When you go on vacation is there a go to activity that you just have to try? For me it’s snorkeling! I love just dipping my face in the water and floating about all while watching this whole other world that exists beneath me.  

As any swimmer, snorkeler, diver, or even those who sit at home and watch National Geographic shows knows, an entirely different world lies beneath the water's surface. There, life operates on a different rhythm, and humans are merely visitors. Exploring the shallow waters can feel like an exhilarating journey to another planet.  

In the best snorkeling spots, you can spend hours observing the coral, searching for colourful fish, and maybe spot a turtle or two. Fortunately, many excellent snorkeling locations are found in places like the South Pacific. In this blog let’s explore some of the best places in Hawaii to go snorkelling.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve – Hawaii  

You will need a reservation to enter the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, a popular snorkeling site near Honolulu. The park has strict guidelines about being closed for two days every week (Mondays and Tuesdays), and when it is open, entry cuts off around lunchtime, and visitors must leave by 4 p.m. All this has helped the park maintain a balance between appeasing tourists and staying in peak condition. The pristine waters and vibrant coral reefs will provide for an unforgettable snorkeling experience.  

Molokai, Hawaii  

Molokai is the fifth-largest island in Hawaii and is situated between Maui and Oahu. While it may not be as well-known as its neighbors, it has many unique features that make it special. The island boasts some of the world's most impressive and tallest sea cliffs. Along Molokai's southern shore lies an extensive fringing reef that stretches nearly 30 miles. This reef is abundant with finger coral and a diverse array of fish that thrive and feed in its waters.  

According to The Hawaii Vacation Guide — a blog run by ex-Hawaiian locals — the fringing reef in Molokai is one of the best places to snorkel in Hawaii. "You will find vibrantly colored reef fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles, and you might be so lucky to see manta rays that live in the area."

Kealakekua Bay – Hawaii  

On the west coast of the Big Island, Kealakekua Bay is also known for its monument to Captain James Cook, who was the first European sailor to discover Hawaii, landing on the islands in 1778. The waters in the bay are protected by Bay Marine Life Conservation District, where fishing is prohibited so sea creatures can flourish.  

According to Big Island Guide, it says "flourishing coral and marine life abundant in every direction." At this spot snorkelers need to be cautious as currents can be hard to read, but you can expect to see lots of fish, green turtles, and maybe even the occasional dolphin, but just don't venture too far from the shoreline.  

Molokini Crater – Hawaii  

Situated about 3 miles from the southwestern shore of Maui is where you will find the crater rim, shaped like a crescent moon appear from the waters, the island is the remnant of an old sunken volcano. The uppermost ridges of Molokini Crater soar more than 150 feet above the sea, rising steeply from the Pacific. The snorkeling at this remote site, which can only be accessed by boat, is reportedly exceptional, according to visitors on Tripadvisor. "We saw 5 huge sea turtles very close up; it was a once in the lifetime experience," one said.  

Here is where snorkelers will be spoiled, with more than 250 species of fish calling these waters home. Such as yellow tang, parrot fish, Moorish idols, rays, reef sharks, and moray eels are just some of the creatures might be swimming with here. Thanks to the lay of the land, the water is often very calm, and if you visit during the winter months you might even see the whales.

Poipu Beach Park – Hawaii  

This beach, which they say has dual personalities is on the south coast of Kauai, it consistently has good snorkeling, as reported by the Snorkeling Report. The eastern side of Poipu is more protected, where the lifeguard is stationed, and is popular with families who enjoy the calm water. In the western part, the water is also calm, but the snorkeling is much better. Slide into the ocean, and there is a good chance you'll see parrot fish, flounder, butterfly fish, and devil scorpion fish. Okay, even though I am a Scorpio by birth I might just pass on swimming with a devil scorpion fish…lol  

So, if you really love snorkeling then maybe one or two of the Hawaiian Islands is a great spot for your next vacation. The Caribbean has some great snorkeling options as well, so no matter what your tropical destination, exploring the underwater world is yours to discover.

Experience peace and tranquility in the underwater world


Aileen Blair
Aileen Blair

Thank you for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed it! My hope is to help you as I share my health and wellness journey as well as places I love to visit and travel to. If there is a topic you would like covered please feel free to mention it in the comments below. Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your day!

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