Elite Pacific's Favorite Snorkeling Spots on Oahu

Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by Liana Mayer

According to the Elite Pacific ohana, these are the best spots for snorkeling on Oahu. Did your favorite one make the list?


Hanauma Bay

"Hanauma Bay is a big production and full of tourists, but if you swim straight out through the cut in the reef and snorkel outside the reef in the bay itself, it's fantastic. Great visibility, huge colorful coral heads, giant schools of fish, turtles, rays, eels, and more make it worth going through the mandatory movie, walking down to the crowded beach, and feeling like a tourist." - Paul Mayer

"Many local people shun Hanauma Bay because it is such a busy tourist destination but it is still a beautiful snorkeling spot! If you get there when the bay opens it's not crowded at all, and it's the best place to see a variety of tropical fish on Oahu." - Kerri Jo Heim

"It goes without saying that Hanauma Bay is one of the best spots to snorkel on Oahu. You must watch a 10-minute video, and sign a waiver stating that you will take great care to not destroy the reef while you're in the bay, but it's worth it. With its close location to Waikiki and secluded feel, it's one of Oahu's treasures." - Chelsea Pferschy


Electric Beach

"Electric Beach has a very unusual entry since you swim through a concrete-walled chute, but offshore there is a nice reef and when you get to the area where the warm water from the power plant is discharged, it is filled with fish." - Paul Mayer

"The fish are so abundant due to the electric power plant pump. It's an 8-to-10 minute swim to get there, but completely worth it! Tons of multicolored fish, turtles, and dolphins!" - Ruthie Kaminskas

Photos courtesy of Ruthie Kaminskas


Pupukea

"Pupukea is fantastic in the summertime. While there are lots of turtles and fish inside the protected bay, you should also go outside and snorkel along the reef to either side. Excellent water clarity, lots of fish and turtles, and really interesting underwater topography with holes and arches." - Paul Mayer


South Shore by Halona Cove

"Swim outside of Halona Cove and turn left or right, and you have excellent visibility, interesting topography, and lots of fish. It is similar to Hanauma Bay, except you'll be all by yourself." - Paul Mayer


3 Tables in Pupukea

"It's a great place to snorkel but only when the waves are very small. There's a wide, safe area to snorkel, and we always see plenty of fish. Plus it's a pleasant beach to swim at." - Jim Muneno

Photo courtesy of Liana Mayer


Mahalo to our contributors: Chelsea PferschyJim Muneno, Kerri Jo Heim, Paul Mayer, and Ruthie Kaminskas.