12 Best Places For Snorkeling in Honolulu

By Seema Nande on Jan 02, 2019
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With an ocean bestowing you with mesmeric vistas of its colorful waters, Honolulu is Hawaii’s favorite hot spot for myriad reasons.

Especially given how much quieter it is than the much touristy Waikiki, Honolulu is a perfect beach escapade.

Snorkeling is one such watersport, that celebrates this vibrant Polynesian capital like no other. What's more? A surface water temperature of around 77-83F all through the year amplifies the fact that you can come, snorkel here, any time of the year!

Check out these 12 best places for snorkeling in Honolulu that will keep you wanting for more!


1. Snorkeling Oahu Hanauma Bay

Oahu Hanauma Bay - Places For Snorkeling

PC: Flickr.com

One of Hawaii’s most striking marine embayment, the Oahu Hanauma Bay will sweep you off your feet!

It is the island’s biggest crowd puller owing to a rich variety of marine life.

Recognizing this, the Hanauma Bay State Park came into existence from a tourism perspective.

There are 3000-odd visitors that flock to this state park every day.

Acquainting a plethora of marine life and fish this is one of the best spots for snorkeling in Honolulu.

Suitable for: Beginners

2. Kahe Point Snorkeling

Kahe Point - Places For Snorkeling in Honolulu

Also known as the Electric Beach, there is a very interesting fact attached to this spot’s name.

This is one of the best beaches for snorkeling in Honolulu, because of an electric pipe in the vicinity that gushes out warm water, drawing a lot of marine life, given the warm temperature.

You will not find many lifeguards here, so those who are not too good at swimming must not venture too far in the waters.

Expect to see a mesmerizing variety of corals, turtles, monk seal, and even dolphins sometimes.

Suitable for: Experts

3. Baby Makapu'u, Waimanalo

Baby Makapu'u - Places For Snorkeling in Honolulu

PC: Wikimedia Commons

A place that will satiate your quench for an adventure like no other, the Makapu`u Beach is one of the best places for snorkeling in Honolulu, for all the right reasons.

First being, its diverse range of water sports; from diving, surfing, to leisurely swims and of course, snorkeling, followed by some more reasons.

This is your chance to swim with turtles in the sparkling, transparent waters, the region has.

If you wish to skip snorkeling, you can enjoy the serenity of this place, strolling the beaches.

You can collect some irresistible shells here, but beware as they usually have some tiny creature in it that may prick you with their poison.

Suitable for: Beginners

4. Kaena Snorkeling

Best Places For Snorkeling in Honolulu

PC: Daniel Ramirez/flickr.com

A blissful experience, compared to other snorkeling sites, the Kaena beach is a breath of fresh air from the crowded beaches on all of the Oahu snorkeling tours!

This place draws snorkelers seeking a calm snorkel.

You may also find a rich marine life here, but if you wish to enjoy a leisurely snorkeling experience, then, this is a brilliant option.

Follow-up your snorkel with a soothing walk at this powdery-soft-sanded beach of this Kaena Point State Park.

Suitable for: Beginners

5. Kuilima Cove Snorkeling

Best Places For Snorkeling in Honolulu

Image Source: Flickr.com

Time and again, winning the title of one of the best places for snorkeling in Honolulu, the Kuilima Cove boasts of leisurely snorkels.

Drawing visitors by it pristine waters and shallow shore, that make for brilliant snorkels, this place is ideal for beginners.

Given the clarity of the water, you are likely to spot a good amount of marine life here.

You can check into the few resorts surrounding this region, to make the most of this easy, beginner-friendly snorkeling cover!

The place is also familiar as Turtle Bay.

Suitable for: Beginners

6. Makaha Beach Park, Oahu

Best Places For Snorkeling in Honolulu

Hosting some of the best surfs in winter, the Makaha Beach Park also has some of the best snorkeling in the Honolulu region.

Embracing visitors with a very relaxing vibe, you can enjoy some of the most leisurely snorkels, stroll and other beach activities like surfing, here.

Turtles and live corals are what you can look forward to on you snorkel here.

However, this region is not the best for first-timers, given the sudden steepness of the beach.

Thus, the waves and currents too are pretty strong.

This further renders to the fact that, to see more marine life, you may have to swim farther into the sea, where the waves are more stable.

Suitable for: Experts

7. Three Tables

best places to go snorkeling in Honolulu

PC: Anthony Quintano/flickr.com

One of the best of "snorkeling Oahu North Shore” experience, the Three Tables is a small, rocky strip to sport those glasses and flappers!

It is from the formation of the rocks here, that resemble three tables, the place derives its name from.

Come here in the months of summers to enjoy a snorkel like no other in the north shore.

This is when the waves are really flat, to enjoy a swim with turtles and gorgeous fish!

This can indeed be a very rewarding experience.

Suitable for: Beginners

8. Sharks Cove Snorkeling

best places to go snorkeling in Honolulu

PC: Wikipedia.org

Holding a special place in the hearts of seasoned divers and snorkelers, the Sharks Cove is a must on this list. And if its name has you contemplating, rest assured it is anything but scary!

There are several lava formations in here, that are home to an exquisite variety of crustaceans.

What you should look forward to while snorkeling here, is lots of schools of fish.

The white tipped reef shark too, has been occasionally spotted here.

Suitable for: Beginners and experts

9. Molokini Crater, Maui

cheap places for snorkeling in Honolulu

PC: Wikimedia Commons

What’s not to love about this terrific State Marine Life & Bird Conservation District?! A sweeping atoll engulfed by azure waters and brilliant opportunities to dive and surf, the Molokini Crater is simply gorgeous.

With a brilliant visibility of a whopping 150 feet, you will find an attractive variety of fish here.

Coming in some of the most unique shapes, colors and sizes the marine life here, is sure to leave you spellbound!

Suitable for: Beginners and experts

10. Sans Souci Beach, Waikiki

value places for snorkeling in Honolulu

Image Source: Alicia0928/flickr.com

If traveling to a place overwhelms you, yet you can’t let go of your dream of snorkeling in Honolulu, then the Sans Souci Beach is your answer!

Perched in the town locales of Waikiki, this place is very safe and easily accessible.

The best time to explore this region is during high tide when you will spit of a ton of marine life swaying from one place to other.

The beach is a great spot for experiencing a mellow sunset too!

Suitable for: Beginners

11. Ko Olina Lagoons, Kapolei

Ko Olina Lagoons, Kapolei snorkeling

Another gem of a place for first-time snorkelers, the three Ko Olina Lagoons, albeit being manmade lagoons, offer a good swim.

Though the swim here can be leisurely, you may not really spot a lot of marine life, especially in the form of corals. However, its calm waters attract a lot of schools of fish.

This is one reason why the lagoons get pretty crowded.

If you get overwhelmed by the crowds, you can skip snorkeling for a blissful walk. But we insist you snorkel for the attractive variety fish-  wrasse, goat, butterfly, tang and even the Moorish idol!

Suitable for: Beginners and experts

12. Anini Beach, Kauai

Anini Beach snorkeling

Image Source: Flickr.com

Owing to its shallow waters, snorkeling at Anini Beach can be a fabulous experience for first-timers.

This is the longest and shallowest reef on this quaint island, Kauai.

Letting you experience some jaw-dropping underwater crannies and nooks in an alignment of the reef’s edge, this spot is a must on the list of best spots for snorkeling in Honolulu.

Winters may prove to be a good time if you want a too-good-to-be-true experience.

Picnic tables lacing this beach, are great to unwind with a meal, following your swim.

Suitable for: Beginners and experts

With this list, we hope you have planned your next snorkel!

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