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Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

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Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

I have the impression that I need to sign up with a tour company to go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. The same with Diamond Head. Is it true? If not, pls correct me and tell me your experience. Those who have gone on those tours, pls tell me about your experience too. Thanks in advance!

Omaha, Nebraska
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1. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

I wouldn't bother with a tour if you are staying in Waikiki especially Diamond Head is a short drive or trolley or bus ride and Hanauma Bay is a little further. I would rent a car to do both as the blowhole is close to Hanauma Bay and well you will want to drive the windward side anyway when you see it.

Honolulu, HI
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2. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

No you definately do not need a tour company to enjoy either of these activities, however, you do need transportation is you will be staying in Waikiki w/o a car. I would advise getting a rental car if you can, because it is definately worth it. If you cant get a rental car then a tour or bus ride may be your best options.

Saint Cloud...
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3. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

You don't need a tour company for either.

You can drive into Diamond Head Crater & hike to the top. It will cost $5 per carload.

You can take a city bus. But they drop you off outside of the crater & it would be an extra 1/2 mile hike each way to the trailhead. I would not want to do that with a 2 year old. It will cost $1 each to climb Diamond Head if you walk in rather than a car. Plus $2 each way by bus.

You can drive to Hanauma Bay & pay $1 for parking. You can rent snorkel equipment at Hanauma Bay or from a snorkel or dive shop.

You can take a city bus. I don't recommend that with a 2 year old. City buses can be crowded.

You can also get a very cheap (about $10 - $12 roundtrip) tour that basically is transportation there & back to your hotel & includes snorkel equipment. The equipment from the "tours" seems to be better than the equipment you can rent at Hanauma Bay. So this is not too bad of a deal. Look for coupons in the free brochures for "tours and/or rental equipment.

Either way, it will cost $5 admission each to the bay.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29222-i37-k647862…

My advice is to rent a car the entire time on Oahu & get out & enjoy the island.

By the time you pay fro shuttles, cabs, buses & tours you can do on your own, you won't save any $$ by not renting a car.

New York City
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4. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

I suggest the city bus. We did both by bus, and got there pretty quickly and very easily. In terms of having to walk half a mile to get the Diamond Head trailhead....well, it IS a hike....you'll hike up the crater anyway, so what's another 1/2 mile? For Hanauma Bay, I would definitely recommend the bus over taking your own car, b/c the parking lot gets packed pretty early. The bus drops you off and picks you up right by the entrance.

Memphis, Tennessee
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5. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

Sounds like we have the same questions. I've looked into tours for both, but just rented a car for this Friday all day. I've read about the horrible parking, so we just got a car for the day as we don't want to deal with the horrible parking, lack of spaces and/or ridiculous cost. We'll hit Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Dole Plantation and the north shore, then turn the car back in Friday night.

Victoria, Canada
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6. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

I have done all three. Rented a car, taken the city bus, and taken a tour to Hanama.

The bus is the cheapest, but takes the longest( not that bad, but, if you are in fact travelling with a child( did I miss this in your post?) it might be a bit much . The bus is absolutely dead easy though, and it is only one dollar, ask for a transfer as it gets you your return trip, if not you pay another dollar back.

There are little tour companys that just shuttle you out there and give you equipment, for about 15 bucks they are a good deal, but, they don't run constantly so you have to be on a schedule of sorts .

The car is a great way to see a bit of everything, and you can easily do the highlights of the island in a day. Leave early in the morning, spend two or three hours at Hanauma( I love that place) then keep going around the island.

Personally I think the Dole Plantation is just a money grab and would skip it,, but that is just me, the gift shop is the main attraction there as far as I can see.

North shore beaches are beautiful, and there are some you shouldn't swim at in rough conditions, but just to see them is worth it.

Stop at a shrimp truck for a snack. Yum.

We find the drive into Honolulu during rush hour is less then pleasant when approaching from the North,, so just keep that in mind. We aren't big city drivers though, so it may not even phase you at all, being from California.

Car is best option with kids. Our most relaxing sightseeing occured when the kids passed out asleep in their car seats and we could just drive along at leisure after serveral beach stops with lots of sand, swimming, and sun exhausting the kidlets.

Saint Cloud...
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7. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

"The bus is the cheapest, but takes the longest( not that bad, but, if you are in fact traveling with a child( did I miss this in your post?) it might be a bit much ."

It was mentioned in a different thread that they had a 2 year old.

South Pacific
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8. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

I agree that having a car is the easiest, BUT just be aware that if you do drive to Hanauma Bay, they might not let you in if the parking lot is full, which does happen pretty often. So go early in the morning! If you take the bus or go with a tour, you don't have to worry about that.

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

Since if you rent a car you are only planning for taking it for the day , this may not apply to you, but ,, others should be aware that in most cases parking overnight at your hotel can be VERY expensive, so if you add that extra 20 + dollars ( parking fee) onto the price of the car it really is not a cheap option. We were able to rent and return on same day though.

I agree Hanauma Bay is definately something you go to first thing in the morning, not just for parking, but missing the crowds.

Nature Coast...
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10. Re: Hanauma Bay and Diamond Head

You don't need to sign up with a tour company, but you may want to depending on the type of experience you want.

We booked a hike up Diamond Head with Oahu Nature Tours (Who we highly recommend). We knew we could get there on our own via the bus, but decided we would rather pay the extra for the tour. We booked the tour for several reasons. 1. It was our first day - first outing and I didn't want to have to worry about directions, etc. right away. 2. We like nature and history. We wanted to be with someone who could tell us what the plants, birds, etc. were that we were seeing and that could give us additional details on history, etc. 3. We needed to be on a set schedule the day we did Diamond Head. (We were attending a conference.) With a tour we knew we would be back to the hotel by a certain time.

By the time we went to Hanauma Bay we were staying on the Windward side and had a rental car, so we drove. We arrived about 8am and had no problem with parking. Most of the "tours" are probably just transportation. You will have to decide if the higher cost is worth the convenience.