Snorkeling

Hawaii

15 Best Snorkeling Spots in Hawaii

15 Best Snorkeling Spots in Hawaii


So you’ve lastly booked that dream journey to the Hawaiian islands, what’s subsequent? You have to plan out your itinerary, together with issues to do and locations to see. Enjoying Hawaii’s superb seashores must be on the high of your checklist of issues to do. There’s no higher means to do that than by snorkeling in Hawaii.

Is it secure to snorkel in Hawaii? 100% sure! Hawaii gives a number of the greatest snorkeling spots in your entire world. The numerous underwater world is stuffed with tropical fish, Hawaiian Green sea turtles, eagle rays, manta rays, sea cucumbers, coral reefs, and extra. You would possibly even see moray eels or reef sharks, however they are often fairly elusive.

The Hawaiian islands are situated proper in the course of the Pacific Ocean, the place the water is heat, permitting tropical fish and different marine life to flourish.

All the Hawaiian islands supply great seashores to benefit from the sea life. So pack up your snorkel gear and flip-flops as a result of we’re about to discover Hawaii’s greatest locations to snorkel!

Best Snorkeling Spots in Hawaii

1. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Island: Oahu

Hanauma Bay is considered one of Hawaii’s most well-known snorkel spots on Oahu’s southern shoreline. The bay is a flooded extinct volcanic crater and incorporates a huge fringing reef that spans many of the size of the bay. This is the very best place to snorkel in Hawaii when you’re staying in Waikiki, because it’s simply 20 minutes away.

In Hanauma Bay, you’ll be swimming amongst over 450 species of tropical fish. You would possibly even see Hawaii’s state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Try saying that 5 instances quick.

Hawaiian Green sea turtles are additionally frequent guests to the bay however don’t get too shut, they’re protected underneath Hawaiian legislation, and you would get hit with a hefty effective when you contact or disturb them.

The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is all about marine life conservation. The bay is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to permit the water to filter by means of so micro organism ranges don’t get to harmful ranges.

You may help protect the marine life in Hanauma Bay by carrying reef-safe sunscreen, not taking any coral reef or different dwelling marine life out of the bay, and never stepping or kicking the coral reef.

The entry price for non-residents is $25 per particular person plus $3 per automobile. Children underneath 12 are free. If you don’t wish to lease a automobile simply to let it sit within the car parking zone all day, take a look at this Hanauma Bay snorkeling tour.

This tour contains round-trip transportation between Waikiki and Hanauma Bay and snorkel gear. You can even keep away from the stress of driving and presumably having to attend for a spot within the restricted parking space.

See Related: Is Hawaii Worth Visiting? Everything You Need to Know

2. Molokini Crater

Boats near Molokini Crater

Island: Maui

Just off the coast of Maui, you will see Molokini Crater, a crescent-shaped volcanic crater surrounded by an outer reef. The reef and clear, heat water appeal to lots of of hundreds of colourful reef fish, making it an ideal spot for scuba diving and snorkeling in Hawaii.

It is the very best place for snorkeling in Hawaii when you’re trying to see essentially the most number of fish and aren’t afraid of deep water. Due to the readability of the water right here, you may as well see scuba divers diving all the way in which all the way down to the ocean ground.

Molokini Crater is barely accessible by boat and is 4 miles away from Maui. Therefore, boat excursions are the very best and most economical method to take pleasure in snorkeling at Molokini. There are two nice tour choices I like to recommend to go to Molokini.

This Molokini snorkel tour features a cease at Turtle Town and lunch. Turtle Town is one other improbable snorkel spot situated close to Maluaka Beach. Of course, Turtle Town is understood for the attractive Hawaiian Green sea turtles that usually go to the spot to feed.

This highly-rated Molokini tour leaves Maalea Harbor and offers visitors the choice of visiting Maui’s Coral Gardens if it’s too windy to soundly make it to Molokini.

Coral Gardens is a good biodiverse reef in west Maui the place you possibly can usually spot Green sea turtles, attention-grabbing sea urchins, and colourful tropical fish.

3. Ke’e Beach

beautiful ke'e beach

Island: Kauai

If you’re searching for a relaxed seashore park with shallow waters to snorkel, take a look at Ke’e seashore. This Hawaii snorkeling spot is situated in the beginning of the world-renowned Na Pali Coast on Kauai’s north shore.

