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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

More than 400 fish species and green sea turtles live in this marine ecosystem at one of the best snorkeling spots in Hawaii.

Put on a mask, snorkel and fins, and jump into the crystal clear waters of Hanauma Bay to watch a colorful school of butterfly fish glide beneath you. Dive down to say aloha to the graceful green sea turtles and stop to examine the intricate formations of the living coral as you explore Oahu’s accessible marine ecosystem. You will not only have the chance to encounter creatures up-close, but can also learn about their biology and habitat in the Marine Education Center.

The perfect curve of Hanauma Bay is part of an eroded volcanic crater into which the ocean has eventually forced its way. The calm, nutrient-rich waters make it the perfect place for an abundance of marine life to flourish, and few places in the world can boast such a diversity of species so close to shore.

The preserve’s function is to protect this unique ecosystem, and when you enter Hanauma Bay, you first come to the Marine Education Center. The structure resembles the natural shape of a volcanic cave. As well as colorful murals depicting the marine life of the bay, you’ll see exhibits explaining the geography of the bay and the formation of coral reefs. There are also a number of interactive stations where you can try your hand at fish identification. A short film in the theater further explains the biodiversity of the area.

Pick up a laminated fish identification chart from the reception and walk to the beach or, for a small charge, ride the tram. After this, it’s all about floating and swimming in the water and seeing how many fish you can spot and name.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is located 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Waikiki, just off Kalanianaole Highway. It’s closed on Tuesdays. If you don’t have your own snorkeling gear, visit the rental shop near the Marine Education Center. You are permitted to bring your own food and drinks, and can also purchase refreshements from the snack bar.


Guide to Exploring around Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve


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Best Lodging Options Near Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

See all 3,875 Properties near Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Spectacular Ocean View
Spectacular Ocean View

Spectacular Ocean View

Honolulu, HI
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Hawaii Kai, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Hanauma Bay Beach and Hanauma Bay are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Spacious Cottage With A/C and Patio
    Spacious Cottage With A/C and Patio

    Spacious Cottage With A/C and Patio

    Honolulu, HI
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Hawaii Kai, this cottage is within 1 mi (2 km) of Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Hanauma Bay Beach and Hanauma Bay are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      7-bedroom Home Spectacular Pool Walk Everywhere Around Hawaii Kai!
      7-bedroom Home Spectacular Pool Walk Everywhere Around Hawaii Kai!

      7-bedroom Home Spectacular Pool Walk Everywhere Around Hawaii Kai!

      Honolulu, HI
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Hawaii Kai, this beachfront vacation home is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Hanauma Bay Beach and Hanauma Bay are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Hawaii Kai
        Hawaii Kai

        Hawaii Kai

        277 Lunalilo Home Rd, Honolulu, HI
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Hawaii Kai, this vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Hanauma Bay Beach and Hanauma Bay are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          Spacious Stunning Ocean Views AC Pool $20k Monthly Special
          Spacious Stunning Ocean Views AC Pool $20k Monthly Special

          Spacious Stunning Ocean Views AC Pool $20k Monthly Special

          Honolulu, HI
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Hawaii Kai, this vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Koko Head, and Hanauma Bay Beach. Hanauma Bay and Eternity Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Ocean House 6 Bedroom 7.5 Bath Hawaii Kai, Oahu, Hawaii
            Ocean House 6 Bedroom 7.5 Bath Hawaii Kai, Oahu, Hawaii

            Ocean House 6 Bedroom 7.5 Bath Hawaii Kai, Oahu, Hawaii

            Honolulu, HI
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Hawaii Kai, this apartment building is within 2 mi (3 km) of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Koko Head, and Hanauma Bay Beach. Hanauma Bay and Eternity Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Serene 3br W/ Lanai & Private Yard, Walk To Beach 3 Bedroom Home
              Serene 3br W/ Lanai & Private Yard, Walk To Beach 3 Bedroom Home

              Serene 3br W/ Lanai & Private Yard, Walk To Beach 3 Bedroom Home

              6307 Kaiwiki Pl, Honolulu, HI
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Hawaii Kai, this golf vacation home is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Kawaikui Beach Park and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Kaiwiki Place
                Kaiwiki Place

                Kaiwiki Place

                6307 Kaiwiki Pl Honolulu, Honolulu, HI
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Hawaii Kai, this vacation home is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Kawaikui Beach Park and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Koko Head and Hanauma Bay Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).