The Hawaiian Islands are a popular vacation destination for ocean-lovers to go surfing, fishing, and snorkeling. Thousands of beautiful marine organisms call Hawaii home and be found with a little bit of exploring. Here are the top 10 spots to snorkel in the islands.
Hanauma Bay, on the southeast coast of O’ahu, is one of the most popular Hawaiian Islands and best snorkel destinations. The protected bay is perfect for families with young children, and hundreds of turtles, sharks, fish, eels, octopus, and other marine life call this beautiful area home. Don’t worry about the crowds—once you get down to the beach you will see how much space there really is.
Laniakea Beach (a.k.a. Turtle Beach)
Molokini Crater, an island off the coast of Maui, is a submerged volcanic crater that went extinct thousands of years ago. Its crescent shape blocks currents and waves, allowing avid snorkelers to journey to the little island via boat to see all of its marine life. Hundreds of fish and different marine organisms call this tiny island’s colorful reefs and deep blue water home.
Kīholo Bay sits on the Kona side of the Big Island, and hundreds of turtles and fish like to congregate in this protected marine area because of its unique lava rock formation.
Hā’ena Beach, in Hanalei on the north shore of Kaua’i, is a beautiful beach with lots of coral reefs close to the shore. This area is best viewed during summertime as massive waves usually make this beach inaccessible in winter.
Kāne’ohe Bay, on the east side of O’ahu, is completely sheltered by shallow sandbars and fringing reefs, which make for excellent snorkeling and viewing a wide array of marine organisms. Kāne’ohe is most known for being a hammerhead pupping ground, and avid shark snorkelers try to catch of glimpse of these elusive sharks.
Waikīkī is a very popular tourist destination with wonderful surfing, swimming, and snorkeling. Reefs are close to shore and are home to different marine organisms (mostly turtles, white tip reef sharks, and tropical fish).
On O’ahu’s north shore, Waimea Bay is as calm as a bathtub during the summer months. Scattered reefs across its sandy bottom make the bay a perfect spot for dolphins to sleep during the day, turtles to feed, and fish to live. Donʻt forget to bring fins here to swim quite far out and still be protected from the elements. The bay is curved which means snorkelers aren’t too exposed to wind or waits during the summer months.
O’ahu’s west side is virtually untouched by man, so many animals congregate here at Ka’ena Point: sharks, turtles, rays, dolphins, whales, and various species of fish. This is a popular destination to find the Hawaiian spinner dolphins, which come in close to shore to rest during the day.
Shark’s Cove is home to lava caves, unique formations that provide a home for multiple species—including turtles, fish, eels, and sharks—and allow free divers to explore marine ecosystems.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.