The Oahu island of Hawaii draws more visitors than any other with its incredible scenery as well as its bustling cities. Furthermore, the crystal clear water and white sand beaches make for some amazing snorkeling as well, ranking as the top activity on the whole island. Beyond Hanauma Bay, which we looked at here previously, below are some can’t miss spots when snorkeling Oahu.
Makaha Beach Park
Makaha Beach is 35 miles northwest of Honolulu and one of the best spots on the entire island for snorkeling. The perfectly blue water is calm and its lack of current provides for great snorkeling all year round, especially in the summer months. Slowly creeping out from the beach, the water reaches depths of up to 40 feet and provides tunnels and arches that can be snorkeled for hours. Makaha Beach is also home to an abundance of wildlife. Everything from green sea turtles, manta, eagle rays, octopuses and eels make their home at Makaha.
Kapiolani Park Beach
Located near Waikiki next to Diamond Head, Kapiolani Beach is a very unique experience. For snorkeling, one of the best spots is in the center in a section called Queen’s Beach. There is also an aquarium at the beach, Waikiki Aquarium, as well as easy access to a public beach nearby. Hawaii’s first official park, Kapiolani Park offers 140 acres of beaches for swimming, surfing and snorkeling. If your snorkeling Oahu, you have to check out the Sans Souci Beach, located across from the park. The beach is next to Otani Kaimani Beach Hotel, and allows snorkelers to swim straight out from the beach. As in most cases, make sure to snorkeling the morning to see the most wild life as possible.
Located on the North Shore about an hour from Honolulu, Sharks Cove is a must-see when snorkeling Oahu. The location however is between two large surf spots, so you’ll want to check the swells on the day you head out. Summer is a great time to visit the cove because it is in Hawaii’s surfboarding “offseason” when waters should be calm. There are no sand beaches here however, so you’ll want to be careful entering and exiting the bay which ranges from 8 to 15 feet deep. One of the best places to snorkel at Sharks Cove is on its southern side at the Pupukea tide pools, which provides calm waters to explore the corals and wildlife.