Tunnels Beach
Tunnels Beach
4.5
About
Also known as Makua Beach, Tunnels Beach gets its nickname from the maze of lava tubes found throughout its expansive reef. Here, you'll find lots of marine life—large schools of reef fish, turtles and even wild dolphins—making it one of the best spots for snorkeling in Kauai. Visit during summer for calm waters or during winter when it becomes a surfer's paradise. You can also simply stroll down the white sand beach and enjoy views of the scenic green peaks of Mount Makana to the west. Tours of Kauai often include a stop here; you can even fly over the beach on a helicopter tour. – Tripadvisor
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  • Kdawg282
    Doylestown, Pennsylvania1,589 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great snorkeling spot!
    A fantastic beach on the North Shore! It was definitely worth the trip up to Tunnels! There is very little parking and it’s easy to miss the side roads when traveling to Tunnels. We ended up parking at the state park which is right past Tunnels, just a short walk over. Come to Tunnels if you are looking for calm waters and a great place to snorkel. Do not come to Tunnels if you are looking for the best beach to swim or surf. We snorkeled and saw lots of fish! In our opinion, it was better than Poipu. Loved this beach!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Edward
    Santa Rosa, California2,484 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Beach With Great Swimming, Snorkeling, and Scenery
    The stretch of semi-sheltered beach on the north shore of Kauai which includes Tunnels beach and Ha'ena beach (they blend into each other in this small sweep of beach) is a lovely beach for swimming and scenery. Kauai has much beautiful coastline but not many beaches that are really good or safe for swimming. This area is on that is great for swimming and it has nice coral areas easily reached, with lots of fish and sea life to examine. The setting is also beautiful and even dramatic, with a lovely, lush forested peak sweeping around and looming over the western end. At the western end is Ha'ena county beach park, with restrooms. Some parts are more gentle, others more rough. There is some parking at that park but otherwise, parking is extremely limited. We just walked form Hanalei Colony Resort in Wainiha, where we stayed. It was about 20 minutes and mostly peaceful, only one short stretch being on the highway.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 3, 2023
  • Rainee E
    Seattle, Washington118 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful beach on the north shore!
    One of my favorite beaches! Favorite in Kauai and in the top 10 best I’ve ever been to. Beautiful soft sand and clear blue water. The surf can be rough, depending on weather. Parking is tough. We followed the advice on Trip Advisor to park on one of the small roads where parking is free (versus a private drive). The beach wasn’t overcrowded.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 3, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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Doug274
Long Beach, CA552 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
Enjoyed the snorkeling and scenery here. The reef right along the shore was surprising good, better in some ways than the larger complex that extends offshore from the point. Lots of fish and coral in a variety of sizes, groupings, and depth. We parked at Haena Beach Park. The walk down the beach to the snorkeling (particularly the larger complex off the point) is tiring.
Written August 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

April Honeysuckle
San Diego, CA55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021 • Friends
This is my favorite beach on Kauai. The snorkeling is safe because the beach is protected by a reef. We’ve seen eels, turtles, octopus, parrot fish, etc. If there is a non-swimmer in the family not to worry. The beach stays shallow enough for anyone who just wants to be in the water. A word of caution...parking is a beast. If you don’t arrive before 7am or after 4pm it’s unlikely you’ll be able to park on the tiny side roads. You’ve been warned.
Written May 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Edward
Santa Rosa, CA2,484 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
The stretch of semi-sheltered beach on the north shore of Kauai which includes Tunnels beach and Ha'ena beach (they blend into each other in this small sweep of beach) is a lovely beach for swimming and scenery. Kauai has much beautiful coastline but not many beaches that are really good or safe for swimming. This area is on that is great for swimming and it has nice coral areas easily reached, with lots of fish and sea life to examine. The setting is also beautiful and even dramatic, with a lovely, lush forested peak sweeping around and looming over the western end. At the western end is Ha'ena county beach park, with restrooms. Some parts are more gentle, others more rough.

There is some parking at that park but otherwise, parking is extremely limited. We just walked form Hanalei Colony Resort in Wainiha, where we stayed. It was about 20 minutes and mostly peaceful, only one short stretch being on the highway.
Written August 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carmen T
Minneapolis, MN26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
We saw beautiful tropical fish snorkeling on our own at Tunnels beach. Parking was a little tricky, but the Kauaii Shaka Guide gave details of where to find parking. We went around 2 PM and found a spot.
Written October 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LarryELee
Olympia, WA80 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
This is a great beach for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sun tanning. Parking is at a premium so get there early and don't move you car once you have a spot. Take advantage of the local shore scuba diving and get to see and experience the underwater tunnels, lava tubes and caverns at this site. Was one of two best places for shore diving that we experienced in our 11 days on the island. Give Fathom Five Divers a call.
Written July 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GRZ
Chicago, IL10,656 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
It's a pretty scenic area - reminded me a lot of St John of USVI yet here instead of Caribbean Sea/Atlantic Ocean you have the Pacific, even further fascinating to me!

I expected honestly a bit calmer waters from the pictures I had seen here but there were even surfers during our visit which gave me the idea that this may not be "the best day" to swim :) can't therefore say anything about snorkeling everyone here is praising. There seemed not to be any restrooms, food/drinking stuff in walking distance unless I missed it so make sure to bring your own stuff. Plenty of shaed under the trees/bushes.

TIP: We didn't stay on this beach for too long as this simply wasn't our "rea of the island" where we stayed - so to drive here and struggle with the parking here was something I wouldn't recommend, otherwise if you are short distance away then absolutely go for it, it's a beautiful beach. There are some spots on the road and then everyone does park parallel against the wooden fence of someone's property. Not too tough to park but there are other beautiful beaches around Kauai with easier access.
Written November 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara S
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
Visited three times on our trip. had great snorkeling the third time. The first time a tiger shark was sighted and the beach was closed to swimming. They are out there so just be aware! The surge and tides can be difficult depending on the time of year but the fish were huge!
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul V
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
When you plug this beach into your maps it will take you to a parking area to the right that fits about ten cars. The parking area can be easily missed so be on the lookout. If you can't find any parking there, a short 5 min. or less drive up is another parking lot. There you can find a food truck, restrooms, a cave and much more. If you park here, you will have to walk about 10 min. to the right to snorkel. I suggest parking and then walking along the road until you find the entrance with the limited parking. My husband and I walked in the sand and it wasn't easy. LOL. This beach was also one of our favorites to snorkel. The water was calm and clear to see lots of fish.
Written October 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pfefmeister
San Francisco, CA4,106 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
Both times we visited, the surf conditions precluded any kinds of water activity - snorkeling, boogie-boarding, or swimming. It’s a nice drive, there’s a cool cave, but if your intention is to get wet, then maybe not the best place to visit. Huge waves on our second visit had even the diehard surfers sitting at the lifeguard station in awe. Not my kind of beach - can’t imagine a calm day here.
Written February 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trippin2201
63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
Got there early and had no trouble with parking. A bit of a trek through the sand, but worth it once we got situated. Kids (5,7,9) had fun playing in the shallow waves. Even got them to try snorkeling, though only the adults went off the shelf. Amazing scenery in all directions. When we were leaving, a vendor was parked next to us selling smoothies & shave ice. Perfect way to end the beach trip.
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Tunnels Beach - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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