We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hanama Bay: how long is good?

Which Honolulu hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Vancouver
Level Contributor
107 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Hanama Bay: how long is good?

We're thinking of booking a tour to Hanama Bay and you get to pick what time to leave. Just wondering if there are any suggestions of roughly what's a good time length there? also, is there anywhere to eat there and can you bring food?

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
878 posts
156 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

First of all, the earlier you go, the less people will be there. So if you like to snorkel a lot, and don't want a crowd, then try and leave by 8 or 9am.

In terms of timing, most people probably stay about 3 to 4 hours. However there are places to buy food, bathrooms, etc. and you can bring your own food, so its certainly possible to pass the whole day there.

It isn't a great swimming beach though, so unless you snorkel a lot, you might find a whole day a bit too much.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
342 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

3-4 hours max. I was disappointed with my most recent visit to Hanama Bay in April. It was very crowded and the snorkeling conditions were just "ok".

You need to snorkel out as far as possible to avoid the "walkers" who can not swim, and kick up sand making for poor visiability. There is a great (deep) spot far out in the middle section. Lots of fish,,, and no walkers because of the depth.

Be prepared for a 30 minute wait to watch a movie on the do's and don'ts of Hanama Bay. I was there 20 years ago- peaceful and quiet,,, I am spoiled.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
657 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

We got there about 8.30am. Had three goes at snorkelling with a break in between. We were getting a little tired by 1ish and picked up some lunch at the snack bar which is near the carpark after a terrific morning snorkeling. There is no food for sale once you get down to the beach.

If you take food with you make sure it is well sealed. We were sitting in the shade on the grass and had to chase off a mongoose that crept out and tried to get into people's bags near us who had gone in for a dip. We'd never seen one before. Kinda cute but daring.

In terms of timing we thought we timed it right. Seemed to get a little rougher as the day went on and not as clear.

Hope this helps. Have a great time there.

Los Angeles, CA
3 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

I agree with the rest. Get there early if you want to have any chance at quality snorkeling, by the afternoon it gets far too crowded. It is really tough to swim there, as it is dominated by snorkeling tourists, so if you are looking for a nice, relaxing beach, you should check out Makapuu Beach, or Malaekahana Beach if you make it to the north shore. Personally I wouldn't spend more than 3 hours at Hanauma Bay.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
120 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

The tips are right, 3-4 hours. We went twice, both on a Sunday. There were crowds, but it was still nice. And if you are a stronger swimmer, by all means, venture out away from the crowds. If you enjoy your day and fancy a trip back, make sure to sign the repeat guest list so you won't have to watch the movie again. FWIW.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
212 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

Rather than start another thread, is this really the best place to go Snorkelling. It sounds very commericailised and not that fun at all, with hundreds of other people around!

Other suggestions for good snorkelling where you can go out and do what you want, minus the video! ?

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
342 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

I would still go because there are lots of fish to see despite the crowds. Go early and leave as the masses are heading in for the day.

Grayson, Georgia
Level Contributor
428 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

If you go early, you won't be snorkeling with hundreds of people. We arrived at about 7:30 on a Sunday morning . . . left by 9:30, and we really were able to snorkel on our own, as there were not very many people at the bay yet.

Vancouver
Level Contributor
107 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

thanks everyone for your tips.....i just got back and thought i would add a little bit on for people who are still going. I had such a packed iternary last week that i couldn't get there early. We booked the 1 pm tour as we went on the Makini Catermeran in the am and that was the only slot they had so it was a mater of missing that and we felt that we wanted to experience that seeing how we had the Go Oahu card and didn't have to pay.

For us, the crowds didn't bother us at all as the beach was big enough. The only disappointing thing was visiblity was very bad. I don't know if it was just that particulary day or it's always like that in the afternonn. Maybe someone knows? They did tell us not to go past the first break in the crest as visibility was zero that day so i am assuming it was just a bad day? We didn't have time to go back again in the morning but that is what we will do next time as the tide was getting higher and it was very choppy to the point you could actualy boogie board there as some people were.

so anyway, we didn't see any fish as non swimmers but i hear you don't have to go far to see them typically. I am sure glad we didn't have to pay for our tour or the entrance fee otherwise we would feel quite ripped off for what felt like just a day at any beach.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
3,783 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Hanama Bay: how long is good?

when you go later in the day..the viz is less than stellar just from being stirred up by all the other snorkelers...

too bad you never saw any fish :(

to be honest with you, we don't snorkel there anymore as it has been used and abused waaaaaaaay too much...

I don't think the bay will ever recover