Hanuama Bay is by far the most well-known snorkel spot on Oahu. Everyone is told that it is the place to go if you want to see fish here.
Now, I will say, I saw a lot of parrot fish there and I had a good time. So, there’s that. However, I will also say that it was one of the most crowded places I have ever been.
As I tried to snorkel, people were constantly wadding by and kicking up sand. Everywhere I looked there were so many people. The fish are not spooked by this, and that’s great. However, it does make for pictures that aren’t very clear because of all the sediment in the water.
I think this is a great place for people who do not snorkel regularly. This is because you pay $7 to get in and that money goes towards conservation. You also have to watch a video about how you should not touch the animals or the coral, and I think tourists should have to do that. However, if you’re a regular snorkeler, it all feels a bit boring.
The park is free with military ID, but even if you are military I still recommend you bring money. I wish someone would have told me that. See, there’s a shuttle that will take you down to the water and back up the giant hill after you snorkel. However, I didn’t know that, so I had to walk.
I saw signs for food up at the top, but they ask that you not bring food down to the beach so that liter can’t get into the water. However, I still saw plenty of litter in the water.
There are lockers, but I left everything in my car and just left my flip flops on the beach. No one stole them. I think we should all have a crappy pair of flip flops for this purpose.
The nice thing about a place with crowds is that there are amenities. The showers and bathrooms are good to have, and the little trolley looked great as it passed me while I walked up.
It’s too crowded for turtles of sting rays, but that’s okay. Sometimes it’s just nice to see pretty fish. This is a good place for that, as long as you don’t want pictures of them.
Oh, and don’t forget that there’s also a parking fee. I’d say just bring a $20 bill per person in a plastic bag, and you should be good to go.