7 Best Snorkel Spots in Hawaii

Travel and Leisure — February 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

7 Best Snorkel Spots in Hawaii


Snorkeling is a must-experience Hawaiian activity. There are not too many places in world where snorkelers are presented with clear visibility, fertile reefs and tropical wildlife. The Hawaiian Islands boast plenty of snorkel-friendly locations, but we’ll let you in on a snorkeling secret and tell you the best spots in Hawaii.

Molokini Crater, Maui 
Molokini is an old volcanic crater, which is now home to world-class snorkeling and diving. This marine-life paradise is located three miles off the coast of Maui. It’s famous for its 100-foot visibility, tropical aquatic life and close encounters with sea turtles and dolphins. There are over 250 species of fish swim here, and some are exclusive to this region.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Although crowded, it’s one of the favorite snorkeling locations. The crescent shaped cove features clear visibility and fish encounters are only a finger length away, even in waist deep water. Novice snorklers stay safe in shallow waters, but those with more experience take a passageway toward Witch’s Brew, a turbulent cove, and other outer reefs.

Makaha Beach Park, Oahu
Makaha is the second most popular snorkeling site on Oahu. The clear visibility allows snorkelers to watch transiting dolphins, manta and eagle rays, octopus, eels, and green sea turtles. This region excites snorkelers with 40-foot deep underwater caverns, arches and tunnels along the ocean floor.

Anini Beach, Kauai
This very shallow reef seems to have a never-ending reef allowing snorkelers to get lost in the moment. Anini welcomes novice snorkelers but recommends everyone to watch out for the strong tide. There are plenty of small spaces to explore along the edge of the reef. The protective cove features a lake-like atmosphere

Ke’e Beach, Kauai
Snorkel below the giant Napoli coast cliffs to view an underwater paradise of tropical fish, sea turtles and other aquatic life. The quaint and quiet beach features an ironwood and coconut tree backdrop, perfect for some beach R&R.

Kahaluu Beach Park, Big Island
The Big Island is notable for volcanos and coffee, but snorkeling is not out of the picture. This is one of the most popular sites on the Big Island and features the traditional tropical fish and sea turtle atmosphere. There are more than 100 species of fish in this reef as well as spectacular rock formations. Known as snorkel beach, King Kamehameme, old Hawaiian King, built a seawall long ago for his family to snorkel the waters without dangerous encounters with rip tides.

Kealakekua Bay, Big Island
This is the location of the famous Captain Cook Monument and is another popular and fertile snorkeling site. It’s an underwater sanctuary, which features turtles, dolphins and history. The monument is the location of where Captain Cook surrendered and killed by the locals.