Countless people began telling me, “Go to Hanauma Bay!” as soon as they knew I was heading to Hawaii. Not even knowing what it was, I had no idea what to expect. I picked up a few brochures at the airport with photos of Hanauma Bay… but they all looked too good to be true.
Still, I didn’t know what I was in for.
Not until I arrived at the infamous snorkel reef formed from the core of a volcano did I realize the beauty of the bay. Not only were the brochures right, the bay is even more amazing in person!
I walked down the curving path to the beach, threw off my flip-flops, and took in the moment by pressing my feet in the sand and listening to the sound of children’s laughs… THEN I took out my camera!
We ventured over the left side of the bay, where the shuttle driver told us was the best place to snorkel. The company we went with is called Snorkelfest and they are great, I highly recommend calling them if you are going to Hanauma! It’s family-run by a lady named Rachel and she’s very nice! They are the most reasonable company we could find, plus they pick you up from your hotel, provide all the equipment you need, and then drop you back off afterwards!
The fish at Hanauma are beautiful! The left side of the bay was definitely the place to be! It was, however, a time of low tide, as we were warned, so it was harder to get over the coral in some parts.
I found myself at times just stiff-legged, stiff-armed, floating over the water, trying not to scrape my knees on the rocky coral. As the waves began crashing, that became a difficult task and I ended up getting slammed into the coral once. I learned my lesson and stayed away from that area after that incident!
For the rest of the day I enjoyed just swimming around and enjoying watching all the beautiful fish. I was wanting to see a sea turtle or two, but unfortunately they weren’t anywhere to be found. Apparently they are a common sighting around Hanauma Bay, so I’m sure you’ll have better luck than I did if you go!
Check out the video from my trip with lots of underwater footage of Hanauma Bay:
Honolulu on Dwellable