Snorkeling in Hawaii

Snorkeling in Hawaii

Snorkeling in Hawaii has got to be a dream of many people around the world. Known as a paradise group of islands with luscious jungles, some of the best waves and some of the most beautiful waters, Hawaii snorkeling will result in a fantastic experience. Located in the Pacific Ocean and being a volcanic archipelago the sea beds are incredibly nutrient rich and so absolutely thriving. Due to the extreme remote location the marine environment is still in pristine condition. Most of the best snorkeling spots are located off the west coast of Big Island, one of the main islands of Hawaii. When snorkeling in Hawaii you will see some spectacular underwater volcanic formations, black sand on the sea bed, which makes the colourful reefs stand out even more, many tropical fish and some larger species including Manta rays, Humpback whales and Green sea turtles.


Hawaii has a lot to offer snorkelers when it comes to marine life. Firstly, the fact that a lot of the sea beds are volcanic with black sand volcanic formations and pinnacles makes the sea life even more flourishing. There are around 25% of endemic fish species uniquely specific to this area. Some of the larger spectacles you will run into here are Green Sea turtles, large Manta Rays gliding through the water and from December to May the Humpback whales come by! One of the dive sites is also completely inhabited by eels, many many species of eels, so you will be sure to spot these on your snorkel at this pinnacle.


BIG ISLAND On the west coast of this island is where you will find some of the best snorkel sites in and around Hawaii. This is also where the port is from which liveaboards depart to these snorkel spots. Below are some of the most popular dive sites around Big Island;

PARADISE PINNACLE Just as the name suggests, the highlight of this site is a tall pinnacle protruding from the ocean floor. You can see the two pinnacles here rising up out of the black sand floor. The marine life here like to blend in, this is eel heaven so you will definitely spot them here along with shrimp and sometimes lionfish.

TURTLE PINNACLE Green Sea Turtles are an endangered species but in this snorkelling spot you will spot numerous of these gracious creatures getting a true marine spa treatment by the local cleaner fish. This snorkel spot is not deep and with an average visibility of 40m (120ft), a really great snorkel site.

TUBASTREA TUNNEL Appropriately named, this oversized swim-through tunnel covered in tubastrea coral is a main highlight of this dramatic dive site.


It is possible to visit Hawaii all year round due to its pleasant tropical climate. On the Big Island, the west coast, where the majority of the dive sites are, has ideal weather for snorkeling; mostly dry and sunny days, so very little rainfall. When it comes to temperatures the highest temperatures are around 31°C (88°F) and goes down to only 18°C (66°F) so quite pleasant temperatures all year round. The water temperatures are even more pleasant, ranging from 27°C (82°F) and only down to 22°C (72°F), so really perfect for snorkeling trips.

If you are wanting to come and snorkel in Hawaii for one of its main spectacles; the Humpback whales, then these are around the Hawaiian islands from December to May.


The best airport to fly into when wanting to go snorkeling in this area is Kona International Airport (KOA). If you are opting to go on a liveaboard trip then this airport is only a 20 minute drive to the Kailua Pier from where the boats depart from, it is also not a much longer drive to the coast. The airlines with which you fly into Kona International Airport include Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, United, US Airways, and WestJet. Island Air and GO! Mokulele also operate there, offering interisland service and connecting international flights. Nonstop service is offered between Kona and the cities of Vancouver, Canada, Seattle WA, San Jose CA, Oakland CA, Portland OR, Los Angeles CA, San Francisco CA, Denver CO, Chicago IL, and Phoenix AZ. Even though this airport is called an international airport, it only has flights arriving from the continental United States. If you are flying in from other international destinations, then you can fly into Honolulu International Airport, and then catch a 30 minute flight from there to Kona.