The keiki (children's) pond at Lydgate Park is a great place to try snorkeling for the first time. 2. Read below for helpful snorkeling techniques and our recommendations for Kauai's best snorkeling beaches.. Snorkel Gear . Also known as Makua Beach, the Tunnels is a deceptively large snorkeling location situated in the north shore of Kauai. Do not go outside the reef unless you are very experienced swimming in the ocean and have a clear plan for how to get back in. There is no beach at Koloa landing; you enter the water from a boat ramp. All partners and related links comply with our Advertising Disclosures. Located on the north shore of Kauai, Tunnels Beach (also known as Makua Beach) has something for everyone. There is no beach here, so instead you’ll be entering the water off of an old boat ramp. In such conditions, even strong swimmers will not be able to snorkel at Tunnels. If you are on the south side, Koloa Landing is best for snorkelers who are excellent swimmers with more advanced skills. The crystal clear ocean waters of Kauai create the perfect environment for snorkeling. There are many snorkeling spots to choose from. Lawai Beach is known for being one of the best snorkeling spots on the island, and you’ll often find snorkel lessons or tours taking place within its waters. You'll also want to take a reef safe sunscreen, as traditional sunscreens damage the reefs. Kauai Snorkeling Fun! The left side offers a calm, protected baby beach (complete with lifeguard) and the right, in front of Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club, offers the ideal area for snorkeling If you want to try out snorkeling, we highly recommend taking a snorkel tour. Private Kauai North Shore Tour . Salt Pond Beach is located on the Southwestern shore near Waimea Canyon. One of the reasons it remains of the most kid-friendly beaches on the North Shore is that the waters stay calm year-round. The shallow fringing reefs of the north shore, in particular, gives the opportunity to encounter the local sea life - including, for the luckiest snorkelers, the Hawaiian monk seal. Right next door to the trailhead for the famous Kalalau Trail and the gateway to Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Ke’e Beach houses a barrier reef full of Hawaiian fish, turtles, and even mellow white-tipped reef sharks. Another beach along the northern shores of Kauai, resides Ke’e Beach. Tunnels Beach: Teeming with tropical fish. Don’t forget, coral is full of vibrant living organisms (even the coral itself is delicately alive), so remember to avoid stepping on, touching, or disturbing any wildlife while snorkeling. Kauai is the perfect place to snorkel. Choosing the proper gear and the right location is key to having a safe underwater adventure. The Na Pali Coast has some breathtaking views, especially when seen from Na Pali boat tours. Then make your way to either side of the bay where the coral is most abundant thanks to the horseshoe-shaped reef that surrounds the ramp. Be aware that the current will be pushing you back towards Haena Beach Park. Let’s take a look at some of the best snorkeling beaches in Kauai! 10 Best Snorkeling Beaches in Kauai Poipu Beach Park. Tunnels Beach: It is one of the best places to snorkel, particularly during summer when the ocean waters are calmer.Tunnels beach is spread across 2 miles from Haena Beach Park to Hanalei Colony Resort. The rip current may help you get out through a shallow crack in the reef; however, it is often not easy to get back because the current is pushing against you. When the water is calm, however, there are plenty of good opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling thanks to the offshore reef that provides protection for swimmers during the low surf season. These links do not cost you anything and help provide the necessary funding to maintain this website. "This is a great beach with great snorkeling for both beginners and advanced snorkels and divers." If you do not agree with any part of these terms and conditions, you should not use this website. This little speck of a beach can disappear during high surf. During high swell, visibility is impaired and it may not be safe to enter the water. And because we want you to find your perfect slice of snorkeling heaven, we're presenting our picks for Kauai's best snorkeling beaches here. Top snorkeling spots in Kauai For beginners. The best thing to do is park at the nearby Haena Beach and walk. 2021 Hawaii Travel Guide. Learn about the best time to visit Kauai →, Our