I personally assume Kauai is the very best Hawaiian island for snorkeling as a result of it’s simply a lot much less constructed up than the opposite foremost islands and the water right here is impeccably clear.

The lovely seashore is surrounded by a coral reef, making the bay tremendous calm and protected against large waves. During the summer season, the water is tremendous calm and crystal clear. It additionally makes a beautiful spot to look at the sundown.

It is among the greatest locations to snorkel on Kauai due to its very best location of being on the Na Pali Coast. Most of the Na Pali Coast is barely accessible by boat and isn’t constructed up or polluted, so it’s a improbable spot to benefit from the lovely surroundings and marine life.

Ke’e Beach makes for an incredible snorkel seashore when you’re a newbie or visiting with younger children. There are solely 100 parking stalls close to the seashore, so when you don’t plan on going very first thing within the morning, take into account taking the Kauai North Shore Shuttle.

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4. Hulopoe Bay

Hulopoe Beach
Image by Woodrow Matthews / By way ofTravelers

Island: Lanai

On the luxurious island of Lanai, you will see a number of the greatest snorkeling in Hawaii at Hulopoe Bay. The bay sits simply in entrance of the ultra-high-end Four Seasons Resort Lanai.

The seashore is public, however Lanai is a troublesome Hawaiian island to get to, so that you’ll solely have the ability to get there when you’re staying on the Four Seasons or when you take the ferry from Maui.

On the tip of Hulopoe Bay, reverse the resort, you’ll discover tide swimming pools, that are simply accessible utilizing a wood staircase. The tide swimming pools are dwelling to a ton of juvenile marine life, starfish, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins.

The water is tremendous clear, so it’s tremendous straightforward to identify all these enjoyable sea creatures! Watch your step on the rocks, as they will change into tremendous slippery. Hawaiian Spinner dolphins are frequent guests to the bay, and the resort will put out indicators letting everybody know that they’re there and to not disturb the dolphins.

It’s actually a magical expertise to see them frolicking by means of the waves. In the winter months, you possibly can generally see Humpback whales out within the distance. The bay is a good spot for snorkeling as a result of the waters are fairly calm, and there are a ton of rocks and coral that fish can name dwelling.

You can discover native fish species within the bay, together with different colourful tropical fish.

5. Honolua Bay

Honolua bay on the west coast of Maui, Hawaii

Island: Maui

On the west shore of Maui lies the attractive Honolua Bay. It’s a sheltered bay full of numerous marine life that may make any nature lover’s coronary heart blissful. It’s one of many best snorkeling spots in Maui. To entry the water, you could both go by boat or trek the Honolua Bay Access Trail.

The path is lower than a mile lengthy and is fairly straightforward. It goes by means of a lush forest, giving guests superb views all through the journey. There’s no sandy seashore on the finish, so put together to climb a number of lava rocks to get out and in of the water.

If mountain climbing isn’t your pace, I like to recommend taking a enjoyable boat tour to take pleasure in a calming day in Honolua Bay. This sailing tour takes visitors on a luxurious crusing catamaran alongside the Kaanapali coast from Lahaina to Honolua Bay.

Along the way in which, you’ll take pleasure in a number of the greatest snorkeling in Hawaii. Snorkel gear, breakfast, lunch, and floatation gadgets are all included within the tour.

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6. Kuilima Cove

Kuilima Cove, Oahu, Hawaii

Island: Oahu

If you’re searching for a relaxed snorkeling spot on the North Shore of Oahu, Kuilima Cove is the spot for you. This snorkeling spot is a small bay situated proper subsequent to the Turtle Bay Resort. It’s nice for newbie snorkeling and youngsters.

You can discover a ton of small tropical fish zipping out and in of the shallow reef that surrounds the cove. The North Shore is dwelling to quite a lot of Green sea turtles, so don’t be shocked when you see one lifting its head out of the water for a breath of contemporary air!

The Turtle Bay Resort can also be an incredible place to base your self, particularly when you’re trying to be away from the crowds in Waikiki. Seven seashores are inside strolling distance of the resort, and most are nice for snorkeling.

7. Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay is located on the Kona coast of Hawaii's Big Island

Island: Big Island

Kealakekua Bay is situated on the Kona coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. It’s one of many state’s most historic bays and is a identified hangout spot for Hawaiian Spinner dolphins. Kealakekua Bay is the positioning the place the primary westerner, Captain James Cook, landed within the Hawaiian islands.

