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“Magnificent Bay”

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
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Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour
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Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall
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Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Adventure Half-Day Tour
Ranked #7 of 333 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 July 23, 2014

If you are into snorkling this is the place to go with its crystal clear waters. A word of advice it is a very steep hill down to the bay but there is a shuttle at a price. The bay is also good for swimming and just lounging around.

Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,685 - 6,689 of 13,120 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2014 via mobile

We have snorkeled in Bora Bora, Tahiti, Costa Rica and on several of the Hawaiian Islands. This I believe was the best overall experience. Get there early, before 8 if you want to find parking, after the small parking lot is full they are closed until people leave and there is no nearby parking. We arrived just before 7 and by the time we left at 10am the lot was nearly full and there was a long line for tickets and the required movie. Another option is The Bus. Fantastic variety of fish. Multiple species, and the fish are much less skiddish than some other locations I've been to. The water is very clear, especially early in the morning. I would imagine as more people get into the water the clarity is reduced later in the day as more people are kicking up dust. There is a long beach and several sandy entrances into the water. The water was a bit chilly so early in the morning but laying out on the beach after made it well worthwhile. While here I saw almost every variety of fish I have previously seen while in the islands plus several new ones. If you want to see turtles the north shore is a better bet. If you have the ability and desire to go early, and don't mind moderate crowds this is a must see on Oahu. If you are looking for snorkeling in late morning or afternoon try a less popular location, my suggestion, sharks cove, great snorkeling.

Thank nate w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2014

We loved our day at Hanauma Bay. Yes you do have to get there early, as they close the parking lot when full. Yes you do have to watch a video, but it doesn't take long and outlines the rules for the park. To reach the bay, you have to walk down a steep hill. If you need food or supplies, make sure you get them before you go down this hill because at the bottom, there isn't anywhere you can get these items. There is a tram available, for a fee, that can bring you up and down this hill. Plus if you buy soft drinks at the top and want to bring them down, the restaurant does not give you lids or straws. So by the time you get down to the beach, the drinks are either warm or you've spilt the drinks from the walk or the ride on the tram.

I recommend bringing your own snorkel gear, if you can, as the gear available for rent is crap and expensive. Plus they want either your keys, a credit card or $30/set as a security deposit for the sets, which is ridiculous.

The beach itself is quite nice. There are fresh water showers and bathroom facilities close by. The beach is quite busy as this is a popular place so get there early for a prime spot. The lifeguards are great and make announcements as to how the tides are and which areas to avoid.

The snorkelling itself I think is great for beginners. Lots of fish to see and lots of coral and rocks. The only thing I didn't like was that it was very shallow water in these areas. Many times, as I was snorkelling, I felt like I was getting too close to the rocks and coral, and was afraid I was going to touch or get scrapped by them. Otherwise it is great for beginners as the water is calm and shallow.

On the whole it was a great day. They could use a food vendor closer to the beach but otherwise it is a must while on the island of Oahu.

Thank NurseElisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2014

Okay so I'm probably pretty spoiled where snorkeling is concerned, having snorkeled in Mexico and Turks and Caicos, because I found the snorkeling and water clarity here average at best. However, it's a lovely beach and a nice way to spend some time. Do get there early in order to avoid a long line to get in. They will make you watch a video on reef etiquette which is nice, but unfortunately I still saw people standing on the reef, which incenses me. They have gear available for rent, as well as lockers and bathroom facilities, and a snack bar up the hill. Do yourself a favor and pay the $2 per person for all day tram access to avoid the steep walk up the hill! Anyway, don't expect Caribbean quality snorkeling here, but it's a good starting point for beginners and a nice calm beach to play at.

Thank TxMama414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2014

Kind of crowded but a great introduction to snorkeling the water isn't terribly deep. so good for smaller kids. we saw a sea turtle and a 2 different types of eels.

Thank c b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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