Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
4.5
Bodies of WaterNature & Wildlife Areas
6:45 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
6:45 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
6:45 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
6:45 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
6:45 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
6:45 AM - 4:00 PM
About
This protected marine life conservation area, named after its unique curved bay, is a popular snorkeling spot in Hawaii. Formed within a volcanic cone on the eastern side of Oahu, this marine sanctuary is home to vibrant marine life and well-preserved corals. There is a limited number of visitors allowed in the bay daily, so make a reservation in advance to secure your spot. It's also closed on certain days so remember to check before you go. You can rent snorkeling equipment here—all you have to do is remember to pack some reef-safe sunscreen. Some tours of the North Shore also stop by the bay for a quick photo opportunity.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • RunTailgateRepeat
    Raleigh, North Carolina121 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely time - bring a float
    Visiting here is worth the hassle of getting a reservation. We were able secure a 1pm entry but arrived at 11:15 and entered without issue. We were also able to get a parking spot as early entry people had left for the day. We brought floats and just relaxed in the protected waters.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 6 March 2023
  • downtime48
    Ronan, Montana44 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Day at the beach
    The beach is beautiful. Snorkeling very pleasant—-they have equipment to rent if you don’t have any. Plan in advance with reservations since they only accept so many a day. This is a great place for kids to play. Very friendly staff
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 March 2023
  • Sun Seeker
    Winnipeg, Canada27 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice day, but….
    Getting a reservation here is very challenging! You need to book 2 days in advance at 7:00am online! It’s about a 25 minute Uber to and from Waikiki hotels, however it’s hit or miss as whether the workers at the gate will allow your ride share driver into the park to drop off or pick up! If not you’re looking at a bit of a hike! (It’s uphill all the way out!) Come on guys, make it easier for visitors! The snorkelling and beach are beautiful. You’ll see lots of beautiful fish and coral reefs. The washrooms could be cleaned more often. All in all, an inexpensive family day if you can secure a reservation.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 March 2023
  • 358canthony
    Chesapeake, Virginia4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spectacular views of the Ocean from bottom up!
    All I can say is this was an unforgettable experience! Nothing but love for this place but if you are going you should check online reservations first thing, which opens up at 7am. You can book two days in advance. You must keep trying in order to get tickets. The easiest way to get booked is to select the time that shows more spots available. For example: Showtime 9am has 7 but 11am has 20. Try booking the 11am because you will most likely be denied for the 9am. take a camera that can take pictures underwater. The beach closes I believe at 3 or 4pm. It is all worth it! Spectacular views!!! This was my third visit to Hawaii and I have been going here each time. Hope this helps!
    Visited March 2023
    Written 14 March 2023
  • Frances S
    Clifton Park, New York5 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Bay
    Hanauma Bay is gorgeous. We enjoyed our day at the beach (on a Friday). We brought a picnic lunch and spent the day snorkeling. You need to be in the right area to see the fish. Overall we enjoyed our first day in Hawaii at Hanauma Bay.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 18 March 2023
  • Trelis730
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great beginner snorkeling
    Be sure to plan ahead to secure your tickets!! Worth the effort for sure, Its beautiful. It was our first snorkeling adventure while on the island, It’s fairly shallow with coral close to the shore. We saw several schools of fish. They have lifeguards and staff available to help you identify the fish you see. Plus a tram to bring you back up out of the preserve which we were quite thankful for after a couple hours swimming. It was a good chance for us to get used to the chilly water as well!
    Visited March 2023
    Written 20 March 2023
  • GuppyBerry
    Toronto, Canada11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A-MA-ZING!
    Hanauma Bay is definitely a must do activity for tourists in Hawaii O’ahu island. First it starts with the booking, which is not the easiest. In order to protect the site, the national parks have limited the number of guests to 1,200 a day, so you have to login at 7AM local time to book two days in advance. By 7:05AM all tickets are gone! So be ready with your phones or laptops, have the auto-fill setup it can help as well, and good luck! We reached the place with Uber so I cannot comment about the parking, it was about 20 minutes drive from Waikiki. When you get there you have to wait and watch an educational video about the nature preserve, how to behave, not to damage the coral, etc. Then either you walk down to the beach which is a 5 minutes walk and you can take beautiful pictures, or you take the free shuttle. Then you enjoy the day, swim among the fishes, we even saw a sea lion! The pictures of fishes I am posting are not mine but that’s exactly what is saw, it was amazing, the fishes swim around the corals and are not really bothered to see you, so you can really enjoy. If you are hungry there is a food booth offering drinks, burgers, chicken fingers and other options, just note it’s not by the beach so you’ll have to go back near the entrance. Bring your masks and snorkels, and bring water shoes as there are rocks and corals that can be sharp! The beach closes at 4pm. It was an amazing experience, for adults and young kids!
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 March 2023
  • sbarton79
    Gilbert, Arizona14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best snorkeling...need reservation
    You will need a reservation which is next to impossible to do online. By the time you put in your credit card info, they're sold out. It is absolutely the most unorganized mess on the island (the reservation systems the parks dept put in place.) It favors locals, so if youre visiting you will have to always wait behind locals. Get there 1/2 hour before they open and park down street. Enter parking lot as soon as open to get a "stand by" ticket. There is no oversight to who is getting the reservations Could be tour companies for all they know. Getting one online is a mess. As far a the experience once you get through the Parks Reservation fiasco,,,,its amazing. Great area and a must do on your list.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 9 April 2023
  • Sheila Z
    Katy, Texas22 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Fish!
