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It’s not really a surprise that Forbes Magazine lists a Hawaii beach as one of the world’s top snorkeling spots. However, you may be surprised to learn it is not an expensive resort location or even the spot where the First Family went snorkeling on their recent vacation. No, it’s a public beach on the leeward side of Oahu: Makaha Beach Park.
One of the best snorkeling sites in the Hawaiian Islands is the very accessible Makaha Beach Park, located on the leeward side of Oahu. Visibility runs 100 feet or more. Whether snorkeling at the park beach or at some of the outlying reefs, you’ll spot plenty of fish, sponges and corals, with a chance to see spotted eagle rays, green sea turtles (which grow up to 400 pounds) and resident spinner dolphins. (Beware that in winter, surf may prevent swimming.)
I second the warning about winter weather – waves are much higher and more unpredictable in all areas, especially the leeward coast. I also agree with the article’s description of snorkeling in Hawaii as easy and cheap. My boyfriend snorkels often and has bought his own gear at a local pe shop. However, I went for the first time when my sister visited. We rented masks and fins from a tour that included a ride to and from the hotel. (We could have caught the bus but she was on a quick visit so time was valuable.) Another option is to buy an inexpensive set at a pe shop, or almost every grocery or drug store has cheap ones available year-round. You could use it a couple of times and not worry about whether it fits in the suitcase back home.
It is easy to paddle around, not very physically demanding, and you can set your own pace. It’s also easy to see colorful and unusual fish. No matter where you take your Hawaii vacation, you should be near a snorkeling spot – slip on in!