Hanauma Bay, Honolulu
Hula dancing is a traditional form of Hawaiian art that makes dance out of music and song. Hula Dance was originally a religious dance brought to Hawaii by the Polynesians. It was often used to entertain tribal chiefs of just to celebrate special occasions. Later versions of hula added musical instruments such as the ukulele or guitar. Hula has changed considerably from before the arrival of Westerners to after. Before the 1880s, the dances used simple instruments and were often pagan rituals. When the Protestant missionaries arrived, they demanded the stop of this heathen ritual, and the dances were changed to have more Western symbolism, such as Christianity, and new instruments were added such as the guitar and ukelele.
Hanauma Bay is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island. The Park is open every day except Tuesday. But once the parking lot is full, which frequently happens by mid-morning, no more cars are admitted. It is best to come early or arrive by bus and walk in. All who are not locals are asked to pay a small fee and all view an educational video before entering the Park. Private companies cater to the public with tram rides to the beach, food services, and rental of snorkeling gear. Despite overuse, the snorkeling is still excellent here.
When I read in the guidebooks that you could see tropical fish at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, I thought of the wee little creatures you see in aquariums. Imagine my astonishment when I found myself surrounded by big, trout-sized fish! Because they're protected here, they have no fear and will swim right up to you. It's a pretty amazing experience.
At the time, visitors were allowed to hand-feed the fish, but I'm not sure if that's permitted now.
Closed on Tuesdays. Check website for hours, as these vary seasonally. Visiting Hanauma Bay requires some advance planning, as access to the beach is limited, and hundreds of people want to go there every day. If you're driving, get there early, as parking is limited. You will be turned away if the lot is full. $1 parking fee, plus $7.50 per person admission. Kama'aina and children under 13 admitted free. If you want to avoid the parking hassle, TheBus (#22) runs from Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki to Hanauma Bay.
You can rent masks, fins, snorkels, and lockers on the beach.
This must see for the first timer snorkeling trip is Hanauma Bay. The parking lot fills up fast, so get there early to make sure you can enjoy the entire day at the bay. See the movie at the entrance , one dollar per car and five dollars per person, and head on down. The Hanauma Bay beach has all the facilities you will need, with restrooms, showers, food shack , and snorkeling equipment rental area. The fish are colorful, plentiful, and friendly. The variety is amazing, and even as an oldtimer when it comes to snorkeling, still one of the best areas to snorkle for any level. See the fish on my travelogue on Hanauma Bay.
Why see the turtles....when you can be one? This exciting adventure leaves you feeling like you belong to the sea. Putting on the snorkelling gear itself is amazing. You do so with a backdrop of white sand and green mountains. Then it's into the water, beautiful pristine water. The coral is a canvass where mother nature has painted her mark, the fish are in masses and the turtles pay no mind to the fact that you are there. You twist and turn through the coral following the schools of fish, and seeing even the fish who swim alongside the turtles to eat off their shells. This experience is unforgettable and you will truly feel like you have been to utopia.
Now for some friendly advice:
-You must watch a video which explains how to respect this beautiful place in order to preserve it. Some say it is an annoyance, however I advise everyone to pay attention and respect the do's and dont's.
-Go during peak times and you will feel like you are at a beach swarming with people. Too many people WILL scare a lot of the fish away. Go first thing, it opens at 6am or just before closing. Don't go in the middle of the day in the middle of the weekend and expect an exclusive experience.
-Be carefil of the strong currents. Stay closer to shore if you are an inexperienced swimmer.
-Bring an underwater camera, wish I had.
-Feeding the fish is not allowed and doing so is being an irresponsible tourist. Let's protect this beautiful place for our children to see.
SOMETHING VERY INTERTAINING TO SEE RIGHT IN THE HEART OF WAIKIKI ON THE BEACH IS THE HULA SHOW...SO WHETHER A LOCAL OR TOURIST THIS IS FUN TO SEE AND HEAR!!!! PERFORMANCES START AROUND 6:30 PM MONDAY THRU FRIDAY !!!!!
I JUST SAW YOUR POSTING FOR A MINI VT MEET ..SO SORRY I AM 5 YEARS LATE.. BUT IT LOOKS LIKE YOU DID SOME ENJOYABLE THINGS WHILE YOU WERE HERE..LIKE HEADING TO HANAUMA BAY!! A FUN AND BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO EXPERIENCE..HUH???
Great Place to Snorkle. The water is crystal clear. Theres a video that you have to see before going into the bay. Its how to help preserve it! I suggest to bring your own snorkle and flippers. If you dont have one go to a near by sports shop or diving store or even walmart. If you really cant spend time to buy your own I guess you have to rent it from the place in the bay.
Warning: The sea creatures in this bay are not shy, They tend to surround you and bump into you at times!!! OH! There are Life Guards in the area so its a safe place.....Stay away from the blow hole....Its dangerous...Youcan die if you get sucked in thats why there are signs posted.
Snorkeling in Hanuama Bay is a must do...
The entry fee was around $5, and the you must watch a nine minute video about hanuama bay... we tried to fake out of the video but they're very sneaky about it, asking for your name and ID and all if you lie and say you've watched it; it's better to just give in and be a sport and watch it.
