Best Place To Get Scuba Certified: Maui or Mainland

by Mar 9, 2023Diving

Maui Versus the Mainland

As a dive shop in Lahaina, Maui we often get certification-related questions. One of the most frequent queries we receive pertains to where the best place to get certified is, on Maui, or the Mainland. The truth is, there is no easy answer. However, we can give the following advice:

Choosing between getting SCUBA certified while visiting Maui or locally can be informed by such factors as free time, availability of services, and what type of certification experience is most appealing to an individual.

There is a lot of nuance on the subject of certification that, once fully understood, makes a decision much easier to come to. So, if getting certified for SCUBA diving is something that you’ve been considering, be sure to read on. As we will cover all the details and differences in certifying at home or on Maui that you’ll want to know.

Where Should I Get Scuba Certified?

When considering getting your certification while on vacation or nearer to home, it’s important to remember there are pros and cons for each. Both options should prepare students gradually for open water dives with a mixture of practical and theoretical instruction. The one that is ultimately most appealing to you will depend on several factors such as time commitment, local availability, and the preferred certification experience.

Getting Scuba Certified on Maui

Getting your diving certification on Maui can be a great idea as it allows new divers to acclimate to real-world diving conditions under the watchful eye of seasoned instructors. Of course, for those that want to just sit around and drink topical beverages, a dive course may be too much to handle in terms of time commitment.

Benefits of Getting Certified on Maui

Some of the benefits of getting your PADI certification on Maui include learning from a team of unparalleled, professional instructors in one of the most idyllic spots in the world. 

  • Learn from the best: Maui hasn’t cornered the market on quality dive instructors; however, we must say we think our pros are some of the best you will find anywhere. That’s because dive instructors working around Maui must be finely attuned to their natural workspace. So that they can offer instruction while still being able to discern subtle changes in dive quality. It requires a lot of work and experience to ensure the best possible dive.
  • Enjoy Maui: Getting certified while experiencing what Maui has to offer underwater for the first time can be a truly exhilarating experience. Open water experiences available to most in the lower 48 states can often be underwhelming. Maui County, on the other hand, offers some of the best dive trip options in the world.

Considerations When Getting Certified on Maui

  • Time commitment: While most providers are happy to work around your schedule, there will still be a sizable time commitment to gain your certification from scratch. People often wonder if it is possible to get certified in as little as two days, and it is, but those will be two days full of theory, diving, and study. We happen to think that learning to dive is fun—but be prepared to put in the work.


diving for beginners maui

Getting Certified Locally

For those that are hoping to get the most out of their Hawaiian sojourn, getting certified ahead of time may make the most sense. Certifying ahead of time allows divers more freedom on their itineraries, which they can use to schedule trips for more adventurous Maui adventures such as a trip to Cathedrals.

Benefits of Getting Certified Locally

As mentioned above, for most people a trip to Maui is their vacation time, this naturally means they want freedom and minimal commitments. For these people, handling the bulk of certification ahead of time may be preferable. This is possible by partnering with a local dive shop that provides certification services, PADI dive shops can be found here

Considerations When Getting Certified Locally

Availability of SCUBA certification courses may be limited. Depending on where you live, the nearest dive shop may be hours away by car. If this is the case, try seeing if local recreation centers or organizations such as the YMCA offer SCUBA certification courses. There are also licensed individuals who come to you—though this sort of instruction is often cost-prohibitive.

A Mixed Approach

Of course, this isn’t really just an either-or situation, as there is a third option; doing the confined portion of certification at a local dive shop and then coming to Maui for the open water dives. This is often the best of both worlds, as it allows most of the more tedious aspects to be taken care of at your own convenience closer to home and leaves one’s first real dives for the waters of Maui.

Did we mention? The water off the coast of Maui is pleasant 12 months a year—never dipping below 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

We’re Always Here to Help!

We hope the above has given you some insight into different options for SCUBA certification and how they compare. Are you starting your own diving certification process? Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments you may have, we’re happy to assist in any way we can. Thank you for reading, and, until next time, Aloha from Maui!

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