If Hanauma Bay isn’t on your Oahu itinerary, I suggest you add it right NOW. Hanauma Bay is a famous snorkelling spot on Oahu, hosting an abundant marine ecosystem with hundreds of tropical fish, turtles and coral reefs. Hanauma Bay was my favourite spot to snorkel on Oahu. The conditions are great for anyone, from beginners to experienced snorkelers.
History of Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay was formed within a volcanic cone, which created ideal conditions for the marine ecosystem which lays within. In 1967, Hanauma Bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area, after years of neglect and abuse from tourists.
Today, Hanauma Bay is well protected and has a strong focus on conservation and preservation of the area. Before visitors can enter, they must watch a video highlighting the marine life that can be found and rules of the park- such as don’t walk on the coral reef, don’t touch marine life and don’t wear toxic sunscreen.
To further protect Hanauma Bay, visitor limits are capped, so only a certain number of people can enter the park each day. The park is also closed on Tuesdays. Despite these measures, Hanauma Bay still hosts around 1 million visitors each year, making it the third most popular destination on Oahu.
Cost of visiting Hanauma Bay
Entry to the park is $7.50, although locals and kids under 12 can visit for free.
Hiring a Snorkel Set – $20.00
Parking lot fee – $1.00
Locker – S $8.00 – L $10.00
Tram ride up and down the hill- $1.00 each way
There is also a snack bar & gift shop that you can spend money at if you choose.
I personally recommend purchasing a snorkel set at Walmart and taking it with you everywhere you go on the island. This will allow you to save money and experience more of Oahu underwater.
I also recommend packing a picnic and water so you don’t need to buy anything from the snack bar.
And don’t be lazy, walk up and down the hill, it only takes 5 minutes and offers extra photo opportunities.
Things to pack for Hanauma Bay
- A snorkel set
- Camera and Go Pro
- Natural Sunscreen
- Beach Towel
- Picnic and water
Getting to Hanauma Bay
The easiest way to get to Hanauma Bay will be to drive, it costs $1 to park. The parking can fill up quick so make sure you arrive early to beat the crowds.
Alternatively, you can take a bus ($2.50) or taxi ($40-$50) from Waikiki.
You could also consider taking a tour. See Tour options for Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is open from 6am-7pm daily during summer and 6am-6pm during winter, except Tuesdays. Hanauma Bay is closed every TUESDAY.
The park is also closed on Christmas Day (25th December) and New Years Day (1st January).
Arrive early so you don’t miss a car park.
Pack a picnic and bring your own snorkel.
If you love hiking, head over to Koko Head Crater after visiting Hanauma Bay.
The drive south of Hanauma Bay towards Waimanalo is beautiful. If you are driving, road trip around the coast after your visit.
Book a tour to Hanauma Bay
Book a tour on Oahu
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