Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
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- 98%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 94%Family Travelers
- 79%Adventure Travelers
- 73%Green Travelers
- 63%Budget Travelers
- 55%Local Culture
Member Reviews (145)Write a review
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 10Jul 08, 2014
Gorgeous and historic beach on Oahu. A lot has changed over the years, but it all makes sense because they want to preserve this area where you can swim and hang out with the marine life in the area. Visitors must watch a introductory video before going in, and also pay a fee. When I was a kid, we could still feed the fish bread and what not, but now, that's forbidden. In Chinese, they call Hanauma Bay, "dinosaur bay" because it's kind of shaped like the face of a brontosaurus! No joke! But anyway, this beach is amazing because of the marine life, but if you aren't into the touristy thing, then I'd stay away because the visitors here are at least 75% tourists. But if you're a local, then you know there's a kama'aina (local) discount aka free entrance.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 10Jun 08, 2014
Wonderful experience. Reefs are in fairly shallow water. A 5' tall person can wade out to the nearest reefs and see a few of the braver fish. Bring an underwater camera! And go early. By 9:30 or so the water is noticeably cloudier from all the swimmers churning up the sandy bottom.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 10Jun 07, 2014
Hanauma Bay is a must-see spot on Oahu. The views from the top of the beach overlooking the bay are stunning, and a great place to park up on a bench early in the morning for some quiet time. The beach down below is full of corals, but has been overfished for years prior to becoming a reserve, so it's just regaining it's wildlife. The beach below is great, but gets very busy as the day goes on. I recommend checking this place out as early as possible to skip the crowds.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 8May 19, 2014
Snorkelling is my favourite activity to do while on holiday, and Hanauma Bay did not disappoint! It's relatively easy to get to either by the bus or hopping into a locally run taxi in Waikiki. The marine life and history of the bay are both fascinating.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 3Apr 21, 2014
I had four sets of visitors from the mainland while living in Hawaii, and Hanauma Bay was on my map as a tour guide each time. Locals see it as a touristy place, so they don't frequent Hanauma Bay very much. But it's touristy for good reason.
Hanauma Bay has an amazing reef for the most perfect snorkeling. I've been snorkeling quite a few times, namely in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and places in Florida, but I've never been so blown away from what I saw than at Hanauma Bay.
What I loved about it was that every time I went there, I had a different amazing experience. Maybe it was because I went during different times of the year.
The first time I snorkeled there, I saw huge sea turtles. HUGE. And I swam about 3 feet away from them. The next time I went, I saw the most gorgeous neon-rainbow fish that I have ever seen. It was about as big as half of me and it shined with every color in the rainbow. I learned later it was called a parrotfish.
I love Hanauma Bay, it's beautiful waters, pristine beach, towering ridges, and it's diverse ecosystem.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 5Jun 04, 2014
A beautifully shallow area protected to be preserved and sustained for the future, you are able to enjoy the beach or snorkeling. Open from 6am to 6pm the cost is $7.50 per person and $1 to park. Unfortunately I did not make it down there to say either way. Bits and pieces of memories from when I was a kid are not of much help. Good views can be seen from the the trail to the left or from the ridge above where you can hike. Both at no cost.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveDec 19, 2013
Prime spot on Oahu for snorkeling, even though it can get a little crowded. Not uncommon to see plenty of Hawaiian green sea turtles in the waters here. All newcomers obligated to sit through a 5-7 min video on the origins/rules before entering the bay.
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofBusiness TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesNightlife LoversDec 11, 2013
Some of the best snorkeling in Oahu can be found in Hanauma Bay, a former volcanic crater and now a teeming reef. The state built a $30MM visitors center here, where you can learn about the bay and the sealife. The key draw is the snorkeling. We saw tons of big, brightly colored fish and a couple of turtles. The coral is in pretty good shape given than more than 1MM people visit here per year. The water is very shallow, though, and you are often floating in less than 2 feet of water, which makes avoiding the coral challenging at times. It can be crowded, so arrive early or you will have to wait to get in (unless you come in November, like we did, where the island is largely empty). As a nature preserve things here are tightly controlled. The beach is long and sandy, and the views are awesome! The walk down the hill to the beach is easy, but they offer a tram for $1.00 if you have a lot of stuff (or kids) to carry.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveNov 18, 2013
One of the most beautiful spots on the island. You have to view a short video once/year before you enter the park due to education of the public about preservation concerns. Parking lot fills up quickly, but it's well worth the trouble. People of all ages can snorkel in the calm, clear waters.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 5May 26, 2014
Mainly tourists but locals grew up going to this place when it was open and free -- still love it and it's great to see Hanauma Bay managed with preservation in mind. Snorkeling is a must here so pack your swim wear, snorkeling gear (rentals available), and get there early for parking.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 8Oct 24, 2013
A beautiful bay with aqua marine water colors, clean and nice beach for the family, and good snorkel spot. It's a short drive from Waikiki, admission is $7.50 for non-resident, free for kama'aina with ID. You watch a short 2-3 minute ocean and marine life safety video before you get to the beach. There are gear rentals and restroom facility. If you don't want to walk up and down the steep hill, you can buy a trolley ride.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofWellnessGreen TravelersStudentsAdventure TravelersOct 20, 2013
Another great place for first-time visitors to Oahu to put in their vacation plans, especially if you have kids. This state-sponsored nature preserve is a gorgeous place to go snorkeling -- like being in an underwater fish bowl! Tips: The park is closed on Tuesday. Show up very early in the morning when the water hasn't been stirred up by other snorkelers and just as importantly, to avoid being turned away when the parking lot fills.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 5Oct 18, 2013
Hanauma Bay is also easy to reach by bus in about 50 minutes from Waikiki Beach. (we did not rent a car in Oahu). When you arrive, you have a beautiful view and this is one of the best Snorkel spots I've ever seen!
- Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveSep 13, 2013
Of all the things we did in Hawaii this was one of our favorites.
People will tell you that you can get better snorkelling other places on the island, but this place was great. The kids loved and and were able to see lots of fish. The color of the coral was muted because of all the sand but it is a great place to introduce people to snorkelling. We spent 5 hours here.
Remember to bring a picnic if you can because it is a long hike back up to the snack bar.
And you can rent all your snorkelling needs on site.Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 2Sep 02, 2013
To really visit Hawaii, you just have to snorkel. Hanauma Bay is a great entry-level snorkel spot but also has more challenges for experienced swimmers. You get shade, a lawn, sand beaches, easy entry into the water, great fish that you see right away, a snack bar, and lifeguards. More experienced snorkelers can swim beyond the protective reef and float over amazing seascapes of deep blue. This is where the bigger fish hang out, and where the currents can be strong. For a stress-free visit read up on the park first, and get there early. I bring a wet suit so I can stay in the water a bit longer, since it can get cold after say 20 min. So, get there early, and leave at lunch for a relaxing visit. Fantastic!Recommended for:
- Hanauma Bay Marine PreserveAug 15, 2013
Great snorkeling place that has rental gear and plenty of facilities. Best place to see fish up close on the South side. You have to watch a 9 minute video to get in, but it's informative and worth the wait. Only a few dollars to get in. Note - they are closed on Tuesdays.