Kauai travel tips & recommendations →, Explore Kauai Hotels & Resorts Search Now. Best Summer Snorkeling At Kauai’s Tunnels Beach August 30, 2012 / 0 Comments / in Exploring Kauai, Kauai Beaches / by Monika. Tunnels Beach is one of the best options in Kauai for those looking for underwater-oriented adventures. For children and beginner snorkelers, it doesn’t get any better than the Keiki Pond at Lydgate Beach Park in Lihue. "For Ha'ena State Park (which has access to Kalalau trail and Ke'e Beach) you must either use the North Shore Shuttle, or get a parking permit in advance." Kauai Tourism; ... "This is a great beach with great snorkeling for both beginners and advanced snorkels and divers." The reef along the coast of Anini Beach is one of the longest in the state, and the water can get pretty shallow (especially during low tide in the winter). Located near Kauai’s southernmost tip, Poipu beach is famous for its calm and clear waters. Download your FREE copy of our... All throughout the year, you’ll find calm waters in this area thanks to the small waves and protective man-made rock wall. One of the best activities to take part in while on Kauai is snorkeling. View Map. Best beaches for the "Kauai snorkeling" experience. Please take safety into consideration before snorkeling, especially if venturing out of protected areas where stronger currents can overpower a swimmer. It is important to observe the current and identify any obstacles such as rocks. Poipu Beach Park. Kee has a barrier reef with plenty of marine life- it's a comfortable intermediate snorkeling location. Families can relax here, reassured by the calm conditions and on-site lifeguard. Not only is it home to hundreds of fish species, but it also has some of the cleanest waters on the island which makes snorkeling … But when the ocean is calm Lawa'i is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and scuba. Famous for being the last place that can be reached by road along the Kauai’s North Shore, Ke’e Beach is a great place for kids and families with its relaxed vibes. The Best Beaches To Snorkel In Kauai. Some folks even call this beach the 'Beach House beach', courtesy of the restuarant that resides next door. The coral reefs and underwater caves from which it gets its name make it a diver’s dream come true. The enormous coral reef at Tunnels, a rare gem of Kauai, offers a spectacular dive location for scuba diving enthusiasts. Real quick, let’s review the best snorkeling Kauai: Hanalei Bay; Lawai Beach; Tunnels Beach; Hideaway Beach; Anini Beach; Kiahuna Beach; Lydgate Beach Park; NaPali Coast snorkeling tour; Ke’e Beach; Poipu Beach; Snorkeling in Kauai will not disappoint! Adventurers can opt for a kayak rental or book a snorkel tour with a boating company in order to experience this gorgeous snorkel site. The island’s reef-protected beaches create calm waters perfect for beginner snorkelers, while more experienced swimmers can look forward to less populated ocean spaces with vibrant, healthy coral and unique species of fish. One of the reasons the reef system is so spectacular is it has been developing for millions … Save. Known for its lush rainforests and dramatic coastal cliffs, the “Garden Isle” undoubtedly encompasses some of the world’s best beaches. Snorkeling at Mauna Kea Beach is best closer to the rocky points, and water access is typically an easy swim down a sandy slope on the ocean floor. Kauai 1 / Kauai Blog 2 / Exploring Kauai 3 / Kauai Beaches 4 / Best Summer Snorkeling At Kauai’s Tunnels Beach. Menu. Best of all, this beach is hardly ever crowded. Snorkel Gear . If there has recently been heavy rain, do not snorkel at Koloa landing. Tunnels Beach has very limited parking because it is a popular snorkeling area. * Hawaii-Guide.com is not a booking agent, accommodation provider, establishment, or tour operator. Often rated as Kauai’s best snorkeling beach, Tunnels offers a transcendent experience with ocean life. Opt for some tough water shoes in addition to fins since the ramp can get pretty slippery while you’re walking out. ). Guide of Hawaii, LLC is a privately-owned (non-government) business. Anini Beach is home to one of the largest reef in Kauai and it’s a calm and shallow spot where beginners can have a lot of fun. The outer reef, which has excellent coral formations and lots of marine life, is for advanced snorkelers only, as it is exposed to strong ocean currents. Just like the other Hawaiian islands, Kauai’s north shore sees larger swells in the winter, and Tunnels is no