Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Phenomenal Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay


Snorkeling anywhere in Hawaii puts you up close and personal with some of the most beautiful fish, reefs and marine creatures on the planet. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay in particular is an experience in and of itself. On the south shore of Oahu, take a trek to the Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park, spanning 100 acres in size. Hanauma Bay Beach, located within the park, is one of the more popular snorkeling spots in all of Hawaii. This deep cove features a 2,000-foot white sand beach with hiking trails up above throughout the cliffs.

You can easily spend a whole day here taking part in fun outdoor pursuits, highlighted by amazing views of Hanauma Bay from several of the marked lookout points. Even if you’re just driving by, be sure to get out and take some photos of this awesome site. If you’re here for a day of beaching or snorkeling, take the tram down from the cliffside or walk down the paved trail. It’s steep, though, so if you have a fear of heights or physical limitations, take it easy.

If you didn’t bring your own equipment, you can rent snorkeling gear down at the beach. Once in the water, you’ll be treated to sightings of turtles, tropical fish, eels and other sea creatures such as octopus, crabs and eels. In total, there are 450 tropical fish in this bay alone! Be careful not to touch the coral reef or the wildlife, and always swim or move calmly, never making sudden threatening movements which can frighten sea creatures. Notice a mother creature with her babies? Swim away slowly and carefully. Do not feed the fish. You’ll get a brief rundown on all this if you’re a beginner when you rent your equipment.

You’ll find it easy to sun yourself on the beach area, plus there is a beach park pavilion complete with nature exhibits, a shop, a theater, toilets, showers, picnic areas and lifeguards. Keep in mind that Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park is closed every Tuesday. On all the other days, it opens at 6 a.m. and closes by 7 p.m. Two Saturdays a month, it is open until 10 p.m. You’ll have to pay a small parking fee and entrance fee. Located about 10 miles east of Waikiki in Oahu, it’s important to get here early as the parking lot closes when full. No highway parking is permitted.

If you book a Circle Island Tour with us here at Hoku Hawaii Tours, the Hanauma Bay Lookout is one of the stops so you’ll get to experience this majestic place while enjoying other spots on Oahu such as Pearl Harbor, Dole Pineapple Plantation and Halona Blowhole lookout.

  • Posted in: