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“Fantastic Snorkeling!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Honaunau Bay

Honaunau Bay
Honaunau, Island of Hawaii, HI
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Top Rated
$81*
and up
Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour With Optional...
Ranked #1 of 7 Attractions in Honaunau
Type: Beaches, Bodies of Water, Outdoors
Attraction details
Eureka, California
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Fantastic Snorkeling!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

I always spend a few days snorkeling in Honaunau Bay (AKA Two Step) whenever I am on the Big Island. I love the snorkeling here and I think it is one of the best spots in Hawaii. The coral is healthy, and the fish and other marine life varied and abundant.

The rocks on the shore get a little crowded with people, and a few tourist snorkeling boats come in the morning, but if you just get our in the water you don't really notice all that. Parking is limited and there are no amenities, although you can pay to park at the historic park and use their facilities.

This year, my wife and I swam with a pod of Spinner Dolphins for almost two hours out in the bay. I like snorkeling on the South side of the bay, past the freshwater springs and out along the City of Refuge. There are many lava ridges to explore which are covered with coral and marine life. There are a couple of caves that you can swim through too, if you are brave.

Just north of the bay is Arch City -- amazing blow holes and sea arches that go on and on as you hike north along the coast. There are a couple of primitive trails leading to Arch City at the north end of the one-way road at Honaunau Bay (just before the junction with the highway).

Visited February 2013
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San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great snorkeling”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Great place to see fish and coral but was hard to get into the water without getting beat up by the rocks on a windy day.

Visited February 2013
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West Des Moines, Iowa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“"Absolutely the best snorkeling"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Honaunau Bay is without a doubt one of the worlds greatest places to snorkel. The waters are very protected from the ocean surf thus making them chrystal clear so you can take fantastic underwater photos and video. Access into and exiting the water is very easy if you use "the 2 step". Once in the water you will be treated to a marine paradise of thousands of fish, sea turtles, ells, spinner dolphins and gorgeous coral formations. You feel like you are actually swimming in the worlds largest aquarium. There are very nice snorkel trips you can PAY for in Hawaii but none will be better than Honaunau Bay and you can stay as long as you want to. We highly recommend making a day of it by also visiting the national park next door.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Kingsford
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

we stopped one day and did this park. It was really nice and informative a good way to learn about the hawaiin culture. I don't think its a must do but it was nice.

Visited February 2013
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Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

When we return this year it will make our third trip to the Big Island and this is one of the major reasons. The life here is amazing and the visibility is great. You can see anything from a white tip reef shark to a Honu (green sea turtle), an octupus, a pod of spinner dolphins, and much more. Pay attention when you arrive to see where the majority of people are getting in and out, these are the "two step"s to use. Other ares are sharp coral and/or the boat ramp which can both be dangerous. Be aware that there is a lot of boat traffic in and out so be alert and try to give plenty of time to let the sun screen soak in before jumping in the water. This is a marine sanctuary! There is no touching or harassing of any marine life and while you could easily do so think about future generations and preserving this beauty for them to enjoy. The Place of Refuge is also a neat spot to visit however being a national park it comes with a minimal fee but is worth it to learn more about the Hawaiian culture.

Visited October 2012
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