Hawaii's Top Snorkel Spots | Go Hawaii

Hawaii's Top Snorkel Spots

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Hawaii’s large number of marine protected areas and its abundance of local fish species make for exquisite snorkelling experiences. There are many snorkel sites dotted across the Hawaiian Islands and a handful of them should not-be-missed. Incredible aquatic treasures are waiting beneath the surface of the following top snorkel spots.


Napali Coast boasts some of the best snorkelling in all Hawaii. This seemingly untouched area hugs the northern coast of Kauai and is home to a plethora of thriving marine life. Appropriately named, Napali is a 24 kilometre (15 mile) stretch of coastline is rugged with razor-sharp ridges and translates to the “cliffs” in Hawaiian. The backdrop is stunning and a must-do snorkel activity on the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain. Take a boat tour or kayak in (experienced kayakers only).


Book a boat tour and explore Molokini, a crescent-shaped partially submerged volcano crater situated 4.8 kilometres (3 miles) south of Maui, off the coast of Makena. This protected marine sanctuary has no sandbars helping to provide crystal clear visibility for world-class snorkelling with over 250 species of tropical fish. The only way to visit this unique island is by water; most Molokini boat tours will also stop Turtle Town, a coral reef famous for snorkelling with turtles.


Kealakekua Bay is a 1.6 kilometre (1 mile) wide bay near the small town of Captain Cook, south of Kona on the island of Hawaii. It’s very common for snorkellers to see Hawaiian green sea turtles, reef fish and pods of spinner dolphins that frequent the area. The most exceptional snorkelling in the bay is found near the Captain Cook Monument, erected for Captain James Cook after he was killed on the island during his visit in 1779. There are three ways to access the bay: drive and hike in, kayak in (experienced kayakers only) or book a boat tour.
Ashlee Galea is an Aussie living in Hawaii who enjoys sharing Hawaii insider knowledge and travel advice on her blog The Hawaii Admirer.