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“Great place to snorkel for all skill levels” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kapoho Tide Pools

Kapoho Tide Pools
Waiopae Road, Pahoa, Island of Hawaii, HI
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Top Rated
$416*
and up
Big Island in 3 Days: Snorkeling, Hiking, Camping...
Ranked #1 of 6 Attractions in Pahoa
Type: Geologic Formations, Outdoors
Activities: Snorkeling
Attraction details
Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great place to snorkel for all skill levels”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

This was one of the most beutiful places we snorkeled on the big island. There are many pools some warm some cool. They are filled with gorgeous fish and awesome coral. The water is Crystal clear..except In the warm pools of course. We did not need fins even in the larger pools..I think they would be a hassle and in the way in this environment. Unless you swim waaaayyy out then you would want them a the tide can be strong. There is a 3$ parking fee otherwise is free :)

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262 reviews from our community

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English first
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful clear pools”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2014

Warm water in the open air with the breaking waves a few feet away. A lovely experience. Lifeguards were there as well which was surprising but good.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“It matters when you go”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

This looks like a superior place to snorkel (Hilo side), but it matters when you go. We went at a bad time--late Sunday afternoon--saw many people, but few fish. Morning on a weekday when the tide is right would clearly be a whole different experience. Several of the roads that take you here from Pahoa are themselves very beautiful, especially the Pahoa-Polhoiki road. In fact the whole circle trip from Pahoa to Lava Tree State Park, on to the ocean via either Hwy 132 or the Pahoa-Polhoiki road, all long Hwy 137, and back via Hwy 130 or the Opihaikao-Kamaili road is really pretty. And while you are in the area, if you have 4-wheel drive or are willing to walk 1.2 miles, Champagne Pond is worthwhile. BTW whether you pay the $3 "honor donation" to the locals for parking along what seems to be a county road at the Tidal Pools is your choice. There is also a porta-potty ($1 honor donation).

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Venetia, Ca, Us
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Don' bring no fins, Mon'”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

Yes, you need to drive out to what feels like the middle of nowhere from Hilo. Yes, you need reef shoes to schlep out across the lava. Yes, you should bring $3 for the honor parking and another $1 for the honor porta-potty. Yes, I cut my hand pretty badly climbing out of the pools.

It's worth it.

People are right - don't bring your fins. There were a number of places (at low tide) where we had to shallow-draft, as still as we could, over coral. Fins would do horrible damage here. Bring reef shoes with decent traction (I got mine at Kmart on Kauai for $7).

I'm not the most graceful of people but I was still able to make it out across the lava to the pools. Just take your time. What's the rush? Bring just your rash guard, towel and water, and an underwater camera.

Visited May 2014
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Pahoa, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Gorgeous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

The tide pools are beautifully stunning. The huge coral beds are a must see for anyone visiting the island. Definitely on my Top 10 list of things to do on the Big Island.

Visited October 2013
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