exception. rental place about 50 feet from the water, and the beachfront Beach House Restaurant lawn is a beautiful place to stop and catch your breath or study the waves and find the best place to get in and out of the water. On the island of Kauai, there are several reef-protected beaches where the water is typically placid enough to don a mask and snorkel—even during the biggest of swells. If you are a confident swimmer and have been snorkeling a couple of times before, Lawai Beach is an excellent choice. Tunnels Beach. You can expect to see lots of fish and very healthy coral. Finding the beach may be a bit tricky but the two access roads have been marked by the residents to assist you. Ocean conditions can be highly variable and coral, rocks, currents and swells can make snorkeling in some locations downright dangerous. As you approach the far left side of the reef (when looking from shore), head directly to shore and back to the beach (you will be crossing a channel). The Best Places To Snorkel In Kauai . As the name implies, the inner reef contains a number of caves and tunnels popular with scuba divers and free divers (just be sure not to disturb the coral). The beach at Poipu is popular for Kauai snorkeling for all that it has to offer. This leads many visitors to ask, where are the best snorkeling spots in Kauai? Kee Beach: Stay to the right when entering. You won’t be alone unless you get there early—it's known as one of the best beaches in America, making it understandably quite popular. Kee Beach on Kauai, Hawaii. More parking is available at Haena. The snorkeling area at Poipu Beach is small, as most of the area has a sand bottom. Trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Epic Kauai 4 Day Audio Driving Tour Bundle Adventure. Some of the best beaches to snorkel in Kauai include Tunnels Beach, Kee Beach and Poipu Beach. Tunnels Beach is one of the best options in Kauai for those looking for underwater-oriented adventures. Kee Beach: Stay to the right when entering. Here’s what we found out: Anini Beach: This was the first beach we visited on Kauai, and it did not disappoint. Faces come in many shapes - … After you have gone with a guide, you'll have learned the basics and will be more comfortable snorkeling independently. As long as there is not a large south swell, Poipu Beach Park is a good beginner spot. However, just to the right of the sand is a rocky area with a little coral, some fish, and usually several people! Here, an M-shaped reef lies a few hundred feet offshore, and a series of underwater lava tubes create a unique habitat for an abundance of aquatic life. Kauai 1 / Kauai Blog 2 / Exploring Kauai 3 / Kauai Beaches 4 / Best Summer Snorkeling At Kauai’s Tunnels Beach. It has a protective barrier reef that keeps out the big waves and provides a safe lagoon for kids to swim. There is no coral here and the beach is popular with families. It is a great place to put on the mask, fins, and snorkel for the first time without having to worry about ocean currents or crashing waves. North Shore Kauai Beaches. Known for its lush rainforests and dramatic coastal cliffs, the “Garden Isle” undoubtedly encompasses some of the world’s best beaches. KE`E BEACH FOR SOME OF THE BEST SNORKELING ON KAUAI. A Truly Unique Mountain Adventure March 4, 2018. Lawai Beach can be crowded because it is one of the best snorkeling spots on Kauai. Katherine Gallagher is a Hawaii-based travel writer in love with Oahu's lush tropical rain forests and pristine beaches. With the exception of the occasional large swell, the southern shore of Poipu Beach Park is a great first-snorkel spot for the beginner. In this post, we will share some of the best snorkeling spots on the island of Maui that deserve a big plunge! Choosing the proper gear and the right location is key to having a safe underwater adventure. Under no circumstances should you follow the reef out and away from shore – the exit current can be very strong around the left corner of the reef. Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability. Located along the majestic Na Pali Coast, Nualolo Kai can only be entered by boat (anchor only, no beach landing allowed) thanks to the 2,000-foot Na Pali cliffs. From $231.74* More Info. Like the rest of the North Shore of Kauai, large north swell is common in the winter. Although the underdeveloped charm of the island might make it more difficult to access certain snorkel spots around Kauai, the extra effort will be more than worth it once you jump into the water and find your own impressive slice of snorkeling paradise. It is the most popular beach along the south shore. Running two miles long from Hanalei Colony Resort to Haena Beach Park, this North Shore beach is famous for its huge half moon-shaped reef located just 1/8-mile offshore. It is also very easy to access with ample street side parking available. © Copyright 2021 — Guide of US, LLC. On the south side of the island, Koloa Landing offers a one-of-a-kind option for intermediate to advanced snorkelers. Let’s take a look at some of the best snorkeling beaches in Kauai! Tunnels, Kee, Haena, Poipu, ... Kauai Sights Guide. Officially known as Pali Ke Kua Beach, Hideaways certainly got its nickname for a good reason. TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre. There are also several facilities to make your time at the beach that much more relaxing. When you get in the shallows, the current can be very strong. Written by Lura Seavey Jan 6, 2020 . For this reason, it’s a very popular snorkel spot for both beginner snorkelers wishing to stay in the water near the shore and for more advanced snorkelers wanting to swim further out near the reef. Best Summer Snorkeling At Kauai’s Tunnels Beach August 30, 2012 / 0 Comments / in Exploring Kauai, Kauai Beaches / by Monika. Best Snorkeling on Kauai - Tunnels Beach. It is a beautiful (albeit long) walk from there to the tunnels. Beaches. Being aware of your surroundings will help keep your snorkeling adventure as safe as it is fun. Running two miles long from Hanalei Colony Resort to Haena Beach Park, this North Shore beach is famous for its huge half moon-shaped reef located just 1/8-mile offshore. There is still time to take advantage of the crystal … If it is overcrowded, there is more parking at Haena Beach Park. It is the most popular beach along the south shore. Snorkeling, surfing, bodyboarding, beachcombing and BBQing are just some of the outdoor things to do in Kauai along its shores, and this family-friendly beach offers them all. When conditions are good, the beautiful blue water with deep pockets of reef here is snorkeling perfection. Anini Beach is a lovely strip of sand that offers very good Kauai snorkeling. One way to experience the beauty below is to go snorkeling and Kauai offers many great snorkeling beaches. The area outside the reef at Kee is for experts only, but the marine life is abundant. Lawai Beach is a reliable snorkeling area protected by a barrier reef that hosts abundant numbers of fish. Tunnels Beach is regarded as one of the best spots on the northern shore of Kauai for snorkeling. Kauai Guides Where to Stay Things to Do Visitor Info. On Kauai there are dozens of great snorkeling beaches, but only a handful are recommended for snorkeling with children. There is limited sea life in this area, but you will see plenty when you get to where the snorkeling is good (either side of the bay). This water is protected year round from the surf by a man-made rock wall, the pond gets as deep as 10' in places, and there are numerous fish swimming near the outer rocks. Right next to Lydgate Park, Nukoli’i Beach Park is one of those sites you’ll want to avoid in the winter months or when the surf is large (locals refer to the surf break here as “graveyards,” if that gives you any indication). A general rule of thumb to follow before getting in the ocean is to find a comfortable place in the shade and observe the water for 20 minutes before entering. 0. Kauai Beaches Guide. More at: Makua Beach / Tunnels Beach. But some places are better than others (and some should be avoided altogether, either because there are better spots nearby or because of safety concerns! The summer months are almost gone, but lucky for you the big north swells have yet to arrive. Many people claim Tunnels Beach has the best snorkeling in Kauai. 906 Reviews #23 of 253 things to do in Kauai. Tunnels is a bit more secluded than other beaches on the Hanalei side of the Island. Around 1/8 th of a mile away from the shore is the famous crescent shaped reef. Mahalo! Here are a handful of the Garden Isle’s safest places to snorkel during the high surf season that … Bring snorkel gear, rented in Hanalei, as this is one of the best snorkeling spots in Kauai. Which places provide the best beaches in Kauai for kids and families? Makua Beach / Tunnels Beach is one of the best snorkel and SCUBA beaches you'll find anywhere in Hawaii. You won’t want to miss this tour if you are planning on snorkeling in Kauai. * Hawaii-Guide.com is not a booking