8 Spectacular Hawaii Snorkeling Spots

Hold on to Your Goggles!

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Looking for the best places to watch manta rays feed on plankton, angelfish flit by and moray eels make their way from one secluded coral cave to another?

The clear blue waters of Hawaii are home to some of the most beautiful sea life in the world.

The best thing about a Norwegian Hawaii cruise, is the opportunity to try snorkeling in many different places! Each day you can explore a new area and cross many of these top spots of your list!

Check out any of the Hawaii snorkeling locations below to take in unparalleled underwater sights.

1. Honolua Bay, Maui

This spot is surrounded by high cliffs that keep the water calm. No fishing of any kind is allowed, resulting in the highest density and diversity of sea life you’ll see on the island. Water near shore is murky because of the area’s gray, powdery sand, but once you swim out a short way, the bottom is white sand and the water clear.

Important to note, the area has no lifeguards, showers or bathrooms and there are no stores nearby. Be sure to shop for lunch beforehand so you can enjoy a meal after your swim.

2. Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park, Oahu

This hundred-acre park is among the most popular snorkeling destinations in Hawaii. Located right near Waikiki, it’s one of the most conveniently located snorkeling spots on the island, which does mean it’s often more crowded than other locations.

The beach can be accessed by tram or by hiking over a rocky trail. Even in waist-deep water, there are hundreds of colorful fish to see.

Reefs, sea turtles, colorful fish, it's all here and waiting!

3. Molokini Crater, Maui

You’ll need to book a tour to reach this spot, which is only accessible by boat. Three miles off Maui’s coast, this volcanic crater allows snorkeling in a protected cove.

The water is 150 feet deep, but the incredible clarity offers great visibility. Molokini Crater is home to over 250 species of fish, including some that you’ll see nowhere else like Picasso triggerfish, yellow tang and threadfin butterfly.

4. Poipu Beach, Kauai

If you’re new to snorkeling, Poipu Beach is a great place to start. The sheltered cove offers calm waters that aren’t too deep.

Despite the shallow water, there are still plenty of colorful fish. If you don’t have your own snorkel gear, you can rent it across the street from Nukumoi Surf Shop.

5. Makaha Beach Park, Oahu

Deep tunnels, underwater caverns and large arches make this one of Hawaii’s most stunning snorkeling spots. The waters are filled with sea turtles, dolphins, octopuses and the occasional manta ray.

Be cautious snorkeling here in the winter months, the water can be rough this time of year and the reefs are sharp and sometimes close to the surface.

6. Kealakekua Bay, Big Island

If you want a more secluded snorkeling destination, Kealakekua Bay can be just the thing. This marine sanctuary is filled with dolphins, turtles and other marine life.

Snorkeling tour boats make it easy to get to the best spots. Take a bit of time on shore to check out the Captain Cook Monument and keep your eyes peeled during early morning visits for Spinner dolphins.

7. Kapiolani Park Beach, Oahu

There are some great snorkeling spots in this Waikiki park. Queen’s Beach, near the Waikiki Aquarium, has an easily accessible reef and calm waters. There are restrooms, showers and food concessions all along the beach, making it easy to clean up and have a snack after snorkeling.

8. Ke’e Beach Park, Kauai

Kauai is famous for its unspoiled beauty, and it is at its best at Ke’e Beach Park. The shore near the beach has lush growth of coconut palms, ti, guavas and ironwood trees. Snorkelers can see schools of brightly colored fish and green turtles in the water.

The snorkeling around the Hawaiian islands is some of the best available in the world, with fish you’ll see nowhere else.

Whether you’re a beginning snorkeler or a seasoned expert, you’ll find a spot that will win your heart and make for an amazing Hawaiian adventure.