Hawaii is a tropical beach-lover’s paradise with absolutely stunning beaches. This island chain is also home to a varied assortment of marine life. So, to make the most of your visit, why not try snorkeling when you’re out at the beach? Snorkeling requires little equipment and no training, but is nonetheless a good way of getting up close and personal with the denizens of the deep. When snorkeling in Kauai try staying at one of the great Kauai rentals. They offer conveniently located properties so you are just a few meters from perfect snorkeling beaches. Here are some of the best places to go Snorkeling in Hawaii.
This award-winning park is an excellent place to snorkel. The beach features clear water and gentle waves, in which Hawaiian green sea turtles and monk seals swim alongside guests. The site has showers, restrooms, and a grassy area for picnics, all of which make it a good location for families with small children. The only downside is that this area can be a bit crowded at times.
Hawaii’s first Marine Conservation Area has been popular with families for some time. Marine life at this site includes whales, octopuses, various fish, and coral. Mongooses too have been known to drop in from time to time. There is a $7.50 per person fee for entry. Admission is limited so get there early, especially if you are driving. Once the car park fills up no one else is allowed in. A snack bar is located within the area, but beach goers are advised to pack a picnic lunch instead to avoid the high prices. Underwater cameras and swim shoes are also recommended for this site. Visitors should be aware that the park is closed on Tuesdays.
Popular for kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling, this bay is located near the city of Kona, in a marine conversation area. The reefs here are home to moray eels, octopuses, and the local dolphin pod. The bay area is accessible either by boat or by hiking from Napoopoo road in Captain Cook Town. The initial downhill hike takes around 45 minutes, but the return uphill trek can take up to an hour and a half. Bring a good supply of bottled water and sturdy hiking shoes if you plan to walk down to the bay. For families with small children coming by boat might be a better option than hiking. It is best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Once named America’s best beach, this site will not disappoint visitors. Recommended for winter snorkeling, this site features golden sand and the usual assortment of marine life including turtles and dolphins. Snorkeling is best in the tidal pools or on the left side of the beach. Picnic tables are located near the tide pools for visitors to use and bathroom facilities are available as well. Short hikes from the beach will bring visitors to Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) or out to the nearby coves and sea arches.
Located in Northern Kauai, this idyllic beach features an excellent snorkeling lagoon. Swimming is popular here as well and scuba diving can be found at the nearby reef. This site is only recommended during the summer months, as beach conditions can be dangerous in the winter. The popular Kalalau hiking trail at the western end of this beach leads to the Napali Coast and is a recommended excursion. Should Kee Beach prove too crowded for your tastes, the less visited Makua beach (Tunnels Beach) is located nearby and is also a good site for snorkeling and swimming during the summer.
Notable for its calm and clear waters, this beach also goes by the name of Two-Steps. The alternate moniker has been given to the site because the volcanic rock is shaped like two steps leading down to the water. Hawaiian green sea turtles and an abundance of fish can be found here. Located nearby this site is Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park, which used to be hideout for those seeking to escape the law, but now provides a glimpse into Hawaii’s past.
Legends have it that when the jealous goddess Pele killed her rival and cut off her head, the unfortunate woman’s body was transformed into this island. More scientifically minded individuals will insist that it is only a submerged volcanic crater. This area is now a wildlife sanctuary and people are not permitted on the island itself without permission from two separate government agencies. The good news is mooring boats offshore is allowed and snorkeling is popular here. This reef is home to about 250 native fish species, 35 coral species, and 100 types of algae. It also an excellent spot for snorkeling, but can be overcrowded at times.
What are some spots you would recommend for best places to go snorkeling in Hawaii?