The snorkeling in Hawaii is well known worldwide. There are numerous Hawaii snorkeling spots that are worth checking out. Select one of the regions below to get additional information.
South of Maalaea and west of Makena off Maui, the Molokini crater snorkeling is popular for the water clarity and diverse marine life. The crescent-shaped Molokini Island Reserve is a partially submerged extinct volcanic crater, of which, only a semi circle is still above water. While snorkeling, you'll encounter abundant marine life including reef sharks, parrot fish, moray eels, and butterfly fish.
East of Honolulu and southeast of Kuapa Pond on Oahu, the snorkeling at the Hanauma Bay Beach Park in the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Park is known for its horseshoe bay filled with reefs to explore. The bay is a old volcanic crater and contains flat algae-covered reefs. When snorkeling off Hanauma Beach, you can expect to see millet-seed fish, raccoon fish, thread fin, butterfly fish, reef trigger fish, wrasse, convict tang, unicorn fish, squid, white-tipped reef sharks and occasional sea turtles. The Hanauma Bay snorkeling is protected from the large ocean waves for a gentle snorkel experience.
North of Lahaina and Kapalua on Maui, the snorkeling in Honolua Bay is popular due to spectacular marine life and is considered the best on Maui. The best time for snorkeling at Honolua Bay is on calm days especially if there hasn't been much rain in the past couple days. The Honolua Bay is part of the is part of the Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.
North of Honolulu and Waimea at Pupukea Beach Park, the snorkeling at Sharks Cove is rated as one of the best snorkel dive sites in the world. Sharks Cove is a small rocky bay with abundant marine life that is part of the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District. The coral heads and boulders form small caves sheltering all the fish. You can expect to see parrot fish, butterfly fish, needle fish, surgeon fish, goatfish, triggerfish, unicorn fish, eels, wrasse and sea turtles. Most of the bay is about 7 to 15 feet deep in the center.
North of Lahaina on Maui, the snorkeling at Napili Bay is popular with beginners for its protected calm waters. When snorkeling in Napili Bay, you may encounter green sea turtles, yellow trumpetfish, humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish), parrotfish and Christmas wrasse. There are three public access paths leading to the beach at Napili Bay.
North of Honolulu and Waimea on Oahu, the snorkeling at Three Tables is known for its flat coral formations extending out from the sandy beach. While snorkeling Three Tables, you may encounter cornet fish, eels, damselfish, moorish idols, goat fish, and tangs. It is part of the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District.
East of Honolulu, the snorkeling at Ko Olina Lagoons is known for its range of marine life including barracuda, butterflyfish, goatfish, moorish idols, surgeon fish and wrasse. The four manmade Ko Olina Lagoons are interconnected by a 1.5 mile path. The water depths range from 4 to 5 feet deep.
South of Lahaina and west of Maalaea on Maui, the snorkeling at Coral Gardens is known to be excellent. While there are are some reefs close to shore, the main dive spot is located well off-shore and most snorkelers access via kayak. Coral Gardens is for experienced snorkelers only due to long swim from shore.
North of Lahaina and south of Napili Bay on Maui, the snorkeling Honokeana Bay is popular with beginners for its protected calm waters. Honokeana Bay is kind of a hidden bay with a rocky beach. The best snorkeling is along the north edge of the cove. When snorkeling at Honokeana Bay, you may encounter turtles, humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish) and wrasse.
South of Kihei and Makena in the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, there is good snorkeling at the remote Keawanaku Beach. This a challenging place to snorkel, even when the usually high winds are calm. When snorkeling at Keawanaku Beach, you may encounter a pod of spinner dolphins that frequent the waters here.