Hanauma Bay is a marine embayment within a volcanic cone and is located along the southeast coast of Island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. Hanauma is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Island. Hanauma is known for snorkeling and fishing opportunities. Once a place to accommodate huge volume of tourists, Hanauma now has limited daily tourists to avert the ecosystem from getting disrupted and to protect the endemic fish population. The spot is clear and sandy while coral starts a way offshore and are visible in shallow water. Hanauma Bay is a protected marine park today and acts as a buffer to protect the cove from high winds and rough seas.
Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay:
Snorkelling in Hanauma Bay is a heavenly experience. The crystal blue water here is home to bright and diverse species of fishes, rays and turtles. Snorkelling at Hanauma Bay does not demand any great skill. Even the most inexperienced snorkeler can have a great time swimming with the Hawaiian wildlife here.
The sea creatures at Hanauma Bay also do not get afraid when approached by human beings, unlike many other top snorkeling spots. And this factor makes snorkeling at Hanauma all the more exciting and worthy. The bay features over 450 species of colourful tropical fishes like parrotfish as well as octopi, crabs and eels. The snorkeler would do a great favour to himself by carrying an underwater camera to shoot colourful fish and other sea creatures. Spotted Eagles and Green Sea Turtles are found here.
How to snorkel in Hanauma Bay:
Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is quite a simple affair. Rental equipments are available on the beach for the tourists if they do not have their own gear. Those who have arrived for the maiden snorkeling trip, they ould also receive some brief instructions on how to maneuver around and also to treat the wildlife in water with respect. Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay is shallow and hence is easily accessible without fins. Before entering the Hanauma Bay marine park, the tourists would be shown a safety video to brief them about various guidelines for using the bay and for interacting with the sea creatures.
Tips while snorkelling:
Snorkelling in Hanauma Bay also demands some basic precautions. It is always advised that the visitors must not touch the wildlife or the coral. Touching an animal, particularly if it is swimming with its mother or calves, is strict no no. Also when moving about within the wildlife, it is always advised to make calm and smooth movement.
The tourists must not touch the corals while snorkeling. Touching them can cause abrasion from their sharpness as well as spread harmful bacteria that can kill them.
Getting to Hanauma Bay:
Hanauma Bay is located close to Wakiki. One can drive all through or take a guided tour on a shuttle bus. There is a parking place at the rim of the crater for visitors. However, when the parking place is full, no more car is allowed hence making it inconvenient for the latecomers. One can also take a regular bus to the crater and walk in.