Big Island Hawaii
Snorkeling Anaehoomalu Bay (A-Bay) is not as good as many other spots north of Kona, but it is a nice long beach. There are some ancient Hawaiian fishponds behind the beach that make it unique and picturesque. We have enjoyed hanging out here many times.
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Two resorts call this beach home, near the right end is Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, and past the left end are the Lava Lava Beach Club Cottages.
Note: This page is a sample from our popular Big Island Snorkeling Guide eBook available here.
We cannot recommend the snorkeling from A-Bay Beach. The visibility is bad, even murky at times in this shallow sandy bay. There is a little bit of live coral on the rocks that are scattered all over the bottom of most of the bay, and a few fish to see, but the thing is, you can’t really see them. The right side of the bay might have better visibility at times, but you need to swim a good distance, 600-700 feet, from shore to get to it.
Make sure to check out some way better snorkeling spots on our Big Island main page.
Got Hurt Snorkeling and Travel Insurance Won’t Cover It?
Yes, many travel insurance policies exclude snorkeling accidents, leaving you in the lurch. See our recommended travel insurance that does cover snorkeling.
Cautions for Snorkeling Anaehoomalu Bay
You will certainly see a lot of snorkelers in the water here as the resort rents gear on the beach. In addition to snorkel gear, the resort rents kayaks, paddle boats, stand-up paddle boards, and more. A number of boat tour companies pick up and drop off folks from this beach too.
If you do decide to try snorkeling Anaehoomalu Bay, keep your eyes out for the tour boats, novice boaters, kayakers, and paddle boarders so they don’t run you over. Also, go in the morning because the afternoon winds nearly always cause it to be choppy in this bay.
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1. Take Highway 19 (Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway) north out of Kona. Follow it north to the traffic light at Waikoloa Beach Drive and turn left.
2. Turn left again at the four-way stop after the two left turns for The Queen’s Shops, on Ku’uali’i Pl. The King’s Shops are on the right. There is a sign pointing you to Beach Access and the Lava Lava Beach Club.
3. Stay on this road that skirts the resort areas. You can drive to the end and use the circle to unload, but you must park in the lot back a little way on the left. The walk to the beach from the parking lot is about 800 feet. Open hours at this beach are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This location has restrooms, showers, water, picnic tables, and a little palm tree shade at either end. The Marriott resort rents lots of gear right on the beach. The Lava Lava Beach Club has a nice restaurant just past the left end of the beach.