Best Snorkeling in Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii is famous for its lush vegetation, beautiful white sand beaches and amazing climate. The clear waters translates into incredible visibility, meaning you don't miss a thing. Of all the Hawaiian places to snorkel, snorkeling in Oahu is an exercise in beauty and adventure, leading thousands of families and couples to its famous beaches and shores each and every year.  By personal exploration, continue reading the Best Snorkeling in Oahu. Although many people headed to Oahu to snorkel bring their own snorkeling gear, there are plenty of dive shops dotting the white sand shores where they offer guided boat tours.


Want to snorkel in an ancient volcanic crater? Hanauma is the place for you! Lying on Oahu's east side, this sheltered cove features shallow water, making it a great place for beginners or kids. The fish here are incredibly tame, often swimming right up to your diving mask and saying hello. Parrot fish, trumpet fish, jacks and mullet are common in Hanauma Bay. The place is one of the most famous spots for Oahu snorkeling. It is important to note that Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve and therefore protected by a series of guidelines. Only 3,000 people are allowed into the area per day, so get there early. All visitors are required to watch a video detailing the rules and regulations of the preserve. Red tape aside, Hanauma Bay should be among your first snorkeling stops.


Shark's Cove is the most popular place for snorkeling in Oahu. Voted one of the "Top 12 Shore Dives in the World" by Scuba Diving Magazine, this snorkeling site on the famous North Shore provides plenty of places for fish to hide. Its popularity means that Shark's Cove does tend to get crowded, especially during the summer. However, the constant exposure to people means the fish in Shark's Cove are not at all shy, leading to close encounters with butterfly fish, eels, perch and sea turtles. Shark's Cove is an amazing snorkeling opportunity and well worth the crowds.


Kahe Point lies directly across from an electric plant, making this one of the most unique sites for snorkeling in Oahu. The electric plant uses seawater as a coolant, which is then pumped right back into the ocean. The water here is slightly warmer due to this process, making for a different Hawaii snorkeling experience. In addition to the fish, crustaceans and turtles found in the area, Kahe Point also offers some neat looking coral and an opportunity to find amazing shells on the sea floor. Located on Oahu's west side, Kahe Point is one of Hawaii's "don't miss" snorkeling destinations.

Snorkeling in Hawaii is incredibly popular. While the above three sites are amazing, they do tend to get crowded. For a more secluded snorkeling experience, consider chartering a boat to take you further from shore. The underwater views are just as amazing and you'll feel like you have the whole ocean to yourself!

By Roy Jamason

Written December 8, 2013

Related Products

ScubaPro Snorkeling Set