There’s a fascinating underworld ocean to explore beneath the pristine aqua waters of the Hawaiian islands. Discover colorful sea creatures — many of which you’ll find only here. Snorkel up close for a dazzling look. All of these beaches are easy to access. Most are beginner-friendly.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Warm, calm waters make this the favorite (and most crowded) snorkeling spot on Oahu. Even in waist-deep water, you can see dozens of species of friendly reef and inshore fish as they swim close by. The safe, shallow inner bay is ideal for novice snorkelers.
Makaha Beach Park, Oahu
Oahu’s second most-popular snorkeling site offers superb summertime snorkeling — with underwater caverns, arches, and tunnels up to 40 feet deep. Schools of some of the world’s most exotic fish will keep you company.
Molokini Crater, Maui
Imagine snorkeling near a partially sunken volcanic crater that’s only accessible by boat, three miles off the Maui coast! Enjoy glass-clear viewing up to 150 feet deep. Your scuba mates will be 250 species of fish — some found nowhere else on earth.
Kealakekua Bay, Big Island
One of Hawaii’s finest snorkeling spots, Kealakekua Bay is home to the Captain Cook Monument — and an underwater marine sanctuary with dolphins and sea turtles.
You can book a snorkeling boat tour to explore this secluded piece of heaven.
Ke’e Beach Park, Kauai
With the towering cliffs of Kauai’s Na Pali Coast on the horizon, tranquil summer seas offer top-notch snorkeling. You’ll see a dazzling rainbow of fish and, often, green sea turtles. The tropical-looking beach is green and lush.
Kapalua Bay, Maui
Beginners will especially enjoy the calm waters along this pleasant, protected sandy beach. There’s good snorkeling on the north side.
Anini Beach, Kauai
Parts of the water are very shallow on Kauai’s largest reef, which gives the illusion of going on forever. Explore the underwater nooks and crannies at the reef’s edge. Okay for beginners, but be alert for strong outgoing tides.
Kapiolani Park Beach, Oahu
Located near Diamond Head, this spot offers great snorkeling in typically calm waters. Head to the center section, known as Queen’s Beach or Queen’s Surf Beach, between the Natatorium and the Waikiki Aquarium.
Poipu Beach, Kauai
Novice snorkelers enjoy the ideal conditions at Poipu Beach Park’s sheltered cove. One of the best places for snorkeling is on the park’s far-right end.
Kahaluu Beach Park, Big Island
Considered one of the Big Island’s best snorkeling spots, all kinds of fish and sea turtles swirl around you at Kahaluu. No wonder it’s a favorite of locals and visitors alike.