Top 3 Snorkeling Spots In Hawaii – Guide For Tourists

In the heart of the Pacific Ocean lies a wonderland that’s as breathtaking as it is enchanting, and beneath its crystal-clear waters, an underwater utopia brimming with life and color awaits. 

With each dive in the top snorkeling spots in Hawaii, you’ll discover a world where vibrant coral reefs dance with tropical fish, majestic sea turtles glide effortlessly by, and the feeling of weightlessness as you float above this otherworldly realm is nothing short of magical. 

But with so many options to choose from when you’re visiting this American state, finding the best spot can be pretty tough, the good thing though is that we are here to help you out.

In this article, we have listed down some of the best snorkeling spots that you can find in Hawaii. So come with us on a journey to explore these incredible destinations and discover the beauty that lies beneath Hawaii’s glittering waters.

Here are 3 of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii that everyone should visit: 

Swim With The Dolphins On The West Coast of Oahu

Swimming with the dolphins on the West Coast of Oahu is one of the most unique and unforgettable snorkeling experiences you can have in Hawaii considering that the area is home to pods of spinner dolphins, known for their playful acrobatics and curious nature. 

When you snorkel here, you may find yourself surrounded by these friendly creatures, swimming alongside them as they leap out of the water and spin through the air.

Aside from the dolphin encounters, the West Coast of Oahu is also home to some of the most stunning reefs and marine life in Hawaii. The crystal-clear waters offer visibility of up to 100 feet, allowing you to see an incredible array of tropical fish, sea turtles, and even Hawaiian monk seals. The vibrant coral reefs are teeming with life and color, making for a breathtaking snorkeling experience.

Another advantage of this spot is that it’s accessible to snorkelers of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced. You can join a guided tour that will take you to the best snorkeling areas and provide you with all the necessary gear and instructions.

With so many great options on the west coast of Oahu, we have created a list of the top 5 places that you need to visit so you can enjoy the life that’s underneath its islands. Here are some of the top places to snorkel when in Oahu: 

Kahe Point Beach Park (Electric Beach)

This spot is known for its crystal-clear waters, colorful coral reefs, and abundance of marine life, including sea turtles, tropical fish, and even spinner dolphins. The warm water here is due to a nearby power plant, which makes for a unique snorkeling experience.

Ko Olina Lagoons

The four man-made lagoons at Ko Olina offer calm, shallow waters that are perfect for snorkeling. The reefs here are home to an incredible variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even octopuses.

Makaha Beach

Located on the westernmost point of Oahu, Makaha Beach is known for its pristine waters and excellent snorkeling. The reefs here are home to a variety of tropical fish, and there’s a good chance you’ll spot sea turtles and even manta rays.

Yokohama Bay

This secluded beach is located at the end of a winding road and offers some of the best snorkeling on the island. The reef here is home to a variety of marine life, including schools of colorful fish and sea turtles.

Nanakuli Beach Park

This beach is known for its clear waters and abundant marine life. The reefs here are home to a variety of fish and sea turtles, and there’s even a chance you’ll spot spinner dolphins.

No matter which spots you choose, snorkeling on the West Coast of Oahu is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Oahu Catamaran Cruise

The Oahu Catamaran Cruise is a unique way to experience some of the best snorkeling spots on the West Coast of Oahu, especially if you’re looking best snorkeling in Hawaii for beginners

This guided tour takes you on a luxury catamaran to some of the most breathtaking areas around the island, giving you the opportunity to snorkel with a variety of marine life and take in the stunning scenery.

One of the advantages of the Oahu Catamaran Cruise is that it provides a spacious and comfortable platform for snorkeling. You’ll be able to relax on the catamaran’s deck, taking in the views of the coastline and sipping on drinks from the onboard bar. When it’s time to snorkel, you’ll have access to all the necessary gear and expert guidance from the crew.

During the tour, you will be visiting some of the most popular snorkeling spots on the West Coast of Oahu, such as Ko Olina Lagoons and Makaha Beach. Along with that, you’ll be able to snorkel with a variety of marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and even spinner dolphins. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the stunning reefs and underwater landscapes that make Hawaii’s waters so famous.

But to make the most out of this adventure, you have to keep some things in mind.

To make the most out of your Oahu Catamaran Cruise tour, be sure to choose the right tour that suits your skill level and preferences. Along with that, tourists must wear appropriate clothing, apply sunscreen, and stay hydrated throughout the tour. Also, make sure you listen to your guide and respect marine life and coral reefs. Always wear a life jacket, never snorkel alone, and be prepared for motion sickness. 

By taking these precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable snorkeling adventure on the West Coast of Oahu while on the Oahu Catamaran Cruise tour.

