So, you’ve booked a trip to the Hawaiian Islands and now you’re ready to test out your brand new H2O Ninja Mask, but where do you start? With some of the most pristine beaches in the world, Hawaii’s coastlines do not disappoint in terms of underwater adventure, but figuring out where to go, when and on what island can be kind of daunting. In this series, we will break down the best snorkeling spots on each island so you can make the most of your adventure. Our series on snorkeling in the Hawaiian Islands has been to O’ahu, Maui, Hawai’i, Kaua’i and today we are making a pitstop on Lāna’i.
Nicknamed The Pineapple Isle, Lāna’i was formerly an island-wide pineapple plantation owned by famed DOLE owner David Murdock. A comma-shaped island measuring 140.5 square miles, Lāna’i is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands with a width of 18 miles in the longest direction.
Hulopoe Bay is the best place to get started on Lāna’i for any type of snorkeler. Calm waters and white sand welcome snorkelers to this protected marine life sanctuary. Located in front of the Four Seasons Resort Manele Bay, it is a public beach with bathroom and shower access, as well as picnic tables for post-snorkeling fare. Visitors to Hulopoe Bay report seeing spinner dolphins, green turtles, angelfish and even migrating whales in the winter months. A highlight of the Bay are the naturally-formed tide pools on the eastern side that make for calm exploration waters.
Shark Fin Cove
If you are looking for a snorkeling day trip, hop on board a charter heading for Shark Fin Cove. Located on the southern shore of Lāna’i, Shark Fin Cove gets its name from the shape of volcanic rock that forms the cove. Alongside picturesque views of Lāna’i’s cliffs, snorkelers have the opportunity to see clownfish, green sea turtles and octopus. Some visitors have even reported seeing small reef shark and parrot fish!
The waters off the northern coast of Lāna’i can be extremely rough and swimming is discouraged. It is not advised to snorkel off Polihua Beach or Kaiolohia Beach (Shipwreck Beach). Tune in next week if you plan to snorkel along Moloka’i’s coastline!