Everything You Need to Know About Snorkeling in Oahu

The Paradise of the Pacific is pounding upon your door! More than 550,000 people visited the Hawaiian Islands in October 2021, and most of them hit the beach.

You can lounge on the sands, or you can go surfing on beautiful waves. But you’re missing out if you don’t try snorkeling in Oahu. It can bring you up close to animals and coral reefs, yet you need to know good practices for it.

Where are the best spots for Oahu snorkeling? What do you need to do to avoid hurting Hawaii’s wildlife? How should you stay safe while snorkeling?

Answer these questions and you can enjoy all of Hawaii’s natural wonders. Here is your quick guide.

Some Spots Are Better Than Others

You can do Oahu snorkeling at any site outside of a nature preserve or boating channel. But Oahu turtle snorkeling off the shore of a crowded beach may not be a good idea. Fish and turtles like to congregate in areas with little disturbance.

The best snorkeling in Oahu is in secluded areas away from popular tourist attractions. If you want to see turtles, you should visit Kahalu’u Beach Park. If you prefer dolphins, you should head out to Kealakekua Bay on a boat.

You Should Go On Oahu Snorkeling Tours

Tour guides can help you learn about snorkeling and let you snorkel in great spots. You should look at a few different Oahu boat tours before you hire one.

Make sure to check the cancellation policies of different companies. Some companies do not offer rain checks or any free cancellations at all. If a policy seems confusing, you should contact the company for more information and look at their customer reviews.

You Must Follow Reef Etiquette

You can swim near a reef, but you must be very careful. Keep your distance from the reef and avoid swimming near it. Snorkel at an angle so the current cannot push you into the reef or any fish.

Do not bring anything that can fall into the reef or pollute it. This includes sunscreen, plastic bottles, and gasoline. Leave everything on your boat or in your hotel room.

Staying Safe Can Be Tricky

You can drown in any body of water, including very shallow ones. Make sure you can hold your breath in case your snorkel falls out or you need to dive below the surface.

Never snorkel alone, and try to bring the biggest possible group with you. You should also avoid snorkeling in high surf conditions or very deep water, especially if you are new to snorkeling.

Try Out Snorkeling in Oahu

Snorkeling in Oahu is like nothing else in the world. Get away from the major tourist centers and visit more remote locations like Kealakekua Bay.

You may need a boat in order to access great spots. You should hire a tour guide so you can get to locations quickly and develop your skills.

Never go near the reef, and try to stay at an angle to it. Snorkel with friends and experienced guides and avoid dangerous conditions like rainstorms.

Once you’ve tried snorkeling, you can branch out. Read more Hawaii travel guides by following our coverage.

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