Kealakekua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District, so it’s excellent for snorkeling, kayaking, and water sports activities of all types. I like to recommend becoming a member of this South Kona Coast snorkel tour to maximise your time and have the very best expertise in Kealakekua Bay.

Included on this tour are snorkel gear, lunch, and snacks. It’s a small group tour, so that you don’t have to fret concerning the water or the boat being overcrowded cruising across the Big Island!

It’s additionally a morning cruise, so that you don’t have to fret concerning the sizzling afternoon solar beating down immediately on you whilst you’re within the water.

See Related: Best Island to Visit in Hawaii: What’s Best for You?

8. Poipu Beach Park

Poipu Beach

Island: Kauai

Located on Kauai’s south shore, you’ll discover the golden sands of Poipu Beach. It is considered one of my private favourite snorkeling spots on Kauai. The water is calm and straightforward right here, so it’s excellent for snorkelers of all ranges, plus kiddos.

You could even catch a glimpse of a Hawaiian monk seal taking a day snooze on this golden sandy seashore. Off within the distance, you’ll usually see locals browsing and fishing out within the deeper water.

The water within the lagoon of Poipu Beach is normally round a wading degree, so it’s completely secure for snorkeling. The rocks and coral are treasure troves for fairly shells, hermit crabs, and many colourful child fish.

The lagoon is surrounded and guarded by lava rocks, so it’s appropriate for households with younger youngsters. There are additionally snorkel and stand-up paddleboard leases out there close to the seashore park, so that you don’t have to fret about bringing your individual gear.

9. Shark’s Cove

Sharks Cove on the North coast of Oahu in Hawaii

Island: Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu is someplace close to and expensive to my coronary heart. Being born and raised on Oahu, I’ve spent quite a lot of time on the North Shore, and I can let you know that Shark’s Cove is among the greatest spots to snorkel on this aspect of the island. And don’t fear, sharks don’t really reside right here.

The shallow waters of the cove are surrounded by lava rocks and coral reefs. Within this tidepool-like space, you’ll discover a ton of juvenile fish, sea cucumbers, and shells. Towards the tip of the cove, normally within the deeper water, you possibly can usually spot sea turtles taking a snack break alongside the reef.

The space is rocky and slippery, and also you also needs to watch out for sea urchins. If you have got delicate toes like me, I extremely suggest coming ready with water shoes. I promise you’ll thank me later.

See Related: A Guide to Hiking Oahu’s Stairway to Heaven

10. Kahaluu Beach Park

Kahalu’u Beach Park, Big Island Hawaii

Island: Big Island

If you’re looking for the very best snorkeling in Hawaii Island (nicknamed the Big Island), take a look at Kahaluu Beach Park. It’s probably the most fashionable snorkel spots on the island for a lot of causes.

The seashore is protected by the reef, so the water is mostly calm year-round. It’s additionally near Kailua-Kona, the principle resort city on the Big Island. Kahaluu Beach Park is a well-liked spot for snorkeling on the Big Island as a result of it’s the most effective snorkel areas that doesn’t require a ship tour.

Like most different seashores within the islands which can be surrounded by lava rocks, it’s extremely beneficial to put on water footwear to guard your toes. Be cautious, as these rocks will be slippery, and also you generally gained’t have the ability to see the black sea urchins that mix in.

Also be aware that this seashore closes one week a 12 months, normally in May, to permit for coral spawning.

See Related: Best Beaches within the US to Visit

11. Tunnels Beach & Haena Beach Park

Haena, Kauai Island, Hawaii

Island: Kauai

Looking for a chief seashore for snorkeling and shell searching on Kauai? Tunnels Beach and Haena Beach Park gives you each! Once you get to the Haena Beach Park car parking zone, you’ll have Haena Beach to your left and Tunnels Beach to your proper.

Both seashores are nice, so go together with whichever aspect is much less crowded on the time you get there. The seashore is simply east of the famed Na Pali Coast, so that you’re assured to see an entire lot of marine life whereas having fun with the nice and cozy waters of this seashore.

Mount Makana as a backdrop additionally makes for beautiful images. The scenic seashore was additionally the principle filming location for the film South Pacific (1957). Since the seashore is on Kauai’s north shore, ensure that to verify the climate circumstances when you plan to go to within the winter.

