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Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is truly experiencing paradise. The crystal blue ocean crater is full of bright and diverse species of fish, rays and turtles. Even the most inexperienced snorkeler can have a great time swimming with the Hawaiian wildlife in Hanauma Bay.

Friendly Sea Creatures

Unlike other top snorkeling spots, the sea life in Hanauma Bay is not afraid of humans. This makes for some exciting snorkeling in the area. You can get up close to the turtles, tropical fish, eels and other sea creatures. There are more than 450 colorful tropical fish in the area, as well as octopus, crabs and eels.

By purchasing an underwater camera, you can take great pictures of the colorful fish and other sea creatures. It will make your trip to Hanauma Bay all the more memorable.

Snorkeling in the Bay

Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is very simple. There is rental equipment available on the beach if you don’t have your own. If you are a first time snorkeler, you will receive some brief instructions on maneuvering around, and a reminder to treat the wildlife with respect.

There are basic safety precautions to take when snorkeling in the bay. Visitors are asked not to touch the wildlife, or the coral. If you see a mother creature with her babies, swim away from the area very carefully so as not to disturb them. Also, when you are in the presence of the wildlife, make sure to use smooth and calm movements. Jerking, quick moments can frighten the creatures.

Snorkeling Basics

If you can swim, then you can snorkel. Snorkeling requires no special training. You won’t need to take snorkeling classes before arriving at Hanauma Bay. The instruction you receive just before entering the water will be enough. This training will cover how to use the equipment, basic snorkeling safety and information on what to look for in the bay. Make sure to snorkel with a buddy at all times, for safety’s sake.

Snorkeling Equipment

When you rent snorkeling gear, there are only two basic pieces of equipment that you’ll need. A snorkeling mask allows you to clearly view the sights under the water. When you choose your mask, make sure that it fits well and is comfortable. To try on the mask, push the mask against your face without using the strap. If it stays on your face, unsupported, than it is making a good seal and will be perfect for snorkeling.

The jury is out on whether or not fins are necessary for snorkeling. The snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is shallow and easily accessible without fins. Fins will propel you through the water faster, but their movement can scare off fish and other creatures.

Wildlife Safety

Before entering the park, you will be asked to watch a safety video. This video will let you know the guidelines for using the bay, and also instructions for interacting with the sea creatures.

Basically, you are not to touch the sea life in bay. Even the coral, which appear as rock beds, should not be touched. Coral is very sharp and scrapes and abrasions caused by the coral can be painful. Also, touching the coral can cause a spread of harmful bacteria that can kill it.

Feeding, touching or disturbing the sea creatures you see while snorkeling can cause them distress. Remember, the animals in the bay are there to see and not touch.