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A Snorkeler’s Paradise: 10 Breathtaking Spots for Snorkeling in Hawaii

It’s no secret that Hawaii is one of the best places to visit on vacation and is no longer just for honeymooning couples.

Every year over 7 million people around the world visit the white sand beaches, rainforests, and volcanoes looking for stunning views, delicious food and fun water sports.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most breathtaking spots for snorkeling in Hawaii.

Great Spots for Beginners

If you are new to snorkeling and want to give it a try, there is no better place to start then in Hawaii. Here are some perfect locations for beginners.

Kapalua Bay, Maui

Located on the northwest side of Maui, Kapalua Bay is tucked towards the back of two reefs. The reefs extend out protecting the bay from rough waters, making it a great spot for those who are not strong swimmers.

With a white sand beach, you can take a break on the shore for a little rest and sunbathing then grab your mask and snorkel and head out past the north side of the cove to see brightly colored tropical fish and interesting crustaceans.

Kahaluu Beach Park, Big Island

Kahaluu Beach Park is in a sheltered cove off the west side of the Big Island, in the town of Kailua Kona.

This is a great location for Big Island snorkeling to interact with lots of fish as it boasts one of few locations with a tame fish population. You can even join a school of fish by swimming parallel along with them, instead of swimming towards them. This is also a popular place for sea turtles and eels, and when the tide is low your family can explore the lava rock tide pools.

Ke’e Beach Park, Kauai

After a beautiful, hour-long scenic drive along Kauai island’s north shore you will make your way to Ke’e Beach. This beach is protected by a reef making it another great location for beginner snorkelers because of its calm waters. Just be sure to stay within the lagoon, swimming out to the left of the reef will expose you to the rougher ocean conditions.

There is a great diversity of fish in this location and you will likely see butterflyfish, triggerfish, filefish and on a good day, you may see a green sea turtle.

Family Friendly Snorkeling in Hawaii

Hawaii is a wonderful family vacation location and has just about everything to offer from spellbinding sightseeing, historical tours, luau’s, plus warm and inviting locals.

Snorkeling is a popular water activity and might just be the highlight of the trip.

These are some locations that will be perfect for even the smallest adventurers.

Shark’s Cove, Oahu

Ideal for summer snorkeling sessions, Shark’s Cove has a great little spot enclosed by rocks which creates the Pupukea tide pool. This tide pool has shallow areas which is perfect for those smaller snorkelers.

This area is known for the harmless white finned sharks that will often times swim alongside you, and giving the cove its namesake.

Poipu Beach, Kauai

Poipu Beach Park is a great family Hawaii snorkeling location, there is a breakwater area that keeps the water calm and is perfect for children to practice snorkeling and swimming without being overcome by large waves.

This park has pavilions and picnic tables which is perfect when in need of some shade and a spot to take a lunch break.

Anini Beach County Park, Kauai

This beautiful beach has some of the calmest waters on the north shore of Kauai, making it the safest spot for swimming and snorkeling.

This location has the longest reef on Kauai making it a great spot for coral, tropical fish and sea turtles. With the beautiful landscape and blue waters, this is the area is some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii.

Beautiful Locations for Everyone 

If you are looking for more locations that have a little something for everyone, check out these Hawaii snorkeling hot spots.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu

This picturesque location was featured in the film Blue Hawaii and features some of the best snorkeling in Oahu. You will get a great view of the area as you walk or shuttle from the parking lot down to the beach.

The water here is warm and clear so you will want to stay in for extended periods of time and enjoy interacting with all the friendly fish.

Tunnels Beach, Kauai

The main draw to this Hawaii snorkeling location is the massive coral reef and golden yellow sands.

Inexperienced snorkelers can explore the inner reef with its small caves and tunnels because the water is shallower. More experienced snorkelers will want to venture out to the outer parts of the reef and explore the lava tubes, coral formations, and arches that Tunnels Beach has to offer.

Molokini Crater, Maui

If you are interested in traveling by boat to a magnificent half sunken volcanic crater for some of the best snorkeling in Maui, then Molokini Crater is the spot for you.

This picturesque location will be a snorkeling adventure of a lifetime, with clear blue waters and visibility that allows you to see up to 150 ft deep. You’ll see a variety of beautiful sea life from yellow tang and parrot fish to stingrays and moray eels, it’s an opportunity you can’t miss.

Hulopoe Bay, Lanai

Hulopoe Bay is located on the island of Lanai and is one of Hawaii’s best-kept secrets, and doesn’t get as crowded as some of the other popular spots.

Hulopoe Bay has a large tide pool which is great for keeping the waters there calm and easy to navigate while snorkeling. This is a great landscape to explore for smaller marine life such as hermit crabs, starfish, and other small organisms.

This is a protected site so visitors are asked to look, but not touch. Due to this level of respect for the sea the area is known to have spinner dolphins in the summer months and humpback whales in the winter.

Book Your Snorkeling Adventure Today

Due to its top-rated beaches, beautiful landscapes and rainforests, Hawaii is a can’t miss vacation destination.

Have you decided that you’re ready to visit and go snorkeling in Hawaii yet? Our private snorkeling tours will show you the most beautiful parts of this destination!


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