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5 Best Snorkeling Spots in Hawaii

High mountains, active volcanoes, tropical forests, endless beaches bathed by the turquoise waters of the Pacific, friendly locals and luxurious Hawaii hotels – all these make Hawaii the earthly paradise everyone has heard of and dreams to visit at least once in their lifetime. But there is another colorful and lively paradise, hidden beneath the waters and waiting to be discovered. The easiest way to experience Hawaii’s underwater world is snorkeling, and we’re about to go through the five best snorkeling spots around the islands.

Kahaluu Beach Park

Commonly known as Snorkel Beach, Kahaluu Beach Park is considered the most popular snorkeling destination on the Big Island, and one of the best in Hawaii. King Kamehameha, one of Hawaii’s kings of old, had his workers build a seawall to protect a small cove from the dangerous surf and riptides, so he and his family could enjoy the beauty of the ocean, in peace. That’s how Kahaluu Beach Park was created, and it remains a calm place, home to colorful corals, impressive rock formations and over 100 species of tropical fish.

Photo by butsky

The best snorkeling spot in Kahaluu Beach Park is in the southwest, near the lava rocks. That’s where the water is most shallow, and corals the most pristine. Most tourists won’t venture this far out, so it will most likely be just you, surrounded by colorful fish and adorable sea turtles.

Anini Beach Park

Calm waters and a rich underwater life make Anini the best snorkeling spot on Kauai. This peaceful stretch of beach is protected by the largest coral reef in Hawaii, so instead of foamy waves breaking up on the sand, you can expect a lake like atmosphere. The protective reef creates a beautiful blue lagoon, unsuited for surfing or bodyboarding, but perfect for snorkeling.

Photo by ishot71

Anini Beach Park is home to a varied marine life, including trigger fish, parrot fish, boxer fish, unicorn fish, damsel fish and many other tropical fish, waiting for you to join them underwater. There is one thing tourists have to be wary of when snorkeling in Anini Beach Park, and that’s the very sharp corals.

Kealakekua Bay

The largest sheltered natural bay in Hawaii, Kealakekua is also famous as the place where Captain James Cook and his ships arrived, when they discovered Hawaii. The exact spot where he was later surrounded and killed by the natives, is marked by a monument.

Photo by nuttinbutlove

A spectacular marine sanctuary, Kealakekua Bay sports a variety of tropical fish, colorful coral reefs, calm and warm waters averaging around 76 degrees, as well as clear visibility down to 100 feet. Kealakekua Bay is also home to a pod of Hawaiian Spinner dolphins, making it the perfect place to interact with some of the friendliest mammals on Earth.

Molokini Crater

An old volcanic crater eroded with the passing of time, Molokini Crater is now a true marine life paradise and a world class snorkeling and diving location.  Located 3 miles off the coast of Maui, Molokini is famous for its exceptionally clear water, with visibility reaching 100 feet every day.

Photo by Forest & Kim Starr

The area around Molokini Crater is home to over 250 species of colorful tropical fish, whale sharks, manta rays and even monk seals. If you’re interested in discovering Maui’s underwater world, Molokini is definitely a must-see.

Hanauma Bay

Just nine miles from the popular Waikiki Beach, on the island of Oahu, lies Hanauma Bay, a natural paradise reputed as the best snorkeling spot in Hawaii, for beginners and experts alike. The crescent-shaped bay is an old volcanic crater that now serves as home for some of the most fascinating creatures in the Pacific.

Photo by dnorman

The turquoise waters of Hanauma Bay are peaceful and clear, making it easy to spot beautiful fish and coral reefs, even in waist deep waters. Unlike other snorkeling locations in Hawaii, the wildlife of Hanauma Bay is not afraid of humans, and as long as you don’t make any sudden movements you’ll have the chance to interact with over 450 species of tropical fish, octopus, crabs and much more.

8 Comments for "5 Best Snorkeling Spots in Hawaii"

Snorkeling enthusiast says on July 4th, 2010 at 6:12 pm:

Snorkeling is my favorite hobby. I like to go to Mansinam and Lemon islands in Manokwari city of the Republic of Indonesia for swimming and snorkeling. This sport is good for hour health.

Abinash Jha says on July 8th, 2010 at 7:00 am:

Most beauty part of life is, when u hv beers with u n box of ciggerrett and you sit at MOLOKINI CRATER………….

paradiseblue22 says on October 12th, 2010 at 4:21 am:

Hawaiian music is also distinguished by its steel guitar style which was invented and developed in Hawai’i, largely by accident.

Paradisebluehawaii says on October 14th, 2010 at 2:50 am:

Hawaiian recordings back to the islands, and back to the people around the world, who treasure them.

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