Snorkeling in Hawaii – the guide to best locations

Best time to visit Hawaii

Hawaii is a pristine tourist location that attracts millions of tourists each year and snorkeling in Hawaii is an adventure of itself.

The sheer beauty of views the amazing ocean as well as the joy of swimming in the warm tropical waters makes the islands of Hawaii a top tourist destination for many people from different parts of the globe.

Since the climate of Hawaii allows for the growth of different fauna and flora in the ocean you are going to have the best snorkeling experience when you visit the island because here everything is intact and pristine. Perhaps the clear waters of the pacific ocean are very welcoming when combine with the corals, exquisite beaches, and amazing weather that makes snorkeling the best activity that you can do in this region.

Whether you are going on boat tours or you want to explore some of the unique characteristics such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming Hawaii promises to deliver a top experience that is unmatched elsewhere around the globe.

Perhaps snorkeling is one of the top activities that many people enjoy when they visit the islands of Hawaii and according to statistics about two million people participate in scuba diving and snorkeling in the area. You can explore the islands of Hawaii in the perfect weather and when you visit the destination you will experience some of the top snorkeling destinations in the world. 

There are many features that make Hawaii stand out as one of the top snorkel destinations.  There are exceptional things that you should notice about Hawaii for you to have the best snorkeling experience in the region.

What makes Hawaii the best snorkeling destination

Snorkeling is a very beautiful and fun activity that you are going to do in the islands.  It can be used as an exercise activity as well as fun and exploring the bays, caves and beaches. There are different spots in Hawaii that you should explore in the region. If you are looking for the best location then you must take your time to check out the different snorkeling destinations that the Hawaiian waters have to offer. 

The water temperature in Hawaii is perfect for snorkeling as it rarely drops beyond seventy degrees. This makes the experience of swimming in the water with a mask and snorkel even more enjoyable. The crystal-clear water also provides excellent visibility to explore the coral reefs and marine life beneath the surface. 

Hawaii offers you some of the best snorkeling sights that you will find in this world and when you have the right gear and find the right spot then you are going to have a time of your life in the area.

Hawaii is bursting with protected marine life coupled with endangered species all of which call the islands home. The tropical life in the region and the surrounding islands is impeccable and you will get the best experience when you snorkel in the area.

If you are looking for a tropical escape then Hawaii is a top destination that you should explore during your visit to the region. Here are some of the top locations that you should explore during your snorkeling in the islands of Hawaii.

Further reading:

Coral gardens

This is a top tourist destination when it comes to snorkeling and you are going to enjoy your experience because the coral gardens are located closer to Olowalu reef south of historic Lahaina town. It is imperative to understand that you will only get to this amazing destination when you use a boat. The Pu’u kukui mountains erupted and the lava flow created the coral gardens reef where different fish species and other creatures thrive in the area. 

The coral reefs are known to support a wide array of aquatic life and during your trip to the area, you are going to get the best experience possible as you can see different species thriving in the area.

Snorkeling is an exciting experience that you will enjoy during your trip to the area the underwater landscapes are unmatched and you can enjoy the coastal views of west Maui as well when you are out of the water. The exquisite backdrop guarantees you an exceptional experience in the area.

Manta Ray Village

The manta ray village is an attraction to thousands of people annually and it is the best location that you are going to visit during your snorkeling experience.

The reef manta rays are among the largest manta ray species and they are spotted in this region. They usually consume plankton and you can see this process firsthand when you explore the waters of Hawaii.

Five graves

This is another top destination that you should explore during your snorkeling tour of the Hawaiian islands.  This is a spot that is located near Makena beach in Maui.

This is a location that is filled with large rocks which makes a perfect environment for different sea creatures to thrive. The rocky beach is found under the Wailea and it is popular by the name because it has numerous rocks which form a specific site where different species are thriving in the region.

The rocks have created greater depths coupled with steep rocks and other rough conditions that allow you to thrive easily. It is important to understand that five graves are for expert snorkelers only therefore you should not go if you are a novice. There are big schools of fish, exceptional coral reefs, gigantic boulders as well a large number of turtles. There are numerous tours to the area and you should choose one that suits you and always put your safety first.