The ocean can get tough right now of 12 months on this a part of the island, so that you’ll most likely wish to keep away from stepping into. I like to recommend visiting within the spring and summer season if you wish to actually take pleasure in snorkeling right here.

If you’d prefer to take pleasure in extra of the Na Pali Coast, I like to recommend going on a boat tour. Most of this a part of the island is barely accessible by boat and is dwelling to a number of the most beautiful sea life.

When I went on a snorkel tour right here, we had been even fortunate sufficient to have some Hawaiian spinner dolphins gliding by means of the water alongside our boat!

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12. Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay on Maui

Island: Maui

If you’re searching for a serene and quiet place to chill out and snorkel on Maui, head over to Kapalua Bay. The bay sits in entrance of the luxurious Montage Kapalua Bay in West Maui. Dr. Beach even ranked it as America’s Best Beach in 2018!

The bay’s mild waters make it an incredible place for the entire household to snorkel and revel in a day of enjoyable within the solar. There are sometimes sightings of Hawaiian Green sea turtles within the bay, means out by the reef. Moray eels have additionally been identified to frequent Kapalua Bay, however don’t fear; so long as you retain your distance, they gained’t trouble you.

The west shore of Maui will be loved year-round, as giant waves listed here are uncommon, even within the winter months. However, it’s at all times a good suggestion to verify the wave and tide circumstances earlier than you head out.

13. Maluaka Beach

Maluaka Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Island: Maui

Maluaka Beach is a lovely stretch of golden sand alongside Maui’s southern shoreline. A number of yards out from the shore, you’ll discover Turtle Town, probably the most fashionable snorkeling spots on the island. It gives a number of the greatest snorkeling in Hawaii.

Maluaka’s location on the south shore offers it safety from giant waves. The water is mostly calm year-round, so it’s excellent for snorkeling and different stress-free water actions. The sandy backside protects your toes and the water is deep sufficient that you just gained’t should step on the few giant lava rocks which can be right here.

If you wish to spot some sea turtles, head all the way down to the tip of the seashore, the place the shore is extra rockier and fewer sandy. Turtles love to hang around on this a part of the seashore to benefit from the seaweed.

Remember to maintain your distance from these lovely creatures, as sea turtles are a protected species in Hawaii. If you contact them or get too shut, you would find yourself paying a effective.

See Related: Best Travel Sandals for Beach Destinations

14. Anini Beach

Anini Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

Island: Kauai

Anini Beach is the proper place to take pleasure in Kauai’s numerous fringing reef. The water is fairly shallow a great distance out, so it’s an incredible spot for youths to snorkel on the island. The depth of the water maintains a degree of round 4 toes all the way in which out to the reef, making it straightforward to get to the very best snorkeling spots.

Throughout the reef, you will see an array of colourful fish, together with triggerfish, yellow tang, and parrotfish. The reef is among the longest in all of the Hawaiian islands. I like to recommend planning to spend an entire day right here for the reason that shallow waters make a improbable spot for swimming and paddle boarding as properly.

Anini Beach is much less fashionable than Poipu Beach and Tunnels Beach, so it’s an incredible place to beat the warmth and the crowds. If this lovely seashore has caught your eye, tenting permits may also be reserved prematurely to maximise your time on this breathtaking a part of the island.

Beyond the reef, the present can get fairly robust, particularly through the winter months. If you’re visiting with younger children, I might suggest not venturing out past the reef. It may be tough to get again to shore.

15. Makena Beach

Drone view of Makena Beach Maui Hawaii

Island: Maui

Makena Beach has a number of names, together with Oneloa Beach (lengthy sand seashore) and Big Beach. It is a big stretch of beautiful golden sands that goes on for so far as the attention can see. You can even take pleasure in pretty views of Molokini Crater and the uninhabited island of Kahoolawe.

This family-friendly seashore park is good when you’d prefer to spend a whole day lounging round on the sand and having fun with breathtaking views of the underwater world. You can actually spend all day right here having fun with the nice and cozy waters by means of snorkeling, swimming, tubing, and stand-up paddle boarding.

It’s an incredible choice when you’re uninterested in being surrounded by fancy resorts and are searching for extra untouched pure magnificence. Try to not enterprise too far although, otherwise you’ll find yourself at Little Beach, a identified nudist seashore.

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