souls opting to leap from even higher rocks. There’s also a rope swing for getting your Tarzan on. Just be aware that the waterfall can occasionally run dry depending on recent rainfall. But after a demanding 3-mile trek through lush jungle, the playful oasis is worth it.

  1. China Walls

The lava rock cliffs of China Walls on Oahu provide epic sunset views and winter whale watching. But it’s also a prime spot to observe skilled surfers and courageous cliff jumpers alike. The jump height varies depending on seasonal swells, so save this west coast location for summer when entry and exit won’t be as tough. Watching others take the plunge is thrilling enough!

  1. Waimea Bay Rock

Waimea Bay on Oahu’s north shore boasts a famous jumping rock marked by the stunning contrast of black lava against bright white sand and blue waters. Jump heights range from 5 feet to 35 feet, with plenty of safe entry points to match your skill level. But use caution in the winter when powerful waves can create hazardous conditions.

  1. Maunawili Falls

Nestled inland near Oahu, Maunawili Falls features a 20-foot jump from surrounding boulders into a deep pool. More surefooted divers can also scale the cliff itself for an even bigger thrill. Just double check for debris before taking the plunge into the jungle paradise. But be aware, the trail is currently closed pending 2023 renovations.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, cliff diving in Hawaii offers no shortage of picturesque spots to get your adrenaline pumping. Just be sure to assess all risks and challenges before leaving terra firma behind!