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Snorkeling for beginners

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washington dc
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Snorkeling for beginners

We have snorkeled in the caribbean but would not consider us anything more than beginners. We are staying in waikoloa area beginning of Dec. I understand that mauna lani beach might be a good snorkeling beach for beginners. Any other beaches in kohala area would be considered suitable for beginners and provide colorful coral, fish, turtles etc?

I also found some info about various snorkeling boat trips that take you further into the ocean. One that we were considering is Seaquest which has good reviews. What would the experts think about their early morning 4 hr snorkel cruise that visits 2 areas? Is it worthwhile to take the snorkle cruise?

Thanks

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

Makaiwa Bay at the Mauna Lani is good if there are no swells in up there, which are more common in winter. Honokaope Bay also in the Mauna Lani resort is the same story as is Waialea Bay a few minutes north, but only if flat.

SeaQuest is fine. They typically go to Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau Bay, and going with a tour as a beginner to both these locations is a good idea.

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

Shea really knows the snorkeling!

Anaehoʻomalu Bay where you are staying is an OK spot for getting comfortable, as itʻs quite protected. Problem is the water is murky. There is some coral on the south end just north of Lava Lava Beach Club. You need water shoes for the entry unless you can walk on rocks, and it can be slimy footing there. Used to be much nicer.

People have told me that there is plenty to see if you go out far in the bay, but Iʻve never snorkeled out that far, and you probably donʻt want to either.

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

I've been all over Anaehoomalu and it really is pretty poor for snorkeling no matter where you go. Lots of turtles though. Very similar to Kukio Bay in this regard.

One spot that is often very good when everything else is a wash is the little protected lagoon past the sea arch at Kikaua Point but it's not good for beginners as it's just too shallow with big coral heads that require excellent buoyancy control and no fins to navigate.

Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

Iʻm guessing the last person to tell me this about Anaehoʻomalu doesnʻt know good snorkeling, Shea. Also he lives on the east side. ;-)

washington dc
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5. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

Thanks

We are in waikoloa area for 3 nights and 2 full days. We plan to spend 1 full day visiting polulu valley, lapakahi and puukohola, some time just relaxing at nearby beach (which one for sunset?) and another day snorkeling - maybe with seaquest in the morning and then on our own at various locations you have mentioned.(again which one is good sunset spot?)

we are also looking forward to hawaiian show that takes place on Thursday evening at Kings shops. Does anybody have an opinion on that?

would you add any other attractions?

Grand Prairie, Texas
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6. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

We went with sea quest in September and we really loved it

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

Makaiwa is nice at sunset after snorkeling because the fishponds are beautiful that time of day. Kukio Bay/Kikaua Point are also very beautiful at sunset and of course the fantastic Four Seasons restaurants are next door. Kauna'oa which is the prettiest beach on the island IMO, is also worth a visit. You could stop there after your Pololu valley day.

It's a shame your visit is so short.. Really the west side needs a minimum of 6-7 full days for the highlights. Also bear in mind that snorkeling and any ocean activity may be out if we have a big swell in as we do now, so you should have alternate plans just in case.

The Thursday show at the Kings Shops is fine, I also like the Polynesian one at the Shops at the Mauna Lani which is also Thursdays.

8. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

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Port Austin
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9. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

Kahalu'u Beach Park is only about four miles south of Kona. I'm 64 years old. I had a mask, fins, snorkel, and a foam "snake" float. On entering the water you immediately see hundreds of brightly colored fish. I spent two hours lazily floating and taking underwater pictures. (several hundred) I bought an inexpensive Panasonic underwater camera (about $100). It took great photos and movies. It was the smartest purchase I made before our trip. You won't want to take an expensive camera to the beach. This one could be washed under a tap after swimming. Buy a good sized memory card. I filled two 32GB cards during the two weeks we spent in Hawaii. On Maui snorkel at Black Rock.

Big Island, Hawaii
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10. Re: Snorkeling for beginners

Again, Kahaluu is really not the place for beginners. It is crowded and shallow and everyone standing up and knocking about with fins has decimated the coral there and ruined the reef ecology. Another plea to all visitors who are interested in responsible ecotourism to not patronize the bay, but especially not if you are inexperienced.