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Oahu Snorkeling Spots
This bay is a favorite (and crowded) snorkeling spot. The waters are clear, warm, and calm. Friendly and plentiful fish swim close by. The setting is gorgeous and easy to access. Even in waist deep water, dozens of species of reef and inshore fish common to Hawaiian waters can be seen. Novice snorkelers like to stay in the safe, shallow inner bay. Those with more experience take a passage through the reef to gain access to Witch's Brew, a turbulent cove, and other outer reef areas. Location: Kalanianaole Highway (Route 72) to Koko Head; turn onto the side road near the top of the point.
Makaha Beach Park
Makaha Beach is Oahu's second most popular snorkeling site. The clear, aqua blue water with little current is superb for snorkeling in summer. There are underwater caverns, arches, and tunnels as deep as 40 feet. Sea life includes schools of taape, octopuses, several species of eels, green sea turtles, transiting dolphins, and sometimes manta and eagle rays. Location: 35 miles northwest of Honolulu on Farrington Highway in Makaha.
This massive bowl-shaped crater near Mokuleia is easy to navigate and has good visibility. Inside the bowl, parrotfish, unicorn surgeonfish and ulua swim in abundance. The walls of the crater form a sort of underwater Grand Canyon, full of caves and pukas (holes). Location: Five miles west of Haleiwa Harbor near Mokuleia on the North Shore.
Kapiolani Park Beach
The best spot for snorkeling here is the center of the beach park, in a section called Queen's Beach or Queen's Surf Beach, between the Natatorium and the Waikiki Aquarium. The reef in front of the aquarium has easy access to the beach and the waters are usually calm. Location: Waikiki, near Diamond Head.
Oahu snorkeling providers
Other great snorkeling spots in Hawaii:
Big Island Snorkeling Spots
Kauai Snorkeling Spots
Maui Snorkeling Spots
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