North Shore Island Adventure – Go Snorkeling With The Turtles

The North Shore Island Adventure is a must to go on for those who want to experience the beauty of Hawaii’s North Shore while snorkeling with green sea turtles. 

This guided tour takes you on a thrilling adventure to one of the most stunning spots in Hawaii, giving you the chance to get up close and personal with these gentle giants.

One of the highlights of the North Shore Island Adventure is the opportunity to swim and snorkel with green sea turtles. The tour takes you to a secluded cove that’s home to these magnificent creatures, allowing you to witness them in their natural habitat. Also, you’ll be able to snorkel alongside the turtles, watching them gracefully swim and feed on the algae.

In addition to snorkeling in Hawaii with the turtles, the North Shore Island Adventure also offers other activities such as stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, where you’ll get to explore the crystal-clear waters of the North Shore, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes all at the same time.

The tour also includes a delicious lunch and refreshments, giving you the chance to relax and recharge before continuing your adventure. You’ll have the opportunity to soak up the sun on the white sand beach, take a stroll along the shoreline, or simply take in the breathtaking scenery.

What To Avoid Doing When Snorkeling In Hawaii? 

Hawaii is known across the globe for its preservation efforts, and if you’re snorkeling, there are some things that you need to avoid doing. 

Here are some of the many things you need to avoid when snorkeling in Hawaii:

Avoid Touching Or Standing On Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are delicate ecosystems that can be easily damaged by human interaction. When snorkeling, it’s important to avoid touching or standing on coral reefs. Not only can this harm the coral itself, but it can also disturb the many different species of fish, crustaceans, and other marine life that call these reefs home. Instead, swim over the coral, being careful not to get too close or disturb any of the marine life.

Don’t Swim Too Close To Marine Life

It can be tempting to get as close as possible to the colorful fish and other marine life that you’ll encounter while snorkeling in Hawaii, but it’s important to remember that these creatures are wild animals and should be respected as such. Swimming too close to marine life can cause stress and anxiety, which can be harmful to the animal’s health. Additionally, some marine life in Hawaii, such as the Hawaiian green sea turtle, are protected by law, and disturbing them can result in significant fines or even imprisonment.

Avoid Overexerting Yourself

Snorkeling can be a physically demanding activity, especially if you’re not used to swimming for long periods. It’s important to pace yourself and take breaks if you start to feel tired or short of breath. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits, as this can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Always remember to stay hydrated, and take the time to rest and recover if you feel tired or overwhelmed.

Don’t Snorkel Alone 

Snorkeling with a buddy is always safer than doing it alone. Having someone else with you can provide an extra set of eyes and ears, making it easier to spot potential hazards or identify any issues that may arise. It’s also important to establish clear communication with your snorkeling buddy beforehand, so you can signal each other if there’s a problem.

Don’t Ignore Warning Signs

Hawaii’s ocean can be unpredictable, and it’s important to pay attention to warning signs posted on beaches. These signs can alert you to dangerous surf or currents, so you can avoid them and stay safe. If you’re not sure what a warning sign means, ask a lifeguard or other local authority for clarification. Ignoring warning signs can put you and others at risk, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Don’t Snorkel In Areas With Strong Currents

Hawaii’s ocean currents can be strong and unpredictable, and snorkeling in areas with these currents can be dangerous. Before entering the water, check the local weather and surf conditions, and avoid areas with strong currents or rough surf. If you do find yourself caught in a current, don’t panic or try to fight against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current, and then make your way back to shore.

Avoid Touching Marine Life

While it can be tempting to reach out and touch the marine life you encounter while snorkeling, it’s important to remember that these creatures are wild animals and should be respected as such. Touching or disturbing them can cause stress or injury, and can also be harmful to their habitat. Additionally, some marine life in Hawaii, such as the Hawaiian monk seal, are endangered and protected by law, so it’s important to avoid disturbing them at all costs. Instead, enjoy their beauty from a respectful distance, and be mindful of the impact your actions can have on their well-being.

By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience in Hawaii. Remember to always respect the ocean and the creatures that call it home, and to take the necessary precautions to stay safe while enjoying all that Hawaii has to offer.


Hawaii is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling, and for good reason. With its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning coral reefs, Hawaii offers a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world and witness the beauty of nature up close. 

The state’s warm waters and year-round sunshine make it a perfect destination for snorkeling enthusiasts, whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner. From swimming with green sea turtles to observing colorful fish, Hawaii’s snorkeling experiences are truly unforgettable. Plus, snorkeling in Hawaii also promotes environmental awareness and appreciation for the fragile marine ecosystems that we need to protect and preserve. 

So whether you’re planning a family vacation or a solo adventure, snorkeling in Hawaii should be at the top of your bucket list, as it’s offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.