Snorkeling in Honolulu and Oahu

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Snorkeling

More Sports and Activities

If you can swim, you can snorkel. And you don't need any formal training, either.

Snorkeling is a favorite pastime for both visitors and residents, and can be done anywhere there's enough water to stick your face in. Each spot will have its great days depending on the weather and time of year, so consult with the purveyor of your gear for tips on where the best viewing is that day. Keep in mind that the North Shore should be attempted only when the waves are calm, namely in the summertime.

Think of buying a mask and snorkel as a prerequisite for your trip—they make any beach experience better. Just make sure you put plenty of sunscreen on your back because once you start gazing below, your head may not come back up for hours.

Best Spots

Equipment and Tours

Hanauma Bay Rental Stand. You can get masks, fins, and snorkels right at the park. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, 7455 Kalanianaole Hwy., Hawaii Kai, HI, 96825.

Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Excursions. If you're going to Hanauma Bay, you have three options: take a chance with limited parking spaces at the park, take The Bus, or contact Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Excursions.They provide transportation to and from Waikiki hotels, equipment, and instruction on how to use the equipment for a reasonable price that does not include the park entrance fee. Guided snorkeling tours are more expensive. 808/306–3393. www.hanaumabaysnorkel.com. From $22.

Honolulu Sailing Company. With a small fleet of mono- and multi-hull sail and power boats, the Honolulu Sailing Company combines boat charters with sailing instruction opportunities. Itineraries may include chartered, private day-sails or power boating around Oahu as well as multiday interisland cruises. Kewalo Basin Harbor, 1125 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI, 96814. 808/239–3900. www.honsail.com.

Snorkel Bob's. This place has all the stuff you'll need—and more—to make your water adventures more enjoyable. Bob makes his own gear and is active in protecting reef fish species. Feel free to ask the staff about good snorkeling spots, as the best ones can vary with weather and the seasons. 700 Kapahulu Ave., Kapahulu, Honolulu, HI, 96816. 808/735–7944. www.snorkelbob.com.

Hanauma Bay Dive Tours. For those who are a little timid about entering these waters, this outfitter prvides a tour with a guide to help alleviate your fears. The company's three-hour Dolphin Adventure departs from Waianae Boat Harbor and includes transportation to/from Waikiki. The company also offers cheaper guided snorkeling tours. Waianae Boat Harbor, 85-491 Farrington Hwy, Waianae, HI, 96792. 808/256–8956. www.hanaumabaydivetours.com. From $120.

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