Oahu’s capital city of Honolulu offers one of the best spots for snorkeling. Going on a trip to the Hawaiian waters, or planning a family vacation. You are sure to have the best fun time with fantastic sea life, clear waters on a warm, white sand beach. Oahu attracts more visitors to its enormous expanse of over 112 miles of sand and water coastline. Oahu, meaning “The gathering place,” truly lives up to its name with hundreds of visitors trooping in daily, making this wonderful place a must to visit.
What is the water Condition in Oahu?
Oahu boasts an incredibly favourable water condition all year round, and the coastal water temperature can range from 76°F(24.44°C) in March to 81°F(27.22°C) by September. Average water visibility in Oahu is 100-feet. However, always ensure to ask around for water conditions before leaping into the waters, as this could do you a lot more good knowing what awaits you.
Getting to the Best Snorkeling spots in Oahu
Getting to the best snorkel spots in Oahu will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour from the Honolulu airport. However, you can arrange for a ride to snorkel spots by tour operators and do not forget to purchase food and drinks on your way as most of these snorkel sites do not have concession stands or places to purchase them. Also, if you’re not taking a tour guide, it is advisable to ask for conditions and water depth as most of these spots do not have lifeguards on ground if there is an issue.
Best Snorkeling Spots in Oahu
Here are the best highly recommended snorkeling spots in Oahu
Earning its place as the most famous snorkeling beaches in Hawaii. Located at the south-east part of Hawaii, Hanauma Bay waters are populated continuously with different marine creatures. The fishes there almost do not mind your presence, so it’s a great time to feast your eyes on real aquatic activities. The waters are very clear and shallow, great for snorkeling! The sand under the beach creates a soothing feeling beneath your feet. Its shoreline is almost all white sand, and a coral reef starts within meters away from the coast. The Hanauma Bay serves as one of the best spots for snorkeling, with marine creatures like- Cardinalfish, snapper, goatfish, squirrelfish, surgeonfish, damselfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, jacks, mullet, and many more sea creatures occasionally swimming under ledges and crevices or swimming by while you snorkel.
Kahe Point Beach Park
This spot is located on the west side of the Hawaiian Islands. Kahe Point Beach Park features open waters with incredibly high visibility. Nicknamed the “Electric beach,” due to the electric plant infrastructure located close to the beach. However, this snorkeling spot is ideal for advanced level snorkelers due to the moderate water current and lack of lifeguards. The water itself contains a high population of sea life, most of which are attracted to the warm waters surrounding the two enormous cooling pipes offshore, this part is significantly warmer than the surrounding waters. While snorkeling, be on the lookout for marine creatures such as cornetfish, Mackerel, Crustaceans, the former Hawaii state fish Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, and other invertebrates.
Next up, Sharks Cove. This snorkeling spot is located North of Oahu’s famous snorkeling shores. The inside of this bay is about 8-15 feet deep, which is ideal for snorkeling, and it progresses as it extends. Going underwater, you will likely see smooth boulders and ledges from where most little sea creatures hide. The Sharks cove has been rated in the “Top 12 shore dives in the world” by the famous Scuba diving magazine. However, this incredible snorkel spot is not recommended for kids as its rocky entrance into the bay could easily injure or endanger kids. If you love to see explosive number of fishes then the wall in the sharks cove is the right place to see beautiful species of fish schooling in large numbers, you will also find fish species such as, butterflyfish, wrasse, big eye, parrotfish, damselfish, surgeonfish, and aquatic creatures such as turtles and invertebrates while snorkeling.
The Kuilima Cove sits beside the Oahu turtle bay resort and features a serene environment with less crowd in its white sand beach. The ideal snorkeling spot for kids and beginner snorkeling. This spot offers calm snorkeling water due to the rock barrier that helps descend waves. The bottom of the Kuilima cove is covered in coral flats with rocks scattered around. While snorkeling, keep your eyes open for fishes such as the Moorish idol, unicornfish, boxfish, damselfish, parrotfish, goatfish, butterfly fish, etc.
Kaena Point State Park
A bountiful sand beach with less crowd is what sets this snorkel spot apart from the other Oahu snorkel spots listed on this article. The Kaena Point State Park is located in the western part of the Oahu island. Featuring clear blue water and less wave action, this snorkel spot offers an 8-15 feet shallow spot ideal for snorkeling and so much white sand and flat coral. The Kaena Point State Park doesn’t contain that much fish population but sure features a substantial amount of ocean creatures, a few of which include: Moorish idol, triggerfish, damselfish, squirrelfish, perch, wrasse, snapper, jacks, crustaceans, etc…
Enjoy the vast expanse of the sand beach in complete isolation from crowds, and don’t forget to have a superb time snorkeling.
Oahu offers a lot in terms of shallow water snorkeling from clear, blue waters to coral flats and fascinating reefs ideal for all level of snorkelers. The island waters are insanely blue. Most of the snorkeling spots in this location provide clear visibility underwater, so you can have a fantastic snorkel while looking out for gorgeous ocean creatures. The Oahu waters feature eccentric underwater topography like ledges, smooth boulders, and crevices, that serves as home and hiding places to some aquatic critters. So, grab your fins, snorkel gear and expect to have a fun and memorable time snorkeling the Oahu waters.
Also see Best snorkeling in Cozumel‘
And also Best snorkeling in the Caribbean‘