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Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve

7455 Kalanianaole Highway, Honolulu, HI 96825
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  • 98%
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 92%
    Family Travelers
  • 78%
    Adventure Travelers
  • 68%
    Green Travelers
  • 64%
    Budget Travelers
  • 59%
    Backpackers
  • 55%
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Member Reviews (147)Write a review

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  • Hanauma Bay Marine PreservePro 2014
    Owie
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    5 Aug 10, 2014

    Best snorkeling place!!! Spectacular view!

    This is true, Hanauma Bay is one of the best snorkeling place you could go in Hawaii. Clear blue water where you can see the bottom of your feet. Better yet, go snorkeling to see pretty vibrant fishes swimming along you to turtles paddling its feet and maybe hoping not to get stung by a jellyfish.

    Love coming here with my family. I hope you give this fun place a whirl. You will not regret it.

    p.s. parking can be tough so opt for public transportation instead.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersFamily TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Perry Sims
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    + 10
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    5 Jun 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:Family TravelersAdventure TravelersGreen TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Christina S
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    + 4
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    5 Apr 01, 2014

    This is a must do on Oahu. Go during the week early or later in the afternoon. Wonderful snorkeling. Fee to get into the park.

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBudget TravelersFamily TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    George R
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    5 May 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:Adventure TravelersFamily TravelersLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Maili Correa
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    + 5
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    5 Aug 07, 2014
    Recommended for:Family TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine PreservePro 2014
    Travis Katz
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    4 Dec 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.

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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Aya
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    + 11
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    3 Oct 31, 2013
    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersFamily TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine PreservePro 2014
    Nina H.
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    + 6
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    5 Jul 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:Adventure TravelersFamily TravelersGreen TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Emma Sanders
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    + 8
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    5 May 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:Family TravelersAdventure TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Capt Ken M
    5 Nov 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.

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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Karen Le
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    5 Mar 15, 2013

    Many people will ask the question: "Where should I go when I visit Oahu?" I'm glad there's an app like Gogobot for you to pull up on your smart phone so you can see all our suggestions. I've been visiting here since I was a kid and although it's not what it use to be (less crowded, less touristy, and no cover), I still make a stop here every time I visit the islands. You can drive here or pay for the shuttle service which usually includes the gear for cheap. Cover is now $5 which goes towards their preservation. You watch a little video and then you're on your way. If you've already watched the video in the past year then you get to skip it. They now have an exhibit as well on the history of the bay. If you have the leg muscles, trek it down and back up the hill so you can get a bird's eye view of the whole bay and it's quite breathe taking! Clusters of coral reef surrounded by pristine blue water. Your imagination runs wild with anticipation as to what lurks in the reef! We always like to go all the way to the end of the bay where there's more shaded palm trees and less people. They don't really serve food here so I'd pack a picnic and make it a whole day adventure. Hanauma Bay is the best place to snorkel in Oahu. You only have to go out a couple of feet and you'll already see colorful fishes. Each time I snorkel, I'm lucky enough to run into a turtle and I'll follow him or her around. In the past they let you go out farther, but these days you have to stay within the swimming area, probably due to the increasing waves. If you're brave enough to venture out far then you'll see even more sea life! I remember swimming out far and watching the school of fishes circle around me below. It's a sight that only so many can be fortunate to experience in their life time so if you're making a visit here, be sure to make it worth your while!

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    David "wanderingpops" Sims
    5 Jul 04, 2012

    Snorkeling only, but THE PLACE to snorkel in HI !! Can't wait to go see our son and family in February!!! Tons of fish and turtles. Careful the coral will get you.

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Don T
    5 Mar 25, 2014

    Great for snorkeling and family fun!

    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersFamily TravelersLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine PreservePro 2014
    Sara Benson
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    4 Oct 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:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersGreen TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    shirlene
    4 Jul 03, 2012

    My family is from HI, so I try to go at least a couple of times a year and I always come back. Not sure what type of experience you're looking for (sit on the beach or adventure), but this is a great all around place to visit. The water is warm, easy to get to and the snorkeling is awesome. If you head out this way, be sure to get da kine shave ice at Kokonuts in the Koko Marina. Aloha!

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    David R
    4 Dec 21, 2013
    Recommended for:Adventure TravelersFamily TravelersLuxury TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine PreservePro 2014
    JJ
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    3 Jun 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:Family TravelersGreen TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Paula Marmorato
    First to Review
    5 Sep 13, 2013

    Very nice to go with your friends , family ... Awesome foe Kids :) Amazing Bay :) Excellent for beginners to do snorkel & learn about the local fishes , how to preserve the corals reef ...

    Recommended for:Family Travelers
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Troy Fraser
    5 Sep 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:Family Travelers
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  • Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
    Barbara Kossy
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    5 Sep 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:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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Description

Hanauma Bay is easily home to the best snorkling in Hawaii thanks to a strict effort to preserve this last remnant of Oahu's once sparkling reefs. By "strict effort" I mean they make you watch a video about how to not damage the coral and disturb local wildlife before you are permitted entrance. This minor inconvenience is justified when you notice how pristine the waters here are. Speaking of inconvenience, plan your excursion to this beautiful beach carefully, as parking fills up fast and when that happens they close the gates. If you do roll up and find yourself turned away, don't call it a lost day just yet. Continue along the highway towards the east coast and you'll come to Sandy Beach and eventually Makapuu Beach, both of which are exciting beaches that will hold you and yours over until you get another shot at Hanauma Bay.

OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
147 members' reviews
3,690 people visited Hanauma Bay Marine Preserve
  • Category:

  • Open Hours:

    Apr-Sep: 6a-7p W-M, Oct-Mar: 6a-6p W-M
  • Phone:

    +1 808 396 4229 / +1 808 397 5840 (Education Program)

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