Woman snorkeling in Hanauma Bay
May 19, 2019
| by
Maria Mancuso

Oahu Things to Do: Guide to Visiting Hanauma Bay

One of the most popular activities in Oahu is to enjoy the pristine beaches and amazing snorkeling. This article, ‘Guide to Visiting Hanauma Bay’ will help you make the most of your visit to this popular snorkeling destination.

One of the most popular Things to do in Oahu is to visit Hanauma Bay and spend the day snorkeling and enjoying the wonderful nature in and around the bay. Hanauma Bay is one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots among the Hawaiian islands which also makes it very popular.

The following Oahu Visitors Blog article, a ‘Guide to Visiting Hanauma Bay’ will help you make the most of enjoying your day discovering and enjoying this amazing natural landmark.

Hanauma Bay on Oahu
The name ‘Hanauma’ is made up from, ‘Hana’ the Hawaiian word for ‘Bay’ and ‘una’ which refers to the shape of the canoes once used by indigenous canoes.

Questions, Answers and Facts about Visiting Hanauma Bay:

About: Hanauma Bay was a preferred destination for Hawaiian Royalty for recreation and fishing for many years. The name ‘Hanauma’ is made up from, ‘Hana’ the Hawaiian word for ‘Bay’ and ‘una’ which refers to the shape of the canoes once used by indigenous canoes. 

Hanauma Bay was honored with the title, ‘Best Beach in the U.S., in 2016 and once you spend time at this magically beautiful natural park, you will see why.  Hanauma Bay offers an ideal marine ecosystem that is home to many colorful fish and coral.

An average of 3,000 people visit Hanauma Bay each day. 

First-time visitors to Hanauma Bay are required to watch an informative  9-minute video before enjoying the park and snorkeling in the bay.  Visitors learn valuable information about the marine life, preservation and safety rules for the park and how they can enjoy the most of their time at the park. 

Man snorkeling with a giant turtle
About 400 species of fish are known to inhabit the bay including Green Turtles, or Honu.

Hours of Operation: Hanauma Bay opens at 6:00 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m. in the Winter months and closes at 7:00 p.m. in Summer months. Hanauma Bay closes every Tuesday and on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Location: Hanauma Bay State Park, 7455 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, Hawaii. 
Getting to Hanauma Bay:  When driving to Hanauma Bay from Waikiki you’ll take the H1 Freeway until it becomes Kalanianaole Hwy. Continue for approximately 8 miles. The Hanauma Bay State Park entrance will be on the right at the top of the hill just past the city of Hawaii Kai.

Aerial View of Hanauma Bay
Aerial view of Hanauma Bay.

There is a parking fee of $1.00 per car.  See below for a complete list of fees. You can also take the #22 Bus from Waikiki.  It is approximately a 45-50 minute trip.

Alternatively, you can take one of our designated Shuttle Vans that provides round-trip transportation to Hanauma Bay from many Waikiki Hotels. The Shuttle Vans also provide an audio tour during the ride and it includes snorkel gear as well.  See below for more details. 

Why Visit Hanauma Bay: It is simply one of the most beautiful beaches and Snorkeling destinations in all of Hawaii.  About 400 species of fish are known to inhabit the bay including Green Turtles, or Honu.

Hanauma Bay Snorkel Tour - $25 Includes: 

  • Roundtrip Waikiki Shuttle Transportation
  • Narrated Tour to Hanauma Bay
  • Mask, Fins, Snorkel & Instructions on proper use 
  • Snorkeling safety tips
  • Air-Conditioned Vans
  • 4½ hours total time

Prices at Hanauma Bay:

  • Park Entry Fee – $7.50
  • Locals with State Identification - Free
  • Active Military – Free
  • 12 years and under – Free
  • Standard Snorkel Set – $20.00
  • Premium Snorkel Set – $40.00
  • Parking fee – $1.00
  • Small Locker – $10.00
  • Large Locker – $12.00
  • Tram ride (down the hill to the bay) – $1.00
  • Tram ride (up the hill to the parking area) – $1.25

What to bring and wear for our visit to Hanauma Bay? 
A day at Hanauma Bay is meant to be relaxing and to get you in touch with nature. There is a snack bar/restaurant/store at Hanauma Bay that will sell most of what you need. There are certain things you can bring to help make your day more enjoyable. Be sure the bring at least one large bottle of water per person. Bring towels to lay on and dry off after your swim. Be sure to wear a hat and ‘Reef Friendly’ sunblock.

Of course, remember to bring your camera or phone to take photos in and out of the water.

Facilities: There is a bathroom, showers and locker facilities available. Lifeguards are also on duty at all times.

ADA Accessible: Hanauma Bay is wheelchair accessible. The trams that take guest from the parking lot to the beach and back are wheelchair accessible.  Also,  Beach Wheelchairs are available for free, just check with volunteers at Hanauma Bay.

There are many things to do on Oahu, but when you are looking for amazing Snorkeling and interacting with beautiful marine life, refer to this Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘Guide to Visiting Hanauma Bay’ and make the most of this memorable and fun activity.

Be sure to visit our Oahu Visitors Blog and Oahu Visitors Guide for more informative articles about all there is to do, see and experience during your next visit to the island.

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