    This is a beautiful experience. The preserve has restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack place, gift shop, and a shuttle to take you down to the cove. The problem is getting in. We were not able to get tickets so took the advice of other travelers and arrived at 6am and they will have limited tickets. We arrived at 6am, the entrance is blocked and 2 men shout and yell at you to keep going. I was so confused and not sure what to do. We kept going and parked at a lookout for a few minutes and decided that we must have arrived too late and headed back. But when we passed it, cars were all lined up along the side of the road. We got in the line, and were able to enter. The time assigned was 10:30. The parking attendant advised to stay and park as we might not get parking at 10:30. We parked and walked up. A guy was yelling at times and we were in within 5 minutes. I saw amazing fish. So colorful. I felt like I was in a fish tank with so many beautiful fish. You don’t have to go far to see them and the water is calm. This calmed me down from the chaos of the entry! In the end, worth the time.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 April 2023
  • Richard
    Florida23 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun time snorkeling
    This bay is pretty spectacular. Reef everywhere making it a perfect place for snorkeling. We saw many different species of fish. Unfortunately no green sea turtles or monk seals but still was an awesome experience. The check-in/orientation process was a little unorganized. Took about an hour between the different lines we had to wait in, a 10 minute speech, a 5 minute video, and then the tram ride down to the beach. They have a snack bar back at the top of the hill which makes no sense. Why wouldn’t you have it at the beach where everyone is. Non Hawaii residents cost $25 per person which seemed high since residents are free. Many reviews say parking is tough but we had no problem. Arrived at 9:00 and was still plenty of spaces. Visited with my wife and teenage kids. Everyone had fun.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 June 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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TinkToo
Edmonton, Canada206 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
We tried for two days to get reservations right at 7:00 am when tickets dropped but could never get the website to load unfortunately. Demand is high! There are walk in tickets available for every time slot, not many though. We arrived at Hanauma Bay at 6:30 am and waited in our car, outside the park on the road, to enter at 6:45 am. You will see all the white tour vans sitting out on the road waiting as well. There is someone sitting on a bench with a blue umbrella, that person hands out walk in tickets (you still need to pay at the window when your reservation time arrives). Six of us were able to get walk in tickets for 8:00 am thankfully. Love the snorkeling and saw many different types of fish. Staff are all very helpful. The tram up and down the hill is very handy. Food is expensive, but choices are limited. Highly recommend for a great beach day!
Written 27 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

umestagramm2
Rancho Cucamonga, CA32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We loved everything about Hanauma Bay, even that there was a fee to get in. The view and scenery are worth the small fee and we do recommend that if you goto Hawaii....you need to go and view this spectacle of nature!
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cristobal E
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
It is not worth paying 25 dollars to see fewer fish than on any other beach where you can snorkel. In fact, there were less fishes than in other places, and always the same. Dont go after 12.00, because at 15.00 they kick you out of the place. And if you go anyway, before making the reservation check if its going to be sunny, otherwise you will freeze. (I made a reservation, and when I got there, it was possible to get in without it, so I recommend no doing the reservation, because you dont get refund if its a cold day). But remember, much better to go to other places like Tutle bay, Haleiwa, Mokuleia, pupukea, and so many others.
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roving584030
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Amazing
Great snorkeling
Number one stop on island!
Two things on Oahu to do is Haina bay and Shark cage diving. Both 5 stars
Written 10 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emma W
Auckland, New Zealand671 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
We chose Hanauma Bay for snorkeling on Oahu because we thought it would be better for a novice snorkeler. The introduction is quite time consuming, we didn't get down to the bay until at least 30 minutes after our ticketed entry time.

It was a windy day so the water was quite choppy, the bay is not as sheltered as it appears. Unfortunately there wasn't much to see, no fish to see in waist deep water. Even further out all we saw was a few tropical fish, nothing exciting. At least it worked out a lot cheaper than going on a snorkel tour.
Written 9 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marcy S
Winnipeg, Canada52 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Great time, lots of different species of fish. Didn’t see any turtles. Had to wait a bit in line but was able to get in earlier than our reservation because there was space available. Overall nice clean area. The water started to get a bit choppier later in the day, water is quite shallow, so nice easy snorkel.
Written 9 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Molly W
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
We went early in the morning with a reservation for a truly spectacular snorkeling experience. I hadn't been snorkeling at Hanauma in many years and it was as beautiful as ever, maybe more so as the early morning meant we had it mostly to ourselves. I highly, highly recommend this.
Written 27 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charmaine K
West Kelowna, Canada1 contribution
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
The bay is absolutely gorgeous. Amazing snorkeling. BUT... staff were extremely rude to us the entire visit. For example, instead of announcing over the intercom that the park was closing we were told to "get out". The upper area is open until 4pm but they would not allow the uber through the gate. The security gaurd made us walk to the top gate. Not so easy for a old girl. When I asked why, I was told because there is a sign. Even the uber driver said they were usually allowed in the gate until 4. Poorly managed. No sense of hospitality at all.
Written 26 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tutana
Tempe, AZ322 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
This is a nice place for families to go. The water is a bit murky and not a lot of fish and no good coral unless you go out beyond the buoys. I don't recommend that unless you are a great swimmer with good fins. The current coming back in was dicey. Make sure you make your reservation at 7am 2 days before you go. The slots fill up fast. We've been here at least 4 times.
Written 13 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tween mom of two
Windermere, FL32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023
This is an experience you won't want to miss. Yet, after a few failed attempts, I finally was able to get a reservation. The key is having the reservation site loaded ahead of time and refresh right at the time. It may take a few days to finally get one!
Written 9 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (Honolulu) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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