Hanauma Bay

We’d heard Hanauma Bay was THE place to snorkel on Oahu so we decided to spend yesterday morning there. The bay is a nature preserve, so there are strict rules for using the beach. Looking down from the entry to Hanauma which is at the top of a mountain, the bay below was beautiful in the morning light. We opted to walk down to the bay although you can take a trolley. Dave is in the orange shirt. You have to watch a movie before entering the nature preserve and learn all the rules about not touching coral, fish, or turtles, not smoking on the beach and where the strong and potentially dangerous currents are. To prevent littering they don’t sell any food or drinks on the beach. We got to Hanauma by 8 am so we got a parking space but by noon when we left, the lot was full and there was a long line of people who faced about an hour wait time to get onto the beach. 

We rented snorkel equipment, checked our valuables, slathered on sun tan lotion and took our beach mats down to the shore. It was a hot day and perfect beach weather. By now we are old hands at snorkeling so we soon had our equipment on and were heading out into the water. 

The water was clear and a lovely aqua blue, but I have to admit I was disappointed in the snorkeling. We saw fish, but not that many and not a very great variety. We didn’t see any of the turtles or octopus promised in the movie. The water was shallow so it was hard not to scrape yourself on the coral. I got two cuts from the sharp coral, one on my hand and another on my big toe. Compared to some other places we had snorkeled like Fiji, the Perhentians, and Boracay in the Philippines, the coral and fish at Hanauma Bay were pretty mundane. 

The park limits the number of visitors to 3000 a day, but that was plenty for some great people watching and few enough that it wasn’t a problem finding a spot to have a nap on the beach. 

After about four hours at Hanauma, more than half of which we’d spent in the water, swimming the whole bay looking for the elusive fish we decided to head home. When we got back to our bed and breakfast, another couple who was staying there as well, was just arriving home too. They had also been at Hanauma and claimed to have seen lots of fish, some sea turtles and an octopus. I guess it just wasn’t our lucky day. 

We had a good time at Hanauma Bay but the snorkeling wasn’t great. Still at $5 a piece and only a $1 for parking it was a bargain for four hours at such a pristine and well maintained beach. 

1 Comment

Filed under Hawaii, Sports, Travel

One response to “Hanauma Bay

  1. I’ll be traveling to Oahu soon so thanks for the great information about Hanauma Bay.

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