Big Island Pictures - Snorkeling
Big Island Pictures - Snorkeling - Best Snorkeling Beaches - Mauna Kea Beach or Kaunaoa Bay. The calm water makes Mauna Kea Beach snorkeling a great activity for children as well as adults. Most of the bay is sand-bottomed and less than 10 feet deep making for easy and safe snorkeling. Beach access parking is provided by the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. There's only about 25 or so parking spaces available for non-guests, which keeps the crowds to a bare minimum. Be sure to get there before 9:00am!
Honaunau Bay: Honaunau Bay is overlooked by Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. This 182-acre Federal park preserves the historic site where ancient defeated warriors, non-combatants, and sacred law breakers found sanctuary. Near shore, the average depth is only about 10 feet. Out in the center of the bay the depth drops dramatically to well over 100 feet.
Kahaluu Beach Park is a tiny sheltered cove on the west side of the Big Island right in the town of Kailua-Kona. Itís one of only a handful of beaches in Hawaii with such a large tame fish population. One of the reasons for Kahaluu's abundant fish population is that most of the cove is shallower than neck deep. The deepest spot barely exceeds 10 feet, even at high tide. The shallow water allows sunlight to penetrate all the way to the bottom, growing lots of healthy coral. The coral, in turn, houses and feeds all the coveís marine life. The bottom of the cove is composed of a base layer of lava rock and coral with scattered patches of sand.
Kealakekua Bay Marine Sanctuary or Captain Cook Bay: Kealakekua Bay encompasses 315 acres, measuring 1.5 miles in length and one mile in width. It is the largest sheltered natural bay on the island of Hawaii. The spectacular marine sanctuary at Kealakekua Bay offers an abundance of colorful tropical fish, a variety of beautiful coral reefs and visibility often to 100 feet. The calm, protected waters and sunny skies of Kealakekua Bay provide superior snorkeling and diving year round. Unfortunately you cannot simply drive to Captain Cook - this remote location is only accessible by water. Most visitors opt to rent a Kayak and paddle across the scenic bay to the Captain Cook Monument. Others prefer to join a guided snorkel tour.
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