You will find the best snorkeling in Hawaii on Maui and the Big Island. Oahu and Kauai have some good snorkeling too, but it simply does not compare.
Maui in our minds is the island with the best snorkeling in Hawaii. The access in Maui is more often from one of the many beautiful beaches on the island and there are many sea turtles here. Po'olenalena Beach, in the Makena area of Maui, is the perfect example of the best snorkeling in Hawaii. The reef is healthy and interesting and the turtles are abundant. In west Maui, Honolua Bay is a great snorkeling spot, with some healthy reef, turtles and fish to see. Check out our Maui main page to read why we love snorkeling there.
The Big Island comes in a close second to Maui. There are lots of fish, some healthy coral reefs, clear water, many locations and easy access.
One of the very best snorkeling spots on the Big Island is Two Steps. It has everything and is a joy to snorkel. Another spectacular snorkeling location here is Captain Cook Monument in Kealakekua Bay. Best accessed by boat, the visibility is incredible and the sea life fantastic. Click here to read many more of our insights about the snorkeling on the Big Island.
One of the great things about snorkeling in Hawaii is that you can do most of it for free. There are boat trips that take you to some great snorkeling in Hawaii, but there is so much you can do on your own. If you are planning a trip and snorkeling is your focus, consider going to the Big Island or Maui or both.
Our Hawaii Snorkeling Guide eBook will show you all the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island and Maui, as well as for Kauai and Oahu.
We hope you find this helpful for your planning and feel free to tell us all where you think the best snorkeling is!