The Hawaiian island of Kauai is the site of some of Hawaii’s best snorkeling beaches. Warm, clear waters surrounding this island are home to many beautiful and fascinating species of marine life which can be easily viewed just beneath its surface. These are some of the top snorkeling spots in Kauai Hawaii, which can provide a memorable adventure for beginners through to experienced snorkelers.
Kauai is known for its many protected, coral reef lagoons which are understood to be quite ancient. Some of the species of fish which call these reefs home are unique to this area, and are found nowhere else in the world. These make for excellent snorkeling locations, which is why this island is considered the best Hawaii has to offer when it comes to this exciting activity.
There are also a multitude of other amazing sea creatures one may encounter while on a snorkeling excursion in Kauai. Besides exotic species of fish such as the angelfish, needlefish, triggerfish, and damselfish, it is also not unusual to see a sea turtle, Hawaiian monk seal, moray eel, squid, octopus, crabs, lobsters, and of course everyone’s favorite friendly ocean mammals, playful dolphins.
On the east side of the island, there is a man-made lagoon known as Lydgate Beach Park. It is situated between Lihue and Wailua and is completely enclosed within a rock wall. Many lively and interesting fish, such as the colorful parrotfish, can be seen here in this venue which is a perfect choice for those just learning the ropes of snorkeling and for children.
Sunny Poipu Beach Park on Kauai’s south shore, is another great location to visit for snorkeling that is suitable for the entire family. It is divided up into different areas including Nukumoi Point, the tombolo, which to the west of is the best snorkeling site, a sheltered cove beach for young kids and novice snorkelers, and Brennecke Beach for those who wish to try body surfing.
Along the north shore, is Anini Beach which boasts Kauai’s largest coral reef. The water is fairly shallow in many parts at Anini, making it ideal for beginners, however, it is advisable to come here following a low tide, as to avoid potentially strong and hazardous outgoing currents. There is much to explore for the snorkeler, such as underwater canyons, and deep sea fish may appear from time to time. It is also a great place to hunt for seashells.
Also along Kauai’s northern coast, is Makua, most commonly referred to as “Tunnels Beach”. Its name comes from the series of narrow, but deep pathways which intersperse its expansive reef. There are even some tubes containing lava found beneath the water’s surface here. These intriguing, underwater formations and the creatures which inhabit them, make this a very unique and interesting snorkel site, but again care must be take to avoid strong currents, which occur most often during the winter months.
Ke’e is found on the north side as well, along the Na Pali Coast with its picturesque, soaring cliffs. During the summer months, with their calm seas, this is a place snorkelers will certainly want to check out. It features a sparkling interior lagoon teeming with brightly hued fish in its inshore reef, and a further lagoon which many Pacific green sea turtles call home.