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Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

O'ahu, Hawai'i

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Hanauma Bay

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  • Picnic area at Hanauma Bay Park.- Hanauma Bay
  • Main entrance at Hanauma Bay with concessions and a visitor center.- Hanauma Bay
  • Main entrance at Hanauma Bay with concessions and a visitor center.- Hanauma Bay
  • View of Hanauma Bay with Pai'Olu'Olu Point in the distance.- Hanauma Bay
  • View of Hanauma Bay's coral reef, which is almost completely dead.- Hanauma Bay
  • Hanauma Bay with Palea Point at left and Pai'Olu'Olu Point at right.- Hanauma Bay
  • View of Hanauma Bay's coral reef, which is almost completely dead.- Hanauma Bay
  • Hanauma Bay Beach.- Hanauma Bay
  • Hanauma Bay Beach.- Hanauma Bay
  • Hanauma Bay Beach.- Hanauma Bay
  • Hanauma Bay Beach.- Hanauma Bay
  • Convict surgeonfish (Acanthurus triostegus) at the reef in Hanauma Bay.- Hanauma Bay
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Sandy and scenic beach. Snorkeling. Extensive reef system.
Cons: 
Reef is nearly dead. Averages 3,000 visitors per day. Amusement park feel. Very limited parking.
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Region:
O'ahu, HI
Congestion: 
High
Location type: 
Sandy beach
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Along with Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay is probably the most popular destination for tourists visiting O'ahu. It was declared a protected marine area and underwater park in 1967, and over 400 species of fish have been cataloged within the bay. Known for the honu, or green sea turtle, these docile sea creatures nest in the faraway French Frigate Shoals and make their way to the Hawaiian Islands. The crater that Hanauma Bay sits in was formed 32,000 years ago, according to scientists, and it creates a perfect bay for people and the sea life to interact safely.

Most of the snorkeling and diving around O'ahu is lackluster when compared to hotspots such as Belize or Australia. This bay, however, is the best Hawai'i has to offer because of the high concentration of fish here. You can find large schools of fish scattered throughout different places but not so many in one place at one time. Potential underwater sightings at Hanauma Bay could include juvenile jack trevally (papio), octopus (tako), the famous state fish called the humuhumunukunukuapua'a and its various trigger-fish buddies, eels of all types, goat fish (weke), bone fish (o'io), needle and stickfish, a ton of parrot fish (koʻolauloa iʻa), and countless others.

There are lifeguards on duty and stores to buy anything you would need to enjoy this beach. First-time visitors need to watch a short video on the conservation and safety rules before entering the water. About 3,000 visitors per day visit the park, nearly 1,000,000 each year. The park is closed on Tuesdays to give it a break from the heavy traffic. There are shuttles to and from Waikīkī and a $7 entry fee. Kids under 12 years old are free, and so are all active military and locals with state IDs. The parking lot fills up quickly, so show up early.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(75 within a 30 mile radius)

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