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Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

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Panoramic View of Hanauma Bay

Panoramic View of Hanauma Bay

I’m at Hanauma Bay State Park! Hanamua Bay is not a “sports beach” like Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach. It is a Nature Preserve. It is intended to protect the fragile marine ecosystem of Hanauma Bay. Great measures are held to protect and preserve the park, such as reducing the number of visitors to providing essential educational programs.

Hanauma Bay is one of the top, most popular tourist destinations in Oahu. Each year, there are millions of visitors. Up to 3,000 people are allowed in a single day. The park is known for its calm waters along with its dense population of tropical fish and marine life. At this park, the tropical fish are more tamed compared to other beaches. Hanauma Bay is a great place for beginners to snorkel.

As always, let’s learn some Hawaiin. Hana from Hanauma means “Bay”, and Uma means “Curved.” You will see why from the photos below!

Top, Side View at Hanauma Bay. Walking there.

Top, Side View at Hanauma Bay. Walking there.

Location:

It is located on the east side of Oahu.

Hanauma Bay Map

Hanauma Bay Map

Parking:

$1.00 for the whole day with limited parking. I highly recommend arriving early, since there are only 300 parking stalls available. I had no issues finding a parking spot. I woke up early to go to Hanauma Bay though. If you leave the lot within 15 minutes, you can get a refund on the parking fee.

Entrance Fee:

$7.50/person. Free: Kids 12 & Under, Active Military, Locals with valid identification.

Video Requirement: 

For first-time visitors, you are required to watch a short video before entering the state park. As mentioned earlier, there are millions of visitors per year to Hanauma Bay. The park suffers dramatically from this. Participants are required to follow the rules to protect and preserve the park. Learn about the marine life. Do not touch or walk on the coral. Treat marine animals and environment with the utmost respect. At the end of the video, a sign-up list is available for people that decide to return again. The sign-up waives the requirement to watch the video again for 1 year.

Tickets to Orientation Show Time. Hanauma Bay.

Tickets to Orientation Show Time.

My Orientation Show started at 9:15 am. It was pretty full and packed. I guess everyone just wanted to go snorkeling in the majestic waters of Hanauma Bay. Unfortunately, it randomly started to rain hard when I was waiting outside for my turn. I was at the beginning of the line. Luckily, covered from the rain. Others, not so much. But, good news, it stopped right after the video.

Once you’re in, WELCOME TO HANAUMA BAY!

White sand shoreline. Hanauma Bay.

White sand shoreline.

With live coral forming outwards. Hanauma Bay.

With live coral forming outwards.

The ultra bright sun! Hanauma Bay.

The ultra bright sun!

Beach view. Hanauma Bay.

Beach view.

Me snorkeling. Hanauma Bay.

Me snorkeling.

STAMPED. 🙂 Sun burned for good. Be smart, wear your sunblock.

Someone's going to peel later. Hanauma Bay.

Someone’s going to peel later.

Goodbye Hanauma Bay. Goodbye sea turtles. We shall meet again next time.

Until next time. Peace! Hanauma Bay.

Until next time. Peace!

Have you been to Hanauma Bay? How about snorkeling in Hanauma Bay? What are the best parts? What types of fish, marine life did you encounter? So many questions! I have a weird obsession with marine life. It’s really fascinating! 🙂

Travel Tips:

  1. Hours: Opens at 6:00 am daily.
  2. Closing Hours: 7:00 pm in the summer. 6:00 pm in the winter. Closed on Tuesdays. To minimize negative impact on the ecosystem. Also, closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day.
  3. Lockers: $8 for small (small items), $10 for large (a backpack).
  4. Picnic tables, snack/drink bar.
  5. Tourist shop, but it’s expensive.
  6. Restrooms to change, showers outdoors to wash yourself off.
  7. Snorkel gear available. It is $20. That is overpriced! I highly recommend going to Target or even Walmart to buy your own snorkel gear. It’s relatively way cheaper.
  8. Heard of water shoes? Get them. Your feet will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  9. Wear loads of sunblock. Bring a sun umbrella. The sun is harsh!
  10. Get stamped if you’re leaving the park for a little bit.
  11. Great for families (with children too). Snorkeling fun!

Up Next:

The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Hawaii

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© Jennifer Nguyen