Snorkeling is a true escape from our world, if only a temporary one. Time spent underwater with fish is silent, peaceful, and can alleviate stresses we may feel on land. Kaua`i is home to several epic places to snorkel that are suitable for a variety of experience levels. Hawaii is home to a huge number of tropical fish, dolphins, whales, eels, sea urchins, and the occasional shark too. Luckily for avid snorkels and ocean people, Kaua`i is home to flourishing healthy reefs that attract fish to come and eat. Each part of the island has several places to snorkel, and each one has a stand out spectacular spot. Here are the top four places to snorkel on Kauai`i, and one for each part of the island.
West side- The best underwater views you’ll find on Kaua`i’s west side is at Salt Pond Beach Park. Here full amenities such as restrooms and showers, parking, a camping area, a large grassy lawn, barbecue pits and picnic tables enable visitors to spend a full day at the beach. The great thing about snorkeling here is that the water is somewhat protected and is a great place for families with varying levels of experience snorkeling. Of course, use your best judgement with the ocean and if in doubt, check with a lifeguard. The best sea life is usually at the right (western) end of the beach.
South side – Lawai Beach in sunny Poipu is hands down the best snorkeling in the area. It’s a somewhat small beach, located adjacent to the Beach House Restaurant (a perfect after beach stop for drinks and dinner). The bottom of the ocean here is reef, even right up to the beach so be careful of what you stand on and foot protection can be a good idea. If you didn’t bring gear, conveniently near by is a Snorkel Bob’s gear rental inside the same building as the restaurant.
East side – Just before the Wailua River is Lydgate Beach Park. Here, you’re getting a double treat. Not only is the snorkeling here nothing short of amazing, but it’s enjoyed in two quite protected man made pools with rock walls around them. Snorkeling of all ages can partake here, unless the waves are abnormally huge. There’s a lifeguard on duty just in case, but this is the most peaceful snorkeling around.
North Shore – Tunnels Beach near the end of the road on the North Shore is regarded as the best snorkeling on the island. Located at the right hand point of a long, white sand crescent shaped beach, Tunnels is also a popular surf break. It’s really important to be aware of the waves here. If the waves are large, and they often are in the winter month, do not go out. Otherwise, on a calm day you will no doubt be amazed by the sea life here. A huge spectrum of fish are always hanging out here feeding on the live reef. Very experienced snorkelers and divers can head out to the outer drop off and grab a peak.