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Throngs of Japanese tour buses come to this beach which lies in an old volcanic crater. I like to come very early- you have to anyway if you want to get parking- or come late in the afternoon when the sun is casting golden light on the sand and the people have gone home. If you want to snorkel it's best to come early in the morning before sunscreens have muddied the water. You will see many, many colorful fish amongst the rocks. Hanauma Bay is famous for its great snorkeling. Night snorkeling is on the second and sometimes fourth Saturday nights of the month from 7pm-10pm. You can have the bay almost to yourself on those nights, and can rent snorkel gear and waterproof flashlights.
Upon paying and entering the park (bring your ID if you're a Hawaii resident for a cheaper rate), one must watch a 10-minute video explaining and advocating the preservation of Hanauma Bay. The walk down to Hanauma Bay is steep but short. It is a paved road, and there are great views of the bay all the way down.
The east side of the beach is my favorite side to swim because it is sheltered.
If you walk around the rocks on the east side of the beach, you will come to Toilet Bowl, a crevice in the rock where water gushes in and out and fool-hardy youth jump in for the ride.
There is a sloped grassy lawn behind the beach, a nice place to sit in the shade. The beach also has some thin shade from the scattered palms.
Lazy travelers or those with children can take the trolley back up the hill for a few dollars, while us poor saps who are too proud huff and puff to the top.
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Clear water for some great snorkeling!
Hanauma Bay is located at 7455 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu HI 96825, call (808) 396-4229. You can reserve a shuttle there from Waikiki. If driving, from Honolulu, take Kalanianaole Hwy. Pass Koko Marina- a good place to stop for food. I recommend Greek Marina for their amazing appetizers. At the top of the hill, turn right into Hanauma Bay's parking lot. Signs will tell you if there is any parking left. If the parking is full, you will have to come back another time (or enjoy the Southeast Oahu Scenic Drive) because there is nowhere else to park.
The beach is CLOSED ON TUESDAYS and is open Wed-Mon from 6am-6pm.
There are restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and a snack shop.
It costs $7.50 per person to enter the beach (local residents, active military, and children aged 12 and under enter free), and $1 for parking. Tram ride is $1 down and $1.25 up. Pets are not allowed.
There are beach wheelchairs available for free at the Beach Information Kiosk from 8am-4pm. You can rent a snorkel set for $20.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
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