Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
# 7455 Kalanianaole highway, Hanauma Bay, HI, USA
ttp://www.honolulu.gov/parks… - Tel: (808) 396-4229
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Reviews
a must snorkel! Mar 14, 2011
I have snorkelled many places, but hanauma bay wins, hands down, for the best i've seen!!!
i even got to see a turtle!!!
i suggest going very early in the morning to beat the lines and the people stirring up the sand!
i got there around 6.45am to a quiet beach and very clear water. By around 9.30am the beach was really busy and the water was already getting murky; then, by 10.30am the clarity of the water was terrible!
the lifeguards and beach staff are very helpful and knowledgeable!
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Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve Apr 07, 2010
Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve located at the southeastern coast of Oahu. It was probably named Hanauma Bay by the Hawaiians due to its curved shape. It is a curved bay of sapphire and turquoise waters. The scenery and the beach are beautiful, but you come here for the snorkeling.
When you arrive you buy your ticket at one of the windows by the entrance. The fee is $7.5 for adults. Children under 13 and Hawaiian residents are free. You will get a receipt and a ticket with a time on it. This is the time you will see the introduction video about the ecosystem in the bay. It only takes 9 minutes and it is very educational. If you don´t speak English you can borrow headphones in 5 different languages (Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese and Korean). All visitors are required to watch this video before you are allowed down to the beach. If you plan to revisit within a year make sure to write your name on the "frequent visitor list". That way you don´t have to watch the video again. While you wait for your feature you can visit the educational center next to the movie theatre.
When you have seen the video you can either walk down to the beach or take the beach shuttle. Down cost $0.75, up $1.00 and $2.50 for an all day pass. It is a short walk so no need really.
If you don´t have your own snorkel equipment you can rent it at the concession stand at the beach. At the same place lockers can be rented too ($5). Next to it is a manned information booth about the various species of marine life in the park. There are also showers and toilets at the beach as well as lifeguards.
If you have never snorkeled before Hanauma Bay is a perfect place to start. For the beginners a good place to start is the Keyhole lagoon, a large sandy opening in the coral. It is often as calm as a swimming pool. For the more confident once, it´s better on the outside of the reef. Follow the signboards how to get there. But always listen to the lifeguards advice about the channel currents. It´s generally easier getting outside the reef than it is getting back in.
The coral reef in the bay is around 7000 years old. Here you will see schools of fish in all shapes and colours, and if you are luck a sea turtle or two. I was told that you are most likely to see the turtles at the fare end of the beach, but no such luck. I have tried three times, so I guess they are not that common to see. They say that snorkeling is great year-round. I found the visibility much better when I was there in February that now in April. Whenever you come, mornings are always better than afternoons as crowds of swimmers haven´t stirred up the sand yet.
Despite being protected this beloved bay is still a threatened ecosystem and feeding the fish is strictly prohibited. The water over the coral is shallow so be very careful not to step on it or knock it with your fins.
After hours of snorkeling you might feel hungry. No worries. A snack bar is located by the entrance. Make sure to have your hand stamped before you go there so you can reenter. It is allowed to bring the food down to the beach. There is also a gift shop by the ticket windows.
If you arrive by car be sure to be there early. The parking lot fills up very quickly. You can also reach Hanauma Bay by theBus #22 (Beach bus) from Waikiki. It takes one hour and cost $2.25.
Hanauma Bay is fantastic and snorkeling is great. On a visit to Oahu this is a must. Just be responsible and take good care of the place when visiting.
Part of the Beautiful Hawaii travel blog
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