All the islands have places where, by snorkeling, you can gain access to one of nature’s most marvelous realms, and the ocean remains one of the best arenas for exercising your sense of discovery as well as your body. Hawaii is certainly among the best snorkeling locations in the world. Plan on making time for at least one day for the activity during your time in Hawaii.

You will be able to rent snorkeling gear on your island, or it will be provided if you take a snorkeling tour. You may choose to use your own equipment. In that case, here are two things to keep in mind, whether you purchase at home or after you arrive in Hawaii:

  • Choose fins that are snug but not too tight. If they hurt or curl your toes, you may develop cramps while snorkeling. (Remember they will slip on easier when your feet are wet.)
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly. Put it on your head, suck it into your face and breathe through the tube. (Wear it slightly high on the back of your head and not too tight.) Put the mouthpiece all the way into your mouth and make sure it’s comfortable.

Once you’re in Hawaii and in the ocean, remember that, while it isn’t likely, your mask can accidentally fill with water. (This usually happens when the strap has slipped down to far.) A flooded mask is easily cleared by raising your head out of the water, pulling the lower edge away from your mouth and simply letting the water drain out. Some snorkelers like to leave a little water in their masks, where it can be swished around if the mask gets foggy.

To use your fins correctly, kick from the hip and keep your knees and ankles relaxed to prevent your leg muscles from cramping. Always keep your fins below the water line and point your toes in the opposite direction from where you want to go.

Know your personal limitations. They will diminish the more you snorkel.

Stay relaxed. When the creatures you’re admiring (and photographing) realize you aren’t a threat, they will go back to their normal routines.

There’s a variety of guided snorkel tours for all ages and abilities on all the islands. They’re geared for beginners and adventurers alike. If you’d like to snorkel on a tour, of if you’d just like some advice about going it on your own, pick an agent from our website or call 1-800-843-8771 any time.

By the way, if you’re “going it on your own,” be sure you have a buddy. Never snorkel alone


  1. Is there any good snorkeling at Shriners beach in Waimanalo? My friends from the mainland that visit me always want to go there to snorkel but I’m pretty sure there is nothing there or on the Hawaii Kai side to see.

    Any suggestions in that area besides Hanauma?

Leave a Reply

Click for the BBB Business Review of this Travel Agencies & Bureaus in Honolulu HI
Travel Industry Logos