Discover the Natural Beauty of Hanauma Bay Beach in Hawaii
Hanauma is a marine embayment formed within a tuff ring on Oahu's southeast coast, in the East Honolulu neighborhood of Hawaii Kai. Hanauma Bay is one of the island's most popular tourist destinations. In Hawaiian, the prefix hana refers to a bay.
Since 1967, Hanauma Bay has been a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park due to its formation inside a volcanic cone. The bay's distinctive curved shape makes it ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
To better protect the fish and coral reefs of Hanauma Bay, they have also implemented a mandatory 15-minute education program before going down to the beach.
The bay is home to over 400 different species of fish. Hanauma Bay is well-known for its abundance of Honu (Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas). Hanauma serves as a nursery area for immature turtles, which nest at French Frigate Shoals. It's also famous for having a lot of parrotfish.
Parking at the beach is extremely limited, but shuttle services run several times per day out to the bay. There is also a public bus.
Outside of Waikiki and the North Shore beaches, Hanauma Bay in Hawaii is one of the most popular and visited beaches. But it's not about the beach as much as it is about the marine life nature preserve and the incredible Hanauma Bay snorkeling experience.
The bay itself is a remnant of an old volcanic cone and is part of the Koolau Volcano (one of two volcanoes that make up O'ahu). Historically, the bay was a great place for fishing, and Hawaiian royalty used Hanauma as a retreat.
Things to Do In Hanauma Bay Beach Park
There are numerous reasons why Hanauma Bay has become one of the most popular snorkeling spots in all of Hawai'i.
One major advantage is that you do not need to be a good swimmer to enjoy snorkeling there. The water is usually calm, and you can see a lot of fish just by wading in. Just offshore, there is a dense concentration of coral, which is ideal for small children who will be able to see many fish in shallow, calm water.
Hanauma Bay Beach offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some popular activities include
Snorkeling : Hanauma bay beach offers an array of activities for visitors to indulge in. Snorkeling is a must-try activity, as the bay is renowned for its thriving marine life and crystal-clear waters. Snorkeling gear is available for rent on-site, allowing visitors to explore the vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish that inhabit the bay.
Beach Relaxation: For those seeking relaxation, the soft white sand and calm waters of hanauma bay beach make it the perfect spot to unwind and soak up the sun. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, allowing visitors to lounge on the sand all day long.
Guided Tours: Guided tours are also available for visitors who want to learn more about the bay's history and ecology. Knowledgeable guides lead visitors on hikes and snorkeling tours, providing insights into the area's unique ecosystem.
Picnicking and Photography : Hanauma bay beach also has several picnic areas with tables and grills, making it a great spot for a beachside barbecue or family gathering. And with its stunning views and natural beauty, the beach is a photographer's paradise. Visitors can capture the beauty of the bay and its surroundings, including the iconic diamond head crater in the distance.
How To Reach Hanauma Bay Beach Park
Take the H1 Freeway from Waikiki until it becomes Kalanianaole Highway, then continue for about 10 miles. The entrance to Hanauma Bay is on the right, just past the city of Hawaii Kai, at the top of the hill.
Top Places to Visit Around Hanauma Bay Beach Park
- Hanauma Bay State Park
- Spitting Cave of Portlock
- Koko Crater Railway Trail
- Kaloko Beach, Oahu
- Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
- Hanauma Bay Trail
- Kuliouou Ridge Hike
- Eternity Beach
- China Walls
- Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
- Koko Marina Center
- Koko Crater Botanical Garden