Honolua Bay

This is a top tourist destination especially for snorkelers because of the amazing sceneries that you are going to find in the area. The waters are clear and you can see the coral reef from up in the sky.

It is one of the top snorkeling destinations in Hawaii and it is imperative that you take your time to explore these waters because you get the best experience possible by looking at the amazing corals and the fishes that are thriving in the waters. You can use a fishing boat or a tour boat if you want to get the best in the area.

Numerous people like surfing in the area as well because of the big waves that form during the winter period.

Kahalu’u Beach Park

Perhaps this is one of the legendary locations that you should visit during your stay in Hawaii because it allows you to get the best snorkeling spots.  The park is located in the town of Kailua-Kona and it has a wide array of fish species and other creatures that thrive in the sea.  It is one of the spots where fish usually like to hang out. 

The waters are calm and very deep therefore you will find all kinds of fish in this area. Some of the fish that you are likely to see include eels, porcupine fish, and tang among others.

Kapalua Bay

This is one of the most exquisite beaches in Maui and it is a perfect place that you should ensure that you visit during your stay in Hawaii.  The bay is located between two borders of Oneloa and Honokahua and here it creates a perfect environment for different species of fish, turtles, and even sharks therefore you should be careful when snorkeling in this area.

The bay also features a wide variety of coral reefs, making it the perfect spot for divers. In addition to this, you can also find a diverse array of sea creatures such as manta rays, spinner dolphins, whale sharks, and humpback whales. 

Kahe Point

This is an exceptional location that you are going to explore the areas because it is a top spot as it is right to a power plant that has a large underwater pipe. This has created a large group of fish that thrives in this region.

It is important to ensure that you explore the different parts of the state to give you the best experience.  The large marine fishes, turtles, rare sharks as well as other down sea creatures that you are only going to find in the region.

The area often faces very strong currents and it is important that you are very careful.

Kahekili Beach Park

Kahekili beach park is one of the places that you are going to explore in different areas of Hawaii. The beautiful park is the best because it has a wide array of creatures and there are areas where your family can relax and unwind.

There is a reef that allows for different fish to thrive and you do not need to explore the different parts because there are creatures that are thriving in the area. The diversity of the fish population in the area makes it a perfect location for snorkeling.

Hanauma Bay

This is located on the southern coast of Oahu and it is where you will find the largest concentration of fish when you visit the region.  The large fish population and pristine beaches as well as the quiet waters make Hanauma the most exquisite snorkeling destination in Hawaii.  It is essential to note that the fish in this area are friendly therefore you can easily get up close to them. 

The volcanic crater in the area has created an environment where different species are thriving in the region. It is imperative that you take your time to explore some of the pristine waters in the area and view some of the legendary fishes in the area.

Ke’e Beach

Ke’e beach is one of the top destinations where you should go snorkeling because it has some of the most spectacular views that you are going o see on the planet. You must be sure of the environment in which you are snorkeling to prevent any safety issues during your snorkeling in the area. The summer allows you to thrive in the area because the water and the landscape are amazing during this period.

The schools of fish moving from one direction to another allows you to gaze at the wonderful creatures of the sea.

Honaunau Bay

This is one of the top beaches that you are going to enjoy snorkeling because it is an outstanding location. The waters are clear and calm and with the pristine location, the coral reefs under the water create a perfect environment for you to thrive during your visit to the area. 

This is a two-step snorkeling destination and you should always ensure that you are safe and familiar with the water to prevent any attack that might occur during your visit to the area. The beach is exceptional and if you want the best experience then you should visit this beach.


Hawaii is truly the top location in the world for everyone who wants to explore the underwater world.  The stunning views, crystal-clear waters, and abundance of coral reefs make the perfect place to snorkel.

You can spend days and weeks exploring different areas and beaches and there will still be places to explore.

If you happen to travel to Hawaii, do not forget to take your snorkeling kit and just jump into the warm waters of Hawaii!

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.