Some of the Best Snorkeling In Hawaii You Need To Go


Nov 02
best snorkeling in hawaii

Snorkeling in Hawaii is a fun activity accessible no matter what level of swimming skills you have. With this activity, you will be able to discover a wonderful range of the most exotic marine life in Hawaii. Vibrant coral, turtles, lava flows, and over 700 species of fish reside in the crystal-clear waters warmed to a typical temperature of 75°F to 80°F. There’s no need for ultimate preparation when here as there is an endless number of rental facilities anywhere you go. The more question, however, is that “Where is the best snorkeling in Hawaii?”


Finding the best snorkeling in Hawaii always depends on your personal needs and preference. One of the most famous sites is Molokini. Resembling the shape of a crescent moon, The Molokini crater is what left of an extinct volcano a couple of miles away from Maui. This is a must-visit place if you’re planning to snorkel.


Another must-check-out snorkeling spots in Hawaii is on Maui which consists of Kapalua Bay, Honolua Bay, and Makena Landing. Honolua in Maui is considered by locals as the best not only for snorkeling, but also for diving, while Kapalua Bay is the perfect place to go if you are looking for safe swimming, calm waters, and one of the best beaches in the world.

Makena offers exceptional cave snorkeling and green sea turtles that are already endangered. Other snorkeling locations in Hawaii worth checking in would be Waimea Bay, which is also well-known for its surfing. On the Big Island, there you may want to visit Hapuna Beach and Kealakekua Bay. If your itinerary includes going to Kauai, then go to Po`ipu Beach Park and Ke’e Beach.


However, our top three choices are listed below:

Our 3 top choices

Kee Beach, Kauai

For those who are looking to experience amazing diving experience, the area of Kee Beach going to the North Shore Kauai offers some remarkable offshore reefs. However, it’s important to remember that during the winter season, the conditions in the area could be remarkably rough and rather dangerous. The best time to go is of course, during the summer season, the protected lagoon offers some fantastic snorkeling opportunities even if you are a beginner and on top of that, the beach is possibly one of the most picturesque that you can find in Hawaii.


Hanauma Bay, Oahu

All the way to the most southeasterly part of Oahu, you’ll find one of the state’s most popular snorkeling spots. Hanauma Bay is essentially the very first Marine Life Conservation District in Hawaii which has been created to protect the subtle ecosystem underneath the waves.

Boats are forbidden in the Bay, so it means all dives have shore access which makes this specific site appropriate for divers of any age and swimming skills. It’s perfect for those who are going with family, and even if you don’t want to swim, the beach is enough reason to go. There are only a few dive companies allowed to lead dives in this area as they want to limit the number of divers coming to the area at the same time, which also makes it an amazing option if you are trying to avoid the crowd.

Tunnels Beach, Kauai


Another best snorkeling in Hawaii is found in Tunnels Beach, and it’s pretty obvious why. As soon as you see the turquoise water, the background, the beach that is nestled underneath the velvet-like green mountain ranges of the Na Pali Coast, you will be convinced that this is one of the best places to go. It would be difficult for you to find a prettier beach, and the snorkeling here is top-notch so make sure you have your waterproof camera with you. However, the Kauai’s currents can be deviously strong and precarious, so make sure to evaluate the water conditions before you get into the water. And if ever you get caught in a strong current, stay calm and swim down to the shoreline.

Hawaii Snorkeling Tips

Snorkeling is easy and anyone can do it. The only thing you need to focus on is maintaining your breathing when your face is in the water. It might feel intimidating at first. But once you get used to it, you will realize that it’s actually one of the most fun water activities one can do. Here are some of the safety tips you need to keep in mind:

  • Never snorkel by yourself. Regardless of how magnificent the ocean conditions may look like, it is important to have a companion with you when snorkeling in Hawaii, especially if you’re a beginner.
  • Start Early. Of course, you’re on a Hawaii vacation and sleeping earlier is not always easy to attain. However, if you want to make the most of your snorkeling, get on it early. Fish are normally more active during the morning, so you will get to see the best of the marine life during this time of the year. Furthermore, the foreseeable afternoon winds can make the clarity of the water less than ideal.
  • Respect the ocean. Never stand on the corals. Even if coral might feel like rock, it’s not. Coral is the grounds of reef environment of Hawaii and is home to marine creatures. Keep in mind that broken coral takes a lot of years to grow back. 
  • Don’t feed the fish. First of all, the plastic wrappers that used to cover the food tend to clog up the ocean, and secondly, human food can harm the little tummy of sea creatures. By feeding them, you are disrupting the natural marine balance, teaching the animals to beg for food instead of filling their natural roles. There are many shops all over Hawaii that sell fish food, don’t buy from them! They claim to be environmentally friendly, but there is no such thing! The ocean is big and fish don’t need you to survive. 

So, there you have it! Finding the best snorkeling in Hawaii is not difficult, especially that no matter where you go in the islands, you will surely not get disappointed. If you think we missed anything in this list, let us know by leaving a comment in the box below!

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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