Swimming with sea turtles, exploring reef ecosystems just off the beaches, and spotting an abundance of marine organisms – the warm waters of Hawaii provide everyone with incredible underwater experiences. It won’t be wrong to write that the Hawaiian Islands are every snorkeler’s dream. And here are some snorkeling sites that prove that I am not exaggerating.
Hanauma Bay receives approximately 3,000 visitors every day. Yes, it’s super popular. And among the most popular activities at the beach is snorkeling. A nursery ground for the immature green sea turtles, the bay also houses hundreds of fish, eels, sharks, octopus, and other marine organisms in its warm, calm and clear waters. Besides, Hanauma Bay features a large population of coral. Touching and mistreating marine life and walking on coral heads is prohibited. Though, it’s always crowded – you can always find some nice place on the white sand beach.
Molokini Crater is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater situated just off the coast of Maui. The flooded crater holds back wind, waves, and currents, and allows snorkelers to experience a wide range of marine life. You can take a boat to Molokini and dive into the water to see hundreds of colorful fish around coral, playful dolphins, and other aquatic animals. Certified scuba divers can spend longer time underwater and can adore amazing views up to 150 feet deep.
A marine life conservation area, Honolua Bay is another popular location for snorkeling in Hawaii. Snorkelers start gathering at the beach from early morning so reach early to find a nice spot and get set for an amazing underwater experience. Common marine life seen here includes butterflyfish, pufferfish, unicornfish and sea urchins. Honolua is also a premier destination for surfing.
Popularly known as Turtle Beach, Laniakea is situated on the northern coast of O’ahu. Green sea turtle resting on the warm sand is a common sight at the beach and it is okay to click their pictures as far as you keep a good distance from them. Jump into the water to be with the turtles, swim alongside them, and explore breathtaking aquascapes.
Molokai Island has everything to be a spectacular snorkeling destination – the pristine reef, unspoiled water, and an abundance of sea life. Plus, this is where you can avoid crowd too. Take a cruise or boat or kayak to reach the island’s reef on the south coast that attracts turtles and eagle rays.
Kealakekua Bay is a pristine marine sanctuary and conservation site located about 13 miles south of Kailua-Kona. The site of the Captain Cook Monument is a fantastic location to snorkel to spot eels, rays, reef sharks and turtles. Also, while kayaking to the snorkeling spot from the shore, you should keep an eye out for Hawaiian spinner dolphins known for putting on their acrobatic displays.
The wide, white sand strip at the Tunnel is welcoming. And your snorkeling experience starts just off the beach, where a large reef attracts dozens of colorful fish, turtles, and other marine life. On the north shore of Kauai, Tunnels Beach is also an epic destination for surfing and scuba diving. Surfers especially love this beach for the waves here form perfectly shaped tunnels.
A part of the Mokuleia Marine Life Conservation District, Honolua is must snorkel spot for those who happen in Hawaii in summer months. Situated on the northwestern coast of Maui this popular site allows snorkelers opportunity to adore unique coral formations and swim with different species of fish. Waves grow taller in winters and thus it’s not ideal to snorkel at Honolua Bay during these months. Rather, you can enjoy surfing.
Kahalu’u Beach Park
A short drive south of Kona, Kahalu’u Beach Park is an excellent destination for Hawaii snorkeling. The calm and shallow water beyond the beach boasts of tons of tropical fish, vibrant coral reef and a wide variety of aquatic animals. Swim a little far away from the beach to discover more fish and other sea life. The beach park also has plenty of trees, picnic tables, outdoor showers, and several other amenities. It’s one of the most popular family-friendly beaches in Hawaii and thus expect to share the beach with hundreds of other families.