You've just arrived in Oahu for your Hawaiian vacation. With an overwhelming amount of tropical beauty at your fingertips, where should you start? Hanauma Bay State Park will welcome you with the promise of some amazing snorkeling adventures, so make sure you grab your Snorkeling Beach gear before you hit the beach!
To save yourself time, make sure you've made a reservation in advance, as they're required by the Honolulu Department of Parks & Recreation. Bring $25 per person, with the exception of kids 12 and under who can enter for free.
Photo: Pearl Harbor Tours Oahu
Once you've reached the bay and picked up some refreshments from the snack shack, you can decide from a few different starting points in the reefs. The closest reefs to shore will be the Sandman's Patch on the east side, Triangle Lagoon, and Keyhole Lagoon. Those more experienced can swim through the channels on the east or west side of the bay to access the Outer Reef.
There's an impressive amount of species you might be lucky enough to see, over 450. Maybe you'll come face to face with Hawaii's state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, otherwise known as the reef triggerfish. Among hundreds of others, some of the most common are parrotfish, angel fish, trumpet fish, and tangs. Dolphins, green turtles, and humpback whales have also been known to call this oasis home.
Preservation of this ecosystem is very important to the community, as coral reefs are at high risk of being lost forever. The type of coral found at Hanauma Bay is called Hermatype, a hard coral found on the ocean floor. It's the home to a diverse array of underwater creatures, and we'd all like it to stay that way! Be sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen so you can enjoy the beauty safely.
Pictured: Coral Reef by Francesco Ungaro
Hanauma Bay is a perfect spot for all skill levels and ages to snorkel, so grab your Reef Tourer set and hop into those warm waters. Be sure to take photos and tag us on social media!
Cover Picture via: Oahu Activies