Hawaii Guide

Snorkeling Kauai Kauai

Snorkeling Kauai Hot Spots and Companies

Kauai snorkeling is possible when the ocean is calm but be aware that on many of Kauai's beaches it may be too dangerous to go into the water on some days. As a general guide, the north coast sees high surf and rough waters during the winter months while the south shore is much calmer and during the summer months it is the other way round. Weather conditions can vary from day to day though so check local conditions while planning your snorkeling trip. There are beaches in Kauai which are sheltered or protected so they are safe for swimming and snorkeling. Drifting along in the clear water in the sunshine is the perfect way to appreciate Kauai's tropical fish and marine life. It is worth looking out for turtles as they are seen quite frequently. Kauai's coral reefs are nothing special but the vast variety of marine life and clear, warm water more than makes up for that.

Places to go snorkeling

There is a reef stretching between Kee Beach and Haena Beach Park on the north shore which is a great place for snorkeling. The reef can be accessed from either beach. Kee Beach is right at the end of Highway 560 where the road stops and Haena Beach Park is off the highway just before you get to Kee Beach. Tunnels Beach in the same region has a reef with plenty of fish but don't go in the water if the ocean is rough.

Kauai's largest reef can be found at Anini Beach, just off Kalihiwai Road near Princeville airport, and occasionally deep sea fish can be seen at the edge of the reef. It is best to go snorkeling when the tide is coming in as there can be strong currents which will pull you out to sea when the tide is outgoing. Hideaways Beach at Princeville is excellent for snorkeling when the waters are calm with its diverse marine life and interesting underwater features. This beach is generally quite quiet.

Poipu Beach Park is popular for families as it safe for children to go in the water to swim or boogie board. It is a good place to learn how to snorkel as it is shallow and sheltered. Another good spot for those who are new to snorkeling is Lydgate State Park in Wailua. This is protected from the main ocean and has great facilities such as lifeguards and restrooms. Salt Pond Beach Park off Highway 50 near Hanapepe is another great family beach with good snorkeling.

Tourist Tips and Information

When snorkeling on Kauai take care to help preserve the marine environment by following a few simple guidelines below:

  • Do not feed fish or other marine animals this disturbs the balance of the delicate eco system and leads to whole species dying out.
  • If you wear gloves in the water, do not touch the reef or take anything out of the ocean. Touching the coral can damage it.
  • Move slowly with gentle kicks this will avoid disturbing the fish and marine life.

Equipment Rental and Purchase

Snorkeling equipment can be bought from Walmart in Lihue or Kmart in Kukui Grove Shopping Center . The hotels, guesthouses and resorts often have snorkeling equipment for their guests to use. Snorkeling equipment can be rented from Snorkel Bob's, Kapaa (tel: 1 808 823 9433) or Koloa (tel: 1 808 742 2206) and they also do snorkeling boat trips. Dive shops also have snorkeling equipment for rental see Kauai scuba diving for details.