Hanauma Bay is a spectacular white sand bay surrounded with lush green cliffs. It really is a sight to behold.
The bay is a nature reserve which means the reef and other marine life are protected from fishing and other damaging activities. Visitors to Hanauma Bay are required to watch a short educational video about caring for the ecosystem. Because of these efforts, the bay is pristine and you can swim right up to big, colorful fish! The onsite facilities have snorkel gear to rent at an affordable price.
There’s a small fee to park, but even if you don’t plan to snorkel at the bay I’d still recommend that you pay the parking fee and enjoy the gorgeous view from the parking area.
If you’re up for a light hike, you can trek up the Hanauma Bay Ridge. The majority of the Hanauma Bay Ridge hike is paved, but there are offshoots from the trail that are a bit more “off-road”. It’s a bit steep but relatively easy, and you’ll often see locals walking their dogs on the trail!
On occasion parking at Hanauma bay gets full– if that’s the case for you there are 3 options. You can wait and check back every 10-15 minutes to see if someone just left. Or, you can come back another day, either early in the morning or later in the afternoon when there are less people (keep in mind the bay is closed on Tuesdays). Your third option is to park at the nearby Koko Head park and hike about a mile in. If you choose the last option, i’d recommend that you unload everything first.
Shaka Guide’s South Shore Oahu Tour takes you to Hanauma Bay, in addition to many other must see destinations!