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Hawai’i Island’s Secret Snorkeling Spots


Hawai’i Island’s Secret Snorkeling Spots

With over 260 miles of coastline the big island of Hawaii has plenty to explore. We’ve done the exploring for you so you can just go and enjoy some of the lesser known snorkel spots off the beaten path here in on the Big Island. Some of Hawai’i Island’s secret snorkeling spots are best accessible by taking Kona snorkel tours. If you’re looking for the best snorkeling Big Island has check out the top 15 best snorkeling spots on the Big Island.

If you want to up your game so you can get the most out of your time in the water consider taking a freediving course.




This guide is for the adventurous ocean lover who wants to get off the beaten path and away from tourist infested hot spots


Secret Snorkeling Spots On The Big Island



Yellow stars are the secret spots. Check on Ocean Conditions before heading out.




Located just south of Honokohau Marina is Fishbowl. This site is not only easy and convenient to access by boat, it’s a really great spot with tons of underwater life. Large schools of fish are common here in all colors and varieties. The shape of this site makes it a bit secluded and the drop off underwater means some pelagic species of larger animals may swing by. It’s possible to see turtles and eagle rays here. To visit this secluded cove join us on one of our daily snorkel tours.




Beach 69

One of the best kept secret local beaches has really good snorkeling! The beach itself is great for lounging under the shade with nice sand. The water conditions are often fairly murky though. Don’t expect excellent visibility here but do expect some nice blue coral heads as well as large schools of healthy reef fish life. The depth is more on the shallow side and you’ll encounter trees underwater. It’s an ideal beach to bring the family along to. It is located a bit north and requires a drive.



Mile Marker 4

One of the locals favorite dive and snorkel spots near downtown Kona. This little gem is not an obvious choice for snorkeling and it’s often visited by divers because of it’s proximity to town and relatively easy entry. It also has some really neat underwater features like arches and a lava cavern. It’s located just south of Magic Sands beach which has pretty mediocre snorkeling but offers another entry point if you’re willing to swim south from there. You can also use the public showers at Magic Sands or go by the restaurant there apres snorkel.



Suck e’m up

This is one of the snorkeling sites only easily accessible from boat on our deluxe morning snorkel tour or afternoon snorkel tour. It’s a great spot for topography because of the lava rock walls and caves here. There’s a particularly long lava cavern that scuba divers like to swim through but it’s a long swim for most snorkelers. The light is beautiful in here and there’s often a white tip reef shark waiting near on of the entrances. There’s also plenty of marine life and lots of nice reef to explore in the shallows.


End of the World

This site is known for it’s cliff jump and great sunset views in the summer. If you get in and swim around the point to the south the underwater rock features are really unique. There’s a cavern with a chimney and some strange lava tube tunnels built into the reef here. Careful of the big swells that can make it difficult to get back out of the water here.


Lapakahi State Park

The most northern of the sites listed here. It’s mostly known for being a national park with some old Hawaiian structures and ruins but the secret is now out! This is a marine preserve so it’s a great place to see an abundance of marine life. You may even see lobster out during the day!


Pawai Arches

One of the best snorkeling sites on the island is located close to Kona town. This site is only accessible by boat and has great rock features including arches and walls as well as caves. There are large schools of fish and plenty of octopus and eels. A great easy spot to get to by boat. On shore there’s a Hawaiian heritage camping area for people of Hawaiian descent only. Dive boats and snorkel boats come here often especially when the winter swell is up as it’s well protected. You can visit this stellar spot on one of our daily snorkel tours.




Mau’umae Beach

It’s definitely not much of a tourist beach. The snorkeling here is very good and an easy entry. It’s a bit of a walk down to the beach itself but it’s well worth it once you arrive. This is a great beach for dogs and families. There’s some really nice corals and shallow snorkeling with pleenty of marine life to look at. The shade here is limited.




Road to The Sea

One of the most adventurous spots on the list Road to The Sea is the name of the street that takes you straight to the ocean. To get here you’re going to want to be fully offroad capable with a Jeep or other 4×4 vehicle. The wind can pick up here but underwater it’s some of the best snorkeling on the big island. Definitely one of the best of Hawaii Island’s secret snorkeling spots. There’s a green sand beach and a lagoon here. You can camp overnight or just make a long day trip of it.



Kukio Beach

One of the most exclusive spots in this guide Kukio is a private high-end housing development. There’s only a limited number of passes to be had so come early! There’s a lagoon which is great for families, shade trees and some really excellent snorkeling to be had. Compared to other Kona snorkeling spots this is one of the better ones. This place was made into a marine reserve in 2016 so the fish are both abundant and friendly. There are also bathrooms and showers here. All-in-all a great place for groups. While it’s debatable whether this is the best snorkeling on Big Island it’s definitely a great spot.



Wait! Before you Go Snorkeling on Big Island

Now that you’re ready to get out there and see some of the best snorkeling on Big Island. Make sure you’ve got all of the gear you need to make the most of your water time. We cover snorkeling gear you’ll need in our snorkeling gear guide. If you need to pick up some snorkel gear you can also visit our shop at Kona Honu Divers.