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Best Places to Snorkel

Middletown...
1 post
1 review
2 helpful votes
Best Places to Snorkel

My fiance and I are going to Kauai for our honeymoon (we've never been to Hawaii before and are staying in Poipu) at the end of September and I've been doing a ton of research, but was wondering where the best places to snorkel and/or see marine life are? It sounds like some of the more mainstream places are Tunnels, Lawai, Hanalei Bay...any feedback on those beaches or do you know of any other places to go? Thanks in advance for all your help! :)

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
46,965 posts
47 reviews
32 helpful votes
1. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

There are lots of terrific places to snorkel on Kauai - things do change from year to year and with the seasons, but some places are very reliable. I believe things are pretty good all over the island in Sept - it is always a good idea to check locally when you are there - obviously, you need calm water for good snorkeling. :) I would recommend getting a copy of the Ultimate Kauai Revealed guidebook - they do a good job listing beaches that are prime snorkeling destinations along with beaches that are only for walking along. I know there are some guidebooks just for snorkeling on Kauai as well, so you might want to check those out as well. Also, I love this book - Hawaii's Fishes : A Guide for Snorkelers and Divers by John Hoover. I bought it at Kokee state park, but you can get it on Amazon. It was much better than those fish identification cards. We loved snorkeling during the day and then looking up the fish or other marine life we saw. Our favorite spots were on the north shore - Ke'e, Tunnels and I want to do Hideaways next time I am on island. Have a wonderful honeymoon. :)

Kailua, Hawaii
Level Contributor
740 posts
1 review
2. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

My favorite places are Ke'e, Tunnels and Hideaways.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
Level Contributor
26,104 posts
59 reviews
23 helpful votes
3. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

We like Lawai, Ke`e and Tunnels. Po`ipu can be OK but crowded.

Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
26 posts
11 reviews
3 helpful votes
4. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

Just got back from Kauai and we had great Snorkeling at Ke'e, Tunnels and Queens Bath, all very spectacular, even saw a sea turtle our last day at Ke'e beach! Have fun and congrats!

Toms River, New...
Destination Expert
for Kapolei
Level Contributor
2,214 posts
148 reviews
52 helpful votes
5. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

Our favorites are Tunnels and Poipu depending on the time of year and where we are staying. Been very fortunate to swim with turtles at Poipu everytime. Both places can be crowded but there is safety in numbers too! At tunnels make sure to stay inside the outer reef. DH had a close encounter with a shark there.

Artesia, New Mexico
Level Contributor
222 posts
124 reviews
75 helpful votes
6. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

You may find this book useful

amazon.com/Snorkel-Kauai-beaches-snorkeling-…

They go in great detail on each snorkeling locale (best put in points, what you might expect to see etc al).

Have a great trip.

Reedsport, Oregon
Level Contributor
4,067 posts
45 reviews
24 helpful votes
7. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

The book listed above is great. The Malinowski's have made several great snorkeling books for the islands. We have snorkeled both Tunnels and Ke'e and we much prefer Tunnels. And as funny as it may sound we really enjoyed Lydgate Park. It has pretty much no underwater scenery but it does have quite a few varieties of fish. Many we have not seen in other places on Kauai or any island for that matter. We have seen Stripey's, Hawaiian Flounder, Milkfish, Ladyfish and mullets. We even saw a small turtle there which is the only turtle we've seen on Kauai. I guess it was pretty rare to see it. A local lady we talked to there said she hadn't seen one there in about 10 years.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
46,965 posts
47 reviews
32 helpful votes
8. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

I agree - Lydgate can be fun to snorkel too! :) and it is a great place to take kids as well.

northeast georgia
Level Contributor
143 posts
19 reviews
10 helpful votes
9. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

Ke'e Beach offers great beginner and intermediate snorkeling. It will help if you have a tide chart. Their are numerous turtles there but you usually must go over the reef to the drop off to see them. The reef is very shallow at low tide and not very passable. You should not walk or crawl on the reef. I am about 220 lbs. so I have to wait until high water, but my wife who is considerably smaller gets out easier than I do. There is some current at the drop off but in all of the times we have been there it is not really threatening. We have never failed to see turtles there.

Tunnels Beach has a little more variety of fish and you can get to deeper water easy. It also has more coral formations than Ke'e.

We have taken the Napali Coast snorkel boat a few times and the scenery is amazing if you have not done that. We encountered numerous spinner dolphins along the way also. The snorkeling at Nuololo is average but we did have our first shark sighting there. Very exciting as he came around a couple of times and just passed below us and was off. It was a white tip reef shark which are normally very docile but we did attempt to keep our distance.

Danville, California
Level Contributor
1,868 posts
27 reviews
131 helpful votes
10. Re: Best Places to Snorkel

TUNNELS is the BEST!!! The most amazing view, see my pix! Easy snorkeling, my kids just went in a few feet & saw fish through the maze of coral.