If you’re in Hawaii you are definitely going to want to spend some time in the water. Kauai has some beautiful beaches and great areas to snorkel.
We wanted to see as many varieties of fish that we could, so we decided to snorkel at five different beaches on the island. Generally speaking the waters on the south shore were more calm then the north shore.
Snorkeling in Kauai
One of our first stops was to Snorkel Bob’s to rent some gear. The face mask and the fins were great, but the snorkel we weren’t too happy with.
After sucking way too much salt water we went to the local store and bought a snorkel with a stopper and we were happy to snorkel after that. We went snorkeling at the following beaches:
- Poipu Beach
- Tunnels Beach
- Ke’e Beach
- Nu’alolo Kai (from our tour boat on the Napali Coast)
It was great as we were able to see different fish at each spot. We saw the largest fish at Lyndgate Beach. They were at least 2 feet long and 18″ wide. Beautiful.
Fish in Kauai
While snorkeling we saw the following fish in Kauai waters:
- Butterfly Fish
- Moorish Idol
- Picasso Triggerfish (the Hawaiin state fish-humuhumunukunuku),
- Eye-stripe Surgeonfish
- Ornate wrasse
Those are the names of the ones we could identify. There are a many other fish to see while snorkeling and they are just as curious about you as you are about them. I was actually surprised at how close a group of them will come to you.
My photos are not so good because it was just a cheap waterproof camera. But the experience was awesome. We also saw Green Sea Turtles while in the water.
While snorkeling is loads of fun-it is easy to float too far out and get yourself into a world of trouble. The rip tides here are unbelievable and will pull you out and under. You really have to be careful. The ocean is beautiful, but it is dangerous. Have fun, but use caution and don’t go out alone.
A Ride on the Na Pali Coast Boat Snorkeling Tour
If you visit Kauai, chances are the Na Pali coast is on your list of sights to see. Next to the helicopter ride, the Na Pali coast boat snorkeling tour was our most memorable experience in Kauai.
I believe this is a must do activity. It was an incredible experience! The Na Pali Coast can only be seen by boat, by air, or by hiking (with permit) many miles.
After considering various companies we chose a small family owned company called Makana Charters and we were very pleased with them. Mike, the owner is a wonderful captain and it was a very informative tour. One of the main reasons we chose them is because they only take 13 people on their 32-ft power catamaran.
This made the trip more personal and then we could go inside the caves and snorkel on the Nu‘alolo Kai beach (you can only go here if the boat has less than 18 people on it).
The view of the Na Pali coast by boat is breathtaking. The views are beautiful, and the caves were very cool to go inside of. The boat left from Port Allen and we went about 100 yards from Ke’e Beach. We then went back and went snorkeling at Nu‘alolo Kai beach.
Snorkeling was very good here, we saw several green sea turtles, and lots of fish. After snorkeling we ate a buffet style lunch and headed back to the port. The trip back to port is much faster than on the way there, so hold on!