– Ahhh….one of my favorite beaches! There is something so soothing about being here. We’ve snorkeled different reefs and these are OK, but the way you are almost surrounded by the elevations makes laying here all day just perfect.
The calm waters of the bay provide perfect conditions for floating over the reefs. The bay floor is actually the crater of an ancient volcano that flooded when the exterior wall collapsed and the ocean rushed in. The reefs are filled with a diverse population of marine life and we were lucky enough to see/swim with a sea turtle while we were there (among many other species of fish).
Sea turtles are fully protected under the endangered species act and Hawaiian law so you are not allowed to touch them.
It is located 10 miles east of Waikiki on the southeast coast. Parking is limited and the first time we tried to go the parking lot was full so try to get there either early or late in the day when the early visitors
It is $7.50 to get in and you are required to watch a short 10-15 minute presentation on the reefs and marine life.
There is a ticket counter, snack bar, and gift shop at the top and there is a fairly large hill to get down to the beach, but luckily there is a shuttle that you may pay to ride, either one way or unlimited. After a long day at the beach and you’re tired, the shuttle is great.
We brought our own mask and snorkel, but you may rent them at the beach for a nominal fee. There are also lockers to store your belongings. Many companies offer guided tours that will provide the transportation and snorkel equipment if you’d rather do that!
We brought a disposable underwater camera and got some pictures of the sea turtle and tropical fish….
We saw young children with small rafts for floating over the reefs. I was so nervous about touching the coral and rocks because in some areas it is pretty close to the surface, but managed to do well!http://www1.honolulu.gov/parks/facility/hanaumabay/index.htm