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“Disappointed after reading the reviews”

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Book In Advance
More Info
$98.00*
and up
Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour
Ranked #6 of 321 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A perfect snorkeling spot.
Humble, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Disappointed after reading the reviews”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

So I read a lot of awesome reviews for snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. It was pretty, and we say free roaming chickens and a lot of mongooses playing on the top side at the park. The day we went the water was really rough and made snorkeling a bit difficult. It was really crowded too. I just didn't think it was worth $7.50/person to get in plus the cost of renting the gear. Shark's Cove had much better snorkeling and no cost of admission.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Imprayin4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Under the bridge
Level Contributor
50 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Not bad, but a real pain to get into and around”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

If you are into snorkelling then this the real deal so close to Honolulu. However, takes forever to park and get in. You have to watch a worthwhile video before you get onto the beach, and then it is very small and quite rough. Amenities are OK, but not great. No food or drink on the beach, but you can get stuff at the top of the trail down. Snorkel gear is cheap to hire and well run.

There is a trolley bus down to the beach if you have small kids or a stroller, but they charge.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank GrumpyOldTroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Hangin' Ten....Had to drag me out....LOL”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2013

Out of all the beaches I've been to, I spent more time in the water, as did most out party, than any other time in my life. Next time I'll bring an under water camera. Thankful my Sister had one. Well worth the fee. The Interpretation Centers were well done, and the staff were professionals and friendly. There was some food there, but I would bring your own or eat before you get there or after. The Jeep Tram is a good value for 2 bucks, saved us valuable beach time and my Mom in her 70's from walking back up that hill. Only thing missing was Elvis's Beach Hut. Aloha Hawaii.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
Level Contributor
68 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Clear and crowded”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2013

Beautiful Bay with many visitors snorkeling. $7.50 for adults. Kids under 12 are free. Bring drinks and snacks ( none are there, except a few independent vendors). Bring your own snorkel gear from home. You can use it all over the island, not just here. Cheaper than renting.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank roomwithaview20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kapolei, Hawaii
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Pricey, but fun and worth it at least once.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2013

True, the reef is mostly dead, but that's because too many people mistake coral for rocks and step all over them. Coral is alive. I think the $7.50/person price tag is outlandish! Then, the other cash cow is the tram (pulled by a Jeep Cherokee) that takes you up and down the hill for $2/person round trip. That's a lot of money for a family, especially if you have to rent the snorkel gear (which is available at the bottom).

I loved it. I will go again. But I think it's silly to have to arrive by 8:00 a.m. just to get a spot. We missed it, so we hiked Diamond Head then came back at about 11:30 and got to park.

I opted to walk to the bottom and walk up. I'm cheap. The waves were a little rough that day (which happens on the south shore in the summer). Since the reef can be high at certain points, you can cut your leg if the surf rocks you. It's best to get in and float asap. That way, it's much more smooth.

I've also snorkeled Electric Beach and Shark's Cove. Hanauma definitely gives you the most fish per cubic foot. Tons. Lots of variety. I even saw a turtle.

The coral was more vibrant and alive at Electric, but the waves are very difficult to get past before you can enjoy snorkeling. Not for beginners.

Shark's Cove was awesome. Just awesome. Lots of the same fish and it was free! No beach, though. You hike down a little bit and, wham, there's the water. You trip on rocks a bit, so float as soon as you can. Don't leave the cove. It's not worth it unless you're diving. The bay is hard to fight to get back in and there wasn't much fish. I did see an electric eel, though. That was cool.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank crazywaffle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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