Top 10 Best Places for Snorkeling in Oahu

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1. Kahe Point Beach Park

If you want a once-in-a-lifetime snorkeling experience on the west side of gorgeous Oahu, look no further than Electric Beach! This beach gets its name from the electric power plant that’s situated right across the street, and it’s only a 5-minute drive north from Ko Olina Resort.

What makes Kahe Point Beach stand out from other snorkeling spots is the power plant nearby. The large cooling pipes underwater release water that’s a few degrees warmer than the surrounding ocean, which attracts fish, eels, and turtles. Just keep in mind that swimming to this spot requires endurance since you’ll be fighting strong currents the whole way.


2. Queens Beach

If you are in search of a breathtaking, quiet beach experience, Queens Beach is the place for you. 

With its white sand, clear blue water and views of San Souci Recreational Park, Sans Souci Beach offers visitors a serene escape from their busy lives. 

The park surrounding the beach is perfect for picnics or lounging on the grassy area beneath palm trees. Additionally, this location boasts some of the best sunset views around!


3. Ko Olina Lagoons

Ko Olina Lagoons should be your go-to destination if you’re seeking a breathtaking, secluded spot on Oahu. This oasis consists of four crescent-shaped coves that are close to each other. People staying at the beachfront resorts near Ko Olina Lagoons have public access to all four of the lagoons, even though only one is technically public.

This lagoon is walls off by man-made breakwaters, which protects swimmers from rip tides. With its open roof design, this spot is excellent for families with kids as they can swim safely and walk around to try their hand at spotting colorful fish, turtles, and even Monk seals!


4. Secret Beach

Lanikuhonua’s Secret Beach is a hidden gem and difficult to find, but the extra effort is worth it if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind turtle snorkeling experience.

If you’re looking for a beautiful and natural cove that offers protection from the ocean, this is definitely the spot for you. It’s located within the Ko Olina resort area (between Sacred Beach and Paradise Cove Beach) which makes it perfect for beginner snorkelers. 

Although this beach is lovely, there are rocks in the way which could make it difficult for parents with small children to get to. Please take this into account before deciding if this spot would be suitable for your family.


5. Makaha Beach

Makaha Beach is stunning- world renowned for its picturesque landscape and inviting waters. An ideal spot for swimming and snorkeling, however it’s important to check the water conditions before setting out. In addition to the beach itself, there is a lovely park with an overlook of Makaha Beach.

A snorkeling cruise along the Waianae Coast is an unforgettable way to encounter a multitude of ocean creatures. From spotting fish species, dolphins, and turtles- you’re guaranteed to have an incredible time!


6. Three Tables

The islanders named this beach Three Tables because of the three big coral reefs that sit close to shore, roughly fifty feet away. You’re in for a treat if you catch sight of them during low tide from the bay.

The reef is packed with different vibrant fish and sea turtles are often found there too!

People have obviously been talking about this great place to go snorkeling–if you want to see marine life up close, Three Tables should be your top pick!

But if you love fishing, then this is not the beach for you. All types of fishing are banned in this area as it falls under the Pupukea Marine Life Conservation District.


7. Shark’s Cove

Shark’s Cove is a snorkeler’s dream come true, with better visibility and more marine life than many other locations. It is located in Pupukea near Three Tables on the island of Oahu. The wonderful weather conditions present at Shark’s Cove make it an ideal spot for any level of snorkeler, beginner to advanced.

To prevent any cuts or scrapes, make sure to wear water shoes when getting in and out of the ocean– there are sharp lava rocks everywhere.

If you need any snorkeling gear, don’t stress! There’s a shop close by that has all the essentials for your next underwater escapade.

Shark’s Cove is an excellent place to take the family for a fun-filled day. With showers, food trucks and clean restrooms available, Shark’s Cove has something everyone will enjoy. Most importantly, though – the real star of show are the breathtaking views under the water! So put on your snorkeling gear and dive right in for an experience you won’t soon forget!


8. Kuilima Cove

Looking for a secluded, picturesque spot on Turtle Bay Resort’s east side? Look no further than Kuilima Cove! Although this area is well-known for its excellent surfing locations, Kuilima Cove offers clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling all year long. The bay is serene, with glass-like water that is protected from waves by a large rock formation.

Kuilima Cove is a little gem of a spot that packs a big punch in terms of coral and marine life. The colors are absolutely stunning, and the variety of fish will leave you feeling like you’ve seen it all (even if you haven’t). With calm waters and excellent visibility, this cove is perfect for snorkelers of all levels – from beginners to experienced swimmers. Come see what all the fuss is about at Kuilima Cove!


9. Turtle Canyon

Make your turtle dreams come true by snorkeling at the Turtle Canyon reef near Waikiki. You’re guaranteed to see countless turtles, maybe even more than you ever wanted!

The mesmerizing experience of seeing Hawaiian green turtles getting their shells cleaned by small fishes can only be observed in Turtle Canyon, which is also known as the ‘cleaning station.’ You’ll need to book a boat tour with a snorkeling company to get there.

We can assure you that swimming with turtles in their natural habitat is an experience worth having. It’s unforgettable and something you’ll always remember.


10. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

If you’re looking for an amazing snorkeling experience and want to see some of the most beautiful sea life Hawaii has to offer, then Hanauma Bay is the place for you. 

This natural conservation area has been attracting visitors since 1967 and features a world-renowned reef, making it one of the best spots in Oahu (if not THE best spot) to go snorkeling.

You can expect to see eels, tropical fish, urchins, and so much more when you visit – just make sure you get your tickets early so that you don’t miss out!






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