Ultimate guide to Hanauma Bay – Oahu

Hanauma Bay

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.

Hanauma Bay Oahu

Cost of visiting Hanauma Bay

Entry to the park is $7.50, although locals and kids under 12 can visit for free.

Hanauma Bay Oahu

Other costs

  • 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. A better option is to pack a picnic and water and take photos as souveneirs.

Instead of renting a snorkel at Hanauma Bay, you could purchase a snorkel set at Walmart and take it with you everywhere you go on the island. This will allow you to save money and experience more of Oahu underwater.

And don’t be lazy, walk up and down the hill, it only takes 5 minutes and offers extra photo opportunities.

Opening Hours

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).

Getting to Hanauma Bay

The easiest way to get to Hanauma Bay will be to drive. It costs $1 to park your car. 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 book a tour to Hanauma Bay which would include transport.

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.

Hanauma Bay Oahu

Things to pack for Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay Oahu
  • A snorkel set
  • Bikinis
  • Camera and Go Pro
  • Natural Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach Towel
  • Picnic and water

Other tips for visiting

  • Arrive early so you don’t miss a car park.
  • Pack a picnic and bring your own snorkel.
  • If you take rubbish into Hanauma Bay, make sure you put it in a bin or take it home with you.
  • Use reef safe sunscreen only.
  • 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

Click here to book a tour to Hanauma Bay.

Hanauma Bay Oahu
Hanauma Bay Oahu

Want more?

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Life in Hawaii, what it’s like living on Oahu. 

See more from Hawaii here. 

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A guide to visiting Hanauma Bay

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Disclosure: This post on visiting Hanauma Bay contains affiliate links.


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