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Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

USA
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390 posts
16 reviews
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Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

Would we be allowed to go snorkeling at this park or would we have to be part of a tour? The last time we visted POF was several years ago and we didn't go snorkeling at that time. This time we would like to but I don't know if it's allowed. Does anyone know?

oregon
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10 reviews
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1. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

The best place to get in the water there is actually not in the park. Just before you pull into the parking lot there is a little road off towards the water. It is a one way road. There is a little sandy beach, a boat ramp, and then lava shelves. You can get in anywhere there. The lava shelves are why they call this "two step beach". When we went it was kind of crowded so we got in where the sand is. You can snorkel to the right, which has some huge bolders and very different snorkeling than other places on the BI, or you can swim to the left, towards the park. Be prepared to see lots of turtles!

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

The best place to go in is 5 minutes north from the parking lot, at the lava bench called Two Step. You can park elsewhere, but I pay the $5 to get a receipt good for a week. I use the fine restrooms at the park (and change afterwards), and then we can tour the park after snorkeling.

The idea is that you not use the royal canoe landing in the park as your entry to the water for snorkeling.

Kona, Hawaii
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3. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

Aloha, two step is a great place to snorkel, in addition to your seeing turtles you have a great chance to see dolphin. Many times I have "found" myself within a pod of them in an instant an amazing feeling. We enjoy snorkeling here early in the AM when it is less busy.

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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4. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

The turtles are fun to watch there, because they come there to get their shells cleaned off by the yellow tang.

USA
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390 posts
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5. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

This sounds fabulous! Is it always crowded? We're staying at the Sheraton and I doubt we would get to POR really in the morning. If we go on a weekday would it be less crowded than on a weekend?

oregon
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10 reviews
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6. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

I wouldn't say it's really crowded, but it is popular. I don't think the day of the week will matter as it's mainly tourists there. Most people stay infront of the lava bench, Venture out towards the park and you should have all kinds of room all to yourself.

California
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68 reviews
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7. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

Outside the water is very crowded, but once you get in, since the area is so large, there's plenty of space.

Washington DC...
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310 reviews
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8. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

The only place that is "crowded" is the step area. Watch a while before going in and before getting out.

Be sure you have your stuff on (except fins) before you go to the steps, then slip your fins on and get in promptly.

Coming out, get off the steps as fast as you can: (1) to allow others to get out--there is a wave timing issue and (2) to avoid getting sucked back off the step.

Keep hands flat on the rock; don't curl your fingers into the holes in the rock...urchins make those pockets and they are in their with their sharp spines!

Washington DC...
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13,854 posts
310 reviews
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9. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

The only place that is "crowded" is the step area. Watch a while before going in and before getting out.

Be sure you have your stuff on (except fins) before you go to the steps, then slip your fins on and get in promptly.

Coming out, get off the steps as fast as you can: (1) to allow others to get out--there is a wave timing issue and (2) to avoid getting sucked back off the step.

Keep hands flat on the rock; don't curl your fingers into the holes in the rock...urchins make those pockets and they are in their with their sharp spines!

Oahu, Hawaii
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64 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: Snorkeling at Place of Refuge

I went to Two Step two days ago and its very rocky and parking is very tight. The sea life was sparse. You have to go early in the morning to see the fish feed. I would say 7 am. It's not a place for people who are not good swimmers. I saw a chubby boy and his mom get really tired within 10 minutes. You have to be in relatively good shape. I would not recommend that area for beginners. I saw more sea life in the Hilton Waikoloa Lagoons in the morning. Two Step was okay. It's kind of deep there.