We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

annini or st. regis snorkeling?

Which Kauai hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Green Valley...
posts: 504
annini or st. regis snorkeling?

We're currently on the island and are considering Annini (sp?) on north shore for snorkeling tomorrow. We actually tried it today right at the park but didn't want to swim out as far as the reef (250 yds.?). If we travel on to Wade House, is reef closer to shore? Also, we have access to beach at St. Regis through staying at Westin Villas Princeville. We also tried snorkeling there today without seeing much. Any thoughts about where better snorkeling may be in that area? Thanks.

Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
posts: 19,585
reviews: 41
1. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

You don't have to swim all the way out to the outer reef at Anini. In fact, the water out there is so turbulent that the visibility isn't good. If you go pretty much straight out from the east side of the park you should hit decent snorkeling not too far out.

Hot Springs Vlg., AR
Destination Expert
for Kauai
posts: 2,958
reviews: 58
2. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

Anini is a nice place to snorkel, but there is not always a lot of fish -- just depends. We have seen turtles and rays there as well. But I never go out near the outer reef. At times there are strong currents near the cuts (just off the public park for boats, and near the end of the road. These have pulled people outside the reef into the open ocean. So just be cautious and careful.

Trabuco Canyon...
posts: 1,046
reviews: 1
3. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

have you been to Kee or tunnels? I did find good snorkeling at Anini last year but I right that off to a bad day bad location choice on the beach. The ocean was the clamest though of any location that we visited. I have not been to but have heard that hideaways (near St. Regis) has good snorkeling if conditions are calm. Anyone can access the beach at the St. Regis as there are not any private beaches in Hawaii that I am aware of. How are you liking the Westin? I will be there for a few nights next week :)

California
posts: 27,901
reviews: 89
4. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

The snorkeling at Puu Poa Beach (where the St Regis is and is public except the lounge chairs) is lousy in my opinion. I have heard the surf is kicking up on the North Shore which is what it does starting in October so conditions might not be good right now at Ke'e or Tunnels. Hideaways might be really rough. You can look down from the lookout between Puu Poa condos and Pali Ke Kua condos to see what it looks like.

Do be very careful at Anini where Kimocat describes as a woman drowned out there a few years ago.

I might make today a South Shore day and try Lawai Beach next to The Beach House Restaurant.

Trabuco Canyon...
posts: 1,046
reviews: 1
5. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

bummer Jebett! I guess I got really lucky my first trip to Kauai in November a few years ago when it was calm as could be at Kee and Tunnels. It was actually rougher when I was there in Sept last year. Do you like hidaways if conditions are calm for snorkeling?

Arendal, Norway
posts: 722
reviews: 8
6. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

I'm an avid snorkeler, and Hideaways is one of my favorite spots on Kauai. Not as busy as most other spots. And the reef there has some color (corals) unlike the vast grayness you get elsewhere on Kauai. But only go when it's calm by observing conditions as jebett pointed out.

Victoria, Canada
posts: 463
reviews: 2
7. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

Remember to check the surf forecast everyday before deciding what to do. For today it looks like north shore will build to 3-5ft and south shore will reach 12ft.

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/SRF.php

http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/ocean_report/

{Note the time of the report, as of this writing the second link still has yesterday's report}

Some of the outer sections of Anini have excellent snorkeling but it's too dangerous unless you have a surf board or boat, and as mentioned the channels are always dangerous even when there is no surf.

Given today can reach 5ft, better to skip hideaways. Puu Poa, Anini and Tunnels can probably handle the surf (because outer reefs break up the waves), just stay close to shore and be cautious. The nice thing with tunnels is you can park at the life guard tower at Haena and talk to them - especially good if you haven't read the surf report or don't know how to interpret it.

You can also try Lydgate.

Green Valley...
posts: 504
8. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

Thanks one and all for the info. Actually, we've already had a couple nice days of snorkeling at Lawai down south so those may need to satisfy our snorkeling "itch" for a while. We started out at the Sheraton down south and enjoyed its fabulous beach. MoveMe..., you'll love the Westin. Although no beach of its own, you can avoid the almost 200 steps the public access requires at the St. Regis by using its elevators as a Westin guest. As others here have noted, the snorkeling there is nothing to write home about but what a picturesque view from under the huge shade trees!

California
posts: 27,901
reviews: 89
9. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

Anyone can use the elevator at The St Regis. I have done it many, many times and I was not a guest of The Westin or hotel.

As James noted, check the daily conditions. I like Hideaways but wouldn't venture down unless it was calm. I have had good days at Ke'e even in fall or early winter, but they were exceptionally low surf. You never know. I snorkeled last (late) Oct at Ke'e but out of 10 days on the island there was only 1 calm day.

Wailua
Destination Expert
for Kauai
posts: 1,562
reviews: 1
10. Re: annini or st. regis snorkeling?

I just want to second what hgjames said: the outer reef at Anini is, under the right conditions, better snorkeling than the lagoon. The lagoon gets stirred up and murky, and has a lot of sediment and algae covering everthing in the shallow areas. The outer reef is much clearer and has some interesting underwater terrain. It's probably only 100 yards to get out there, I've snorkeled back and forth many times. It can be safe to go out there, BUT of course it depends on ocean conditions (swell, tide, wind) and your abilities. Do not go under any circumstances if you are not a strong swimmer and experienced snorkeler to begin with.

There are parts of the Anini lagoon that are a bit better than others. The boat channel itself (the first third near the beach) has some ledges where the fish like to swim. Near one of the poles there are almost always the Hawaiian Damselfish, one of the endemic species you don't always see elsewhere (Dascyllus albisella on this page: http://www.marinelifephotography.com/fishes/damselfishes/damselfishes.htm). Across from the boat ramp, if you look on a clear day, you can also see blue sandy-bottomed areas in the lagoon area. The rocky ledges around these will have better fish sightings than elseswhere. These sandy areas and minor channels in the reef go out almost to the outer reef, but should be safe unless there are high waves coming over the reef.

I have never snorkeled at the end of the Anini road, so I can't compare to that area. but I did like the snorkeling in front of the St. Regis, better than the lagoon areas of Anini. It is much smaller, but has an interesting underwater terrain to explore. However, I didn't see that many fish, so if that's what you're most interested in, Beach House Beach in Lawai is the winner.