SNORKELING is a great way to get a glimpse of the incredible underwater world surrounding the islands without having to go through training or cash out. To snorkel, all you need is a mask, snorkel and fins; however, tours also offer lessons, factoids, gear, transportation to snorkeling hotspots and sometimes, even lunch.
If HANAUMA BAY has been checked off your list, try KAILUA BEACH PARK on the Windward side of the island, or TURTLE CANYON off Waikiki Beach (which will require a boat tour to access).
The NORTH SHORE also offers great snorkeling spots. One such reef abode is MALAEKAHANA BEACH PARK; another is SHARK’S COVE. Located just past Waimea Bay, this spot offers a small parking lot that fills up quickly and tide pools for those who prefer wading. However, only visit this spot during calm waves.
Another good North Shore spot is KUILIMA COVE at Turtle Bay, which is perfect for beginners and calm even during big North Shore waves. Parking is located on the grounds of the Turtle Bay Resort on the right-hand side near the tennis courts.
Pick up gear to go out on your own from Snorkel Bob’s.
1. Never snorkel alone. Hang with a buddy.
2. Whenever possible, snorkel in the morning, when fish are more active and water clarity is at its
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3. Marine life tends to congregate around structures, so stick to reefs for the best opportunity to score a face-to-face encounter.
4. Don’t feed the fish.
5. Even on the cloudiest of days, use waterproof sunscreen.
6. Snorkeling isn’t so much about swimming as it is about floating. Stay relaxed, float and kick only when necessary. The more relaxed you are in the water, the more relaxed and friendly the fish will be.
7. Be respectful of the ocean. Avoid standing on coral, as broken coral takes many years to grow back.
8. Wear shoes or rubber slippers, as lava rock you may step on is sharp.
• Holokai Kayak & Snorkel Adventures (808) 235-6509
Ko Olina Area and North Shore Snorkeling:
• Dolphin Excursions (808) 239-5579
• Done Tours Hawaii (808) 840-0127
• Ko Olina Ocean Adventures (808) 396-2068 or (866) 456-6666
• Ocean Joy Cruises (888) 677-1277
• Under The Sea Hawaii (844) REEF FUN (733-3386)
Hanauma Bay Snorkeling:
• Hawai’i Water Sports Center (808) 395-3773