Welcome to Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is a stunning natural preserve located on the eastern coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Visitors to the bay can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including snorkeling, hiking, and sunbathing. To make the most of your visit, it’s important to plan ahead and know the park’s hours of operation.

Hours of Operation

Hanauma Bay is open daily from 6:45am to 4pm, with the last admission at 1:30pm. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to secure a spot in the parking lot, as it can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist season.

The park is closed on Tuesdays to allow for maintenance and conservation efforts.

Hawai‘i residents with valid identification may access the nature preserve without a reservation from 6:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays


As of 2023, the entrance fee for non-residents is $25 per person, which includes admission for the day and a mandatory safety video that all visitors must watch before entering the park.

However, residents of Hawaii can enter the park for free with a valid ID.

It’s worth noting that the admission fee for Hanauma Bay is subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the park’s website or call ahead for the most up-to-date information.

Learn more about the prices


Reservations are required for visitors, as the park operates on a limited capacity to help protect the marine life and delicate ecosystem. Visitors can make reservations online through the park’s website, or by calling the Hanauma Bay Education Program office directly.

It’s recommended that visitors make reservations as early as possible, as the park can fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist season.

Learn about the ticket reservations

Why Snorkel at Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is a unique marine ecosystem that offers an exceptional snorkeling experience for several reasons:

  • Biodiversity: Hanauma Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District teeming with an incredible variety of marine life, with over 400 species of fish. This includes the state fish of Hawaii, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, and the endangered Green Sea Turtle, among many others.
  • Accessible Coral Reefs: The clear, shallow waters are home to a vibrant coral reef that is easily accessible, even to novice snorkelers.
  • Natural Protection: The Bay’s natural curved shape provides protection from large waves and strong currents, creating a safer snorkeling environment, especially for beginners.
  • Conservation Efforts: The conservation and education initiatives by the Education Program ensure that the bay remains a sustainable and ecologically rich environment for future generations to enjoy.
  • Spectacular Scenery: Apart from the underwater wonderland, Hanauma Bay itself is situated in a volcanic crater, offering an incredibly scenic location both underwater and on the beach.

How to Get to Hanauma Bay?

Hanauma Bay is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, and there are several ways to reach it:

By Car – You can reach it by driving along the Kalanianaole Highway. There’s a parking fee, and spaces can fill up quickly, so early arrival is recommended.
From Waikiki to Hanauma bay by car

By Bus – The public bus system in Oahu (TheBus) has routes that stop near Hanauma Bay. Find out more about TheBus.

By Shuttle – Some companies offer shuttle services from Waikiki. Check with your hotel for recommendations.

By Taxi or Rideshare – You can also take a taxi or use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Hanauma Bay? The bay tends to be less crowded early in the morning, and this is also when the water is calmest and visibility is best. However, marine life can be spotted throughout the day.

Do I need to bring my own snorkeling equipment? You can bring your own equipment if you prefer, but snorkeling gear is also available for rent.

What kind of marine life can I expect to see? Hanauma Bay is home to more than 400 species of fish, including the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, Hawaii’s state fish. You may also spot green sea turtles, parrotfish, butterflyfish, and moray eels among others.

Can I touch the coral or the marine animals? No, touching the coral or the marine animals is strictly prohibited. These actions can harm the fragile ecosystem.

Can I bring food and drinks? You are allowed to bring drinks and small snacks into the park, but large meals are not permitted. There is also a snack bar on-site.

What should I do if the bay is full when I arrive? Visitor numbers to Hanauma Bay are limited each day to protect the environment. If the bay is full, you may have to wait or come back another day. Arriving early can help ensure you get in.

Is snorkeling safe for children or older adults? Yes, snorkeling is a relatively safe activity for people of all ages. However, all snorkelers should be comfortable in the water, and children or older adults should take extra precautions.

Are there lifeguards on duty Yes, there are lifeguards stationed around the bay for your safety. Always hee their warnings and instructions.

Is Hanauma Bay wheelchair accessible? Yes, it offers a tram service that can accommodate visitors with disabilities. There are also accessible restroom facilities.

Nearby Attractions

Cockroach Cove

Cockroach Cove, nestled on Oahu’s southeastern shoreline, is a serene retreat known for its crystal-clear waters and soft sandy beach, encased by dramatic cliffs. Despite its name, this hidden gem is a paradise for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Famous as a backdrop for classic films, the cove offers a unique blend of peaceful beach relaxation and a hint of Hollywood history. It’s an ideal spot for a quiet escape, where the wonders of Hawaii’s marine life are just a snorkel away.

Halona Blowhole

Halona Blowhole

Halona Blowhole is a captivating natural wonder showcasing the ocean’s formidable power. This geological marvel, formed from lava rocks, forcefully ejects seawater into the air, offering a spectacular display for onlookers.

The site provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and, on clear days, distant islands, making it a popular destination for those drawn to Hawaii’s breathtaking natural beauty. The Halona Blowhole is an essential stop for visitors eager to experience the unique landscapes and oceanic wonders of the area.

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach presents a stark contrast with its fierce and powerful waves, making it a magnet for thrill-seeking surfers and bodyboarders. Renowned for its beautiful golden sands and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, this beach is a spectacle of nature’s raw power, where the ocean meets land with remarkable force. While its beauty and energy attract many, the strong currents and challenging conditions require caution, making it less suited for casual swimming.