Hanauma Bay Snorkeling

Hanauma Bay Information

Discover Hanauma Bay

A Snorkeler's Paradise on Oahu

Hanauma Bay, nestled on the southeastern coast of Oahu, Hawaii, stands out as a premier snorkeling destination, renowned for its vibrant marine life and distinctive crescent shape. Originally formed within a volcanic cone, this protected bay now offers one of the most accessible and educational snorkeling experiences in the Hawaiian Islands.

Why Hanauma Bay is Special?

Hanauma Bay is a haven for an array of marine species, from brightly colored fish to majestic sea turtles and intricate coral reefs. The bay’s rich biodiversity makes it a fascinating underwater paradise for snorkelers of all ages and skill levels. Snorkelers can expect close encounters with species like the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaii’s state fish), vibrant parrotfish, and graceful green sea turtles, offering a unique and immersive experience.

The bay’s clear, turquoise waters provide exceptional visibility, allowing snorkelers to fully appreciate the underwater spectacle. The serene, picturesque surroundings of the bay, set against the lush backdrop of Oahu’s volcanic landscape, create a breathtaking environment for both relaxation and exploration. The unique crescent shape of Hanauma Bay, a remnant of its volcanic origins, adds to its natural allure, making it a visually stunning location.

Hanauma Bay offers an informative educational program designed to enhance visitors’ understanding of the bay’s history, marine life, and conservation efforts. Upon arrival, visitors watch a short video that highlights the importance of preserving this delicate ecosystem. The educational initiatives at Hanauma Bay emphasize responsible snorkeling practices, ensuring that visitors are aware of how to protect and respect the bay’s vibrant marine environment. This commitment to education helps maintain the bay’s pristine condition for future generations.

Hanauma Bay is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Oahu. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or a beginner, the bay offers an unforgettable experience that showcases the natural beauty and rich marine life of Hawaii.

Getting to Hanauma Bay: Your Guide to Transportation Options


By Car from Waikiki:

  • Start by heading east on H1.
  • Follow the signs directing you to Hanauma Bay.
  • Continue on H1 East until you reach the designated exit for Hanauma Bay.
  • Follow the exit ramp and look for signs indicating the entrance to the bay.

The drive should take approximately 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

By Public Transportation:

  • From Waikiki, take BUS 22.
  • The bus ride takes about an hour and a half.
  • Stay on the bus until you reach the Hanauma Bay stop, which is clearly marked.

By Taxi or Rideshare:

  • Use services like Uber or Lyft for a direct and convenient ride.
  • The ride from Waikiki typically takes around 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

By Tour Bus:

  • Many tour companies offer packages that include transportation to and from Hanauma Bay.
  • These tours often include additional amenities and guided experiences.

By Bicycle:

  • For the more adventurous, biking from Waikiki to Hanauma Bay is an option.
  • The route is approximately 12 miles and takes you along scenic coastal roads.
  • Be prepared for some hills and ensure you have proper safety gear.

Hanauma Bay Entry and Parking Details


Entrance Fee:

  • The entrance fee to Hanauma Bay is $25.00.
  • Accepted payment methods: Cash, MasterCard, or Visa.

Free Admission:

  • Kids 12 & under
  • Active military personnel
  • Local residents with proper ID

Acceptable Proof of Residency:

Current Hawaii Driver’s License
Current Hawaii State ID with a Hawaii address (must be valid for 1 year or more)
Current Hawaii School Student ID with current year or semester validation

Note: Only Hawaii State ID is accepted; utility bills are not valid.

Parking Fees:

  • $3.00 per vehicle (one entry, cash only).

The parking fee is refundable if the vehicle exits the parking lot within 15 minutes.

Frequently asked questions

Hanauma Bay is open Wednesday through Sunday from 6:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Basic facilities like showers & bathrooms are operational

Starting in April 2021 tickets must be Reserved & Paid in advance for the mandatory 9-minute orientation video. Reservations can be made for up to 10 people – 5 Adults and/or 5 kids. Local residents with current valid Hawaii identification may enter without a reservation from 6:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. Visit the Honolulu Parks & Recreation website to reserve your tickets Tickets for the video can be reserved at 7:00 am (HST) every morning All visitors are required to watch the 9-min orientation video Only 1400 guests will be allowed each day / 40 guests every 10 min Parking is first come first served – even if you have a reservation You may rent Snorkel Gear at the bay or bring your own The education center is now open Hanauma Bay is open Wednesday through Sunday from 6:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Basic facilities like showers & bathrooms are operational

The cliffs around the bay and the greenery make it a really nice spot to get away from the busy city life. If you're into nature, snorkeling, or just want to see some of Honolulu's marine life up close, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is definitely worth checking out.

Entrance fee to Hanauma Bay is $25.00 Kids 12 & under, active military and local residents with proper ID are FREE.

Hawaii-themed films and television shows, including Blue Hawaii, Paradise, Hawaiian Style, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Hawaii Five-O, and Magnum, P.I., shot footage at the bay.

If you have not secured tickets online, you will want to get to Hanauma Bay no later than 7:00AM for same day tickets. Afternoon is also a great time to go to Hanauma Bay since the sun will be overhead, and makes snorkeling much easier since the reef will be illuminated.

You may consider bringing your own snacks and beverages since there is only one snack bar at Hanauma Bay, located near the entrance to the park, and not on the beach.

About 30 feet Water depths range to about 30 feet, and visibility is generally good. The outer bay is recommended only for experienced divers.

Hanauma Bay is a snorkeler's paradise, with crystal clear water and an abundance of marine life. Perhaps the most iconic creatures in the bay are the green sea turtles, which can often be seen grazing on the seagrass beds.