Located in the mid-Pacific, the Hawaiian island of Kauai is home to a large tropical rainforest, dramatic cliffs on its Na Pali Coast and home to some of Hawaii’s best hiking. While there are bountiful options of activities on land, Kauai snorkeling should not be overlooked and is a hidden gem in the Hawaii snorkeling circuit. Today we will look at snorkeling in Kauai in some depth and explore the options available to novice and expert snorkelers alike will visiting the 550 square mile Hawaiian island.
One of the absolute best times to plan your Kauai snorkeling trip is in the summer, when boat tours will take you along the Na Pali Coast, which is one of the most famous back drops in the world and in many Hollywood films. One convenient aspect of Kauai snorkeling is that almost every snorkel location can be accessed directly from a beach. As with some other islands in Hawaii, Kauai provides snorkelers the chance to swim with green sea turtles just off the beach, often in ideal depths as they are not too deep but deep enough for great snorkeling.
If you are looking for more of a reclusive beach that provides snorkeling options check out Hideaways Beach on the islands north sore. Also called Pali Ke Kua to the locals, Hideaway beach like other snorkeling spots in Hawaii is best snorkeled in summer months, while the ocean is calm. The best of the corals are just a short distance from shore, which make this Kauai snorkeling spot one of the most worthwhile trips on the island.
Another snorkeling location on the north shore are the snorkeling tunnels, also known as Makua Beach. This large reef is in the shape of a bay which keeps the waters calm and the corals inside it pristine. The horseshoe in nature coral reef provides tons of caves and tunnels that more experienced snorkelers should be sure to check out on the reef’s outer edges.
The south shore of Kauai in my opinion provides for some of the best snorkeling on the whole island. Be sure to check out Koloa Landing, which is an old boat ramp no longer in use. Here you can see some of the islands’ largest and healthiest coral heads. Unlike many of the other reefs you will find while in Kauai snorkeling, Koloa Landing is best snorkeled in the winter months because of its location on the north shore, avoiding the waves that surfers flock to annually.