The Five Best Places to Snorkel in Hawaii

June 3, 2009 by  
Filed under beaches

kapalua bay

Hawaii has been one of the premier destinations for vacationers for more than half a century. Just the though of America’s 50th state makes some people mentally picture tropical settings, warm and pleasant temperatures, and beautiful scenery. People travel to Hawaii with the idea that they will be doing a great deal of things while on the islands. Some of these things are more active like hiking and diving, while other things are more relaxing like sunbathing and taking advantage of the many things that the various spas and resorts have to offer. One of the most popular activities on the though islands is snorkeling.

Snorkeling is popular with tourists coming to Hawaii for a number of reasons. As beautiful as the islands are, there is so much more beauty waiting to be seen below the surface of the water. Snorkeling allows a traveler to leisurely observe and explore areas of marine life without having to learn or deal with the complicated equipment associated with scuba diving. Snorkeling is also an activity that can be performed by nearly everyone regardless of their age because it is all about learning a technique. The marine life that can be viewed while snorkeling through some of the areas around Hawaii is an amazing thing to see. Here are the five best places to go snorkeling at in Hawaii.

Hanauma Bay

Located on the island of Oahu, Hanauma Bay has been popular with snorkelers for decades. The one negative about this diving location is that it has become so popular of late that there are sometimes more than enough snorkelers there to make it somewhat crowded. The bay area is gorgeous above water with gentle sloping vegetation covered ground turning into white sand and then the crystal blue waters of the bay itself. Fish are common in the bay, even up near the shoreline, but the many examples of marine life down along the reefs and rocks are amazing.

Molokini Crater

One of the most unique snorkeling locations in Hawaii is the Molokini Crater. This small island is located just three miles off the coast of Maui. The semi-circle shaped island is the remnants of what was once a volcanic crater. Today it is one of the best places to see some hard to find marine life, there are even several species of fish that are not known to live anywhere else. The memory of swimming into and around a sunken volcanic crater is something that many people who take the opportunity to do it will never forget.

Kahaluu Beach Park

Located on the big island of Hawaii, Kahaluu Beach Park is another of the more popular snorkeling locations on the islands. The beach is large enough to host a great deal of people at once and the waters are generally calm and filled with marine life. All kinds of undersea creatures can be viewed at Kahaluu Beach Park, everything from small shellfish, to a number of species of fish, and even sea turtles and other larger creatures.

Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay is one of the most recommended snorkeling locations for those going for their first time. The bay is located on the island of Maui and is popular with locals and tourists alike. The waters are extremely calm and protected from the pounding surf and marine life there is abundant. Those that are new to snorkeling will appreciate the lack of water obstructions as they learn to snorkel and become at ease in the water. The sandy beaches and natural surroundings of the area are also very pleasing for before and after the actual snorkeling, or by those who are not participating.

Kealakekua Bay

Another of the top snorkeling spots on the big island of Hawaii is Kealakekua Bay. This smaller bay provides one of the best opportunities to see some of the more rare underwater sights like sea turtles and dolphins. The area is open to snorkelers but is actually part of a protected underwater marine sanctuary. The scenery from the water or the land is simply beautiful in this truly special part of the Hawaiian Islands.

There are a number of popular activities to do in Hawaii, everything from swimming and diving to hiking and sports. There are even ways to enjoy the water aboard various kinds of watercraft including chartered fishing vessels, whale watching ships, kayaks, jet skis, and boats. One of the top ways to enjoy the water around Hawaii though is through snorkeling. This is one of the few ways that all the wonders of the undersea world can be experienced by those that are visiting the area. Snorkeling in Hawaii is great, but finding the right places to do it can have a huge impact on how successful the excursion is.