Put On Your Snorkel Gear

Essential KauaiKauai

Kaua‘i’s warm, crystalline water, its thriving reef system and its mostly sunny skies make it a natural for snorkeling. Because the Garden Isle is the oldest of the inhabited islands, nature has had millions of years to develop its reefs and the hundreds of species of fi sh — some found nowhere else in the world—that populate them.

The longest reef on the island is off ‘Anini Beach on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. Here, the nearshore water is generally shallow and, at reef’s edge, underwater canyons provide ample opportunity to explore. To get to this beach, take Highway 56 past Kīlauea. Take a right on Kalihiwai Road (just past the bridge), and then a left on ‘Anini Road.

Po‘ipū Beach Park, on the south shore, and Lydgate Park, near Kapa‘a, are other good snorkeling picks.

No matter where you are, the best snorkeling is in calm, clear water. Stay out if conditions are rough or choppy. Keep your distance from sea turtles and monk seals, and stick close to other snorkelers and swimmers. Also, don’t walk on the reefs — they are delicate ecosystems that are easily damaged but very slow to recover.

Gear can be rented or purchased. In either case, you’ll need a mask, a snorkel and some fi ns. Gear comes in many sizes and shapes. Most boat cruises also off er snorkeling as part of the tour package. These tours will take you to beautiful, out-of-the-way locations that are difficult to access on your own.

Be sure to check beach conditions at hawaiibeachsafety.com before you head out.

1. Never snorkel alone. Hang with a buddy.
2. Never turn your back to the ocean. on the reef for homes, protection and food.

BOSS FROG’S 808-856-4179
SNORKEL BOB’S 808-823-9433 (KAPA‘A) OR 808-742-2206 (KŌLOA)