Snorkel gear was $9 and totally worth it... they have all different kinds of packages for gear, but I recommend the dry set, its virtually impossible for water to get in it.
I saw many people trying to spot coral reefs and fish about ten feet off shore, which was sad, cause they were fooled. IF YOU WANT TO SEE MARINE LIFE AND REEFS, YOU MUST SWIM OUT FARTHER. It doesnt get deep in most places due to coral, but watch out for the current.
This was the best time I had on the trip, and my brother and his girlfriend say the same. You will see unforgettable sights you never thought possible.
When looking out over the ocean and waves, you would never imagine how different and amazing the world of under sea life is.
Hope this has helped!
If you go to hanuama bay and do not snorkel, you've wasted your time.
One of my most favorite experiences in Honolulu. I totally recommend going to Hanauma Bay and snorkeling with the sea life. I am usually a very skittish kitten when it comes to actually being in the water with fish and other things. However, this was absolutely amazing. I got in the water and ducked my head in and all of a sudden, there were a ton of little fishes. It was a great experience. Whenever I got tired of swimming around or I wanted a break, the beach was a great place to just relax. It costs money to go down to the beach, so while it is a big tourist spot...the people are there to see the fish and to snorkel. Try to borrow goggles and flippers, or just goggles. But if you can't then you can get rent some there. Definitely worth a visit.
Snorkeling would be great do do here , unfortunatly , when I decided to go here , it was closed due to rough surf. This is a very rare occasion that doesnt normally occur . It is suposed to be very calm , and the best place to scuba ( for tourists i here ) . Maybe next time i go to hawaii , i will get to use my underwater camere here .
THERE AGAIN ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL CRATER FORMED INLET THAT IS OH !!!! SO BEAUTIFUL OF A PLACE TO BE AT... ..Haunama Bay was a mouth of volcano long time ago, when the island of Oahu was formed. It's one of the most visited distination in Hawaii. Visitors can put on their snorkle gear and swim with the fish in the living corals. These coral reefs and tropical fish are protected by the State of Hawaii. Fish feeding is no longer allowed. THE PLACE HAS REALLY CHANGED FROM ONE I HAD LAST BEEN THERE..AS PLACES TO EAT AND A NEW ENTRANCE AND OTHER GOODIES HAVE BEEN ADDED.... THE PRICE TO GET IN IS $5 FOR NON- HAWAII RESIDENTS AND FREE FOR LOCALS WITH PROOF OF ID......
A DELIGHTFUL TIME WHEN EITHER BEING A TOURIST OR A LOCAL CHEERING LOCAL HULA DANCERS ON...ALWAYS A TREAT ALSO WHEN PEOPLE FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD COME AND PERFORM HULA... THE PERFORMANCES ARE USUALLY STARTING AT 6:30pm M0ONDAY THRU FRIDAY!!!!
Hanauma Bay has been a haven for snorkelers for a long time. I can remember going there as a kid in the 1960s and 1970s. It's a former volcano cone and is now a natural cove with a coral reef that teems with aquatic life. The fact that its a cove provides snorkelers with relatively calm conditions in which to view the living reef and the very colorful fish that live there. Snorkeling gear can be rented on the beach for a fee. Upon paying your entrance fee ($5) you are required to view a video presentation on the park with some rules (e.g., don't feed the fish, don't step on the coral) that have been instituted in order to preserve the ecological integrity of the wildlife including the coral. You can then either walk down or take a short tram ride down to the beach area.
TIP 1: Parking is at a premium in the small parking lot so plan to arrive early. The park opens at 6am...it's best to get there by 9:30. Alternatively you can park at the Koko Marina Shopping Center and then walk up the hill to the park entrance.
TIP 2: Food isn't available for purchase down at the beach area. There is a snack bar with a variety of food options up near the visitor's center, albeit pricey. My suggestion is to bring your own food which is conveniently available at the Foodland at the Koko Marina Shopping Center just before you start up the hill for the park entrance.
An activity we couldn't get enough of was snorkeling. Basically, snorkeling is donning a mask and mouthpiece, floating along the top of the water and viewing the fish swimming among the coral. You don't need any training, and the activity is fairly inexpensive. With a little perserverance, even the old-timers in the crowd can get used to breathing through their mouths instead of using their noses. For landlubbers, it takes some getting used to salt water as well.
Salt water fish are beautiful. All colours of the rainbow. Sizes from 3 inches to 3 feet (no sharks). One of the best places to snorkel is Hanauma Bay - about an hour from Waikiki by The Bus (local transit). Get there early in the morning, and leave before everyone else does because there are more people than bus at closing time. (We had to wait for one bus worth and they only come every 1/2 hour and we had to fight like barracudas to find standing room on the bus).
Heed the warnings about watching the sun and wearing t-shirts while snorkeling. The water washes lotions off. We saw quite a few people who looked like lobsters on their backs only.
Cost in 2001 is $3 per adult to enter the bay, Approx $7-$9/set to rent snorkel gear (on site). They had two kinds of snorkel gear when we rented - more expensive type had one-way valve so no water came into your mouth. We tried both, preferred the no-salt-water-in-mouth type.
After our first experience with snorkelling, we purchased snorkel gear at the Ala Moana shopping centre.