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“Make sure you extend your beach priviledge”

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
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Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Adventure Half-Day Tour
Ranked #4 of 339 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A perfect snorkeling spot.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

After viewing a 15 minute video on the ecology and history of Hanauma Bay, you are asked if you want to sign-up for the privilege of not having to view the video again for a year. You would still have to pay the park fee. We decided not to, but after having a great experience, we wished we had made that extra effort to place our names on that list--at no extra cost.

Our first adventure to Hanauma Bay was in 1998 and I was not too impressed. But, this second venture, even though partly overcast, was unbelievable. There were so many varieties of fish. I found that swimming on the outer first reef is the best--just beyond the waves and being a tad deeper. Hanauma Bay is sparkling clear, even without the total sun. It even rained as I was snorkeling.

I did use the first aid from the friendly life-guard who bandaged my finger as I cut it on the reef. The beach visitor's center, too, was helpful in identifying various species of fish for me.

Snorkel gear can be rented down by the beach. They may even give instructions for beginners. You can lay out your towels on the beautiful green grass or there is plenty of beach.

You have an option to take a tram down and up a small hill for a few dollars. Most people just walk. If you don't want to go swimming, you can actually drive through the upper parking area, take a few pictures and leave without paying. Go early as the parking lots fills up fast.

Thank Marty B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful bay"
in 295 reviews
"great place to snorkel"
in 232 reviews
"snorkel gear"
in 556 reviews
"on tuesdays"
in 266 reviews
"coral reef"
in 225 reviews
"beautiful fish"
in 319 reviews
"low tide"
in 115 reviews
"short video"
in 228 reviews
"underwater camera"
in 198 reviews
"shallow water"
in 151 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 293 reviews
"sea life"
in 373 reviews
"parking lot was full"
in 115 reviews
"small fee"
in 159 reviews
"parking spot"
in 136 reviews
"arrive early"
in 210 reviews
"nice beach"
in 166 reviews

8,949 - 8,953 of 14,006 reviews

Reviewed May 2, 2013

This is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. The snorkeling was awazing. Try and go when the tide is in, the reefs are very difficult to manuever when the tide is out. Wear swim shoes, it will make it sooo much easier. Lots of beautiful colorful fish.

Thank kmc95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

The place to dive, definitely! You will see so many fishes you can't even number them. Go there very early (<6am) not to pay the park entrance ;) and you will see a beautiful sunrise.

Thank Jean-Marc P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

The bay was beautiful! I'm not big on snorkeling, but I did try. Did not see any fish because I did not go out far enough. The area is beautiful for lounging. When we arrived around 9 or 10 am the parking lot was full, they did not allow any cars in, so we drove the east coastline for a while and returned around 3pm. plenty of parking and admission at that time. Saw a short safety film and took the trolley down to the bay. I have a bad back, so walking was out of the question. there was a snack bar and restroom at top of hill away from the bay area, so the $2 unlimited ride fee was a good deal. My husband did snorkel and saw many beautiful fish and told me that I would have seen more if I had gone maybe 30 more feet out in the water. There were lots of people there, but not overcrowded. Probably would not go again, but try other snorkeling sights recommended around the island.

Thank Gloria6289
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 30, 2013

We had a great time there. Saw lots of colorful fish there. Some can be seen in less than knee deep water, but snorkeling opens up your opportunities immensely. A spectacular bay. Go early as it limits how many can be there daily. Closed TUESDAYS. A great place to snorkel in a pretty safe environment. Very beautiful photos can be taken here.

This place has been around for a long time and at one time used to let many more people visit it.

Hint. When you are on your way down, look for the lighter areas inside the coral. This is where you will snorkel. Observe where the water is clearer looking. You will see more fish where your visibility is greater. Don't be afraid of going into some of the coral alcoves as many of the fish like to hide back there. I had to make a few U-turns at deadends, but saw many more fish by going into these areas. We did not go outside where the water breaks over the coral as it was low tide. We saw about 30 fish species and turtles. I had trouble with fogging, so I just kept rinsing my mask every 4-5 minutes.

Bring your own lunch. The picnic area near the parking is beautiful. Watch out for the hungry chickens. They're beautiful but a bit aggressive, especially if you walk away from your food.

1  Thank sprung51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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