agent, accommodation provider, establishment, or tour operator. There is a small sand beach on the left side of the bay that disappears at high tide, and the lawn in front of the beach house restaurant which borders the east side of the bay is also a nice place to relax. There is a small sand beach on the left side of the bay that disappears at high tide, and the lawn in front of the beach house restaurant which borders the east side of the bay is also a nice place to relax. While you’re out in the water, you can even swim over to Pali Ke Kua Beach, an even less accessible, and equally Edenic, cove. It can be difficult to find parking on this beach. Also, please be mindful of the coral reef, as it is a very delicate living organism. Only accessible by foot, the journey means that the beach isn’t often busy, so you might just end up with your own private oasis. Ke’e Beach is one of the best places to snorkel in Kauai for beginners and in addition to a plethora of fish, lucky snorkelers might also be able to see green sea turtles. Top Kauai Beaches for Snorkeling. Read on for our top snorkeling beaches on Kauai’s North Shore, compiled after a week of sampling (I know, rough job, right?). There is a snorkeling (etc.) This is why I’ve decided to share this beautiful snorkeling destination with you through this list of best snorkeling Kauai beaches like Lydgate Beach. Kauai 1 / Kauai Blog 2 / Exploring Kauai 3 / Best Beaches on Kauai for snorkeling with kids. Kee Beach. The smaller rolling waves are perfect for boogie boarding and it’s a great spot for snorkeling (the left cove is best). Best snorkeling in center area. There have been sightings of turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, and even an occasional white-tipped reef shark here. If you’re there snorkeling at the right time, you might catch schools of colorful fish of all different species and even a visit from Galapagos sharks. One of the best snorkeling spots on the island is also one of the least accessible. Tunnels Beach: It is one of the best places to snorkel, particularly during summer when the ocean waters are calmer.Tunnels beach is spread across 2 miles from Haena Beach Park to Hanalei Colony Resort. Tunnels is a deceptively large horseshoe-shaped snorkeling area. Lawai Beach can be crowded because it is one of the best snorkeling spots on Kauai. Kauai is an island marked with jaw-dropping coastal cliffs. We've split them up into those that are ideal for beginners, and those better left to intermediate or advanced snorkelers. Along Kauai's 63 miles of accessible shoreline, visitors can find a beach for every need, whether looking for calm waters for the kids to play in or massive waves for expert surfing. Search. The reef at Nualolo Kai is one of the best snorkeling locations to visit on Kauai. If you are practicing being in the ocean with snorkel gear, the shallow area just off the beach is great for that. It was rated America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel, and when conditions are right, there are excellent snorkeling opportunities. Anini Beach is very kid-friendly, easily making it one of the best Kauai snorkeling spots for families. This is considered an advanced snorkeling location because of the size and power of the strong currents. Follow the curve along the outer reef; there are varying depths here from 3'-40'. Kauai’s beaches usually aren’t crowded with swimmers and boaters, making the area perfect for snorkeling. The reef enclosed lagoon has crystal clear water in summer. The beach is world famous for it's magnificent reef, corals, and colorful fish. Tunnels is one of Kauai’s best beaches for snorkelers and scuba divers. Tunnels Beach. In the morning, before the wind picks up, the visibility at Nualolo Kai is at its best. In addition, Poipu Beach has an abundance of marine life, from butterfly fish to needlefish, as well as sea turtles and coral reefs. Photo: Ventu Photo/Shutterstock. Snorkeling in Kauai is not considered the best in the Hawaiian archipelago, but the island offers a dozen of good snorkeling spots. Likewise, the beach features soft sand and shallow waters. Best Beaches on Kauai for snorkeling with kids August 12, 2013 / 2 Comments / in Exploring Kauai / by Monika. Top Kauai Beaches: See reviews and photos of beaches in Kauai, Hawaii on Tripadvisor. There is an abundance of reef here that makes for lots of fish to see. Out snorkeling, we suggest you head to Koloa Landing or Lawai Beach on the south is! 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