Day 5 – Snorkling at Hapuna Beach and Kahaluu Beach Park

On Day 5 of our Hawaiian vacation, it was in stark contrast to what we did on Day 4. The previous day, we had traveled down to the southern portion of the Big Island in order to see Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In this area, we were able to see an active volcano, lava fields, and all things related to molten lava coming up onto the ground. On our way back, we were able to see the sun setting into the ocean.

Today, we decided to do something completely different. This was the day that we went to a couple different places to have fun on the beach and also do some snorkeling on the Big Island Of Hawaii.

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Places To Snorkeling On The Big Island Of Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are well known for the many incredible locations that you can do a substantial amount of snorkeling. There are beautiful coral reefs that you can see once you are in the crystal clear waters, with many locations that have green sea turtles or Honu that are both in the water and lying on the beach. You will also see amazing coral reefs that are very healthy, full of color and life. You will also see incredible tropical fish of all different shapes, sizes and colors, parading around you as you maneuver on top of, or through, the water. The colors were like the many Hawaiian flowers we had seen during our trip.

There are actually many different places on either side of the island where you can have a great experience. Most of them are on the Kona side or leeward side of the island, one of the reasons that this west side of the Big Island is so popular with those that love going in the water. Two of the best places to go snorkeling were out locations that we visited on Day 4 which included Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau Bay. However, we chose to go to only two places, one of which I was very familiar with, and the other was brand-new to all of us. This included snorkeling at Hapuna Beach, a location that we passed on Day 2 when we went to the Waikoloa petroglyph preserve. The other place was Kahaluʻu Beach Park just a mile from our resort.

Hapuna Beach

This beach is actually known more for its white sand beaches, something that is very unique on the Big Island. There are others including Manini’owali Beach and Mauna Kea Beach, neither of which are as large or as beautiful as Hapuna Beach. It extends 200 feet wide, and the water is so clear, you can see the white sand descending into the ocean. You will also see coral reefs, most of which are located at the northern portion of the beach.

It’s the perfect location for people that want to spend a day at an exceptional beach that is also well designed. There are places to sit above looking down on the beach, giving you plenty of shade. There is also a large parking area, allowing people that arrive late in the day to still find a place to park. You may see an occasional green sea turtle, but if you want to see turtles in great abundance, you need to go snorkeling at Kahaluu Beach Park.

Kahaluʻu Beach Park

Once we got back from Hapuna Beach, we stopped at our room to grab something to eat, and after a quick rest, we traveled just over 3 miles down the road. This was by far the most convenient place to do snorkeling.

It was located conveniently on the right as we headed south on Ali’i Drive. There are far fewer parking spaces than at Hapuna Beach, but it was a much shorter walk to get to the beach and get into the water. The beach itself at Kahaluʻu Beach Park is very minimal. However, you are not going to care once you get into the water. It has a large number of coral reefs, and an abundance of fish, that will keep you preoccupied for hours.

The other benefit of this particular snorkeling spot is that it’s perfect for kids. There are places where you can stand in the water, something that is perfect for people that have never done snorkeling before. We were also lucky and saw a Honu or green sea turtle, coming in to rest on the sandy shores.


There are many other snorkeling locations up and down the West Coast of the Big Island. There are at least five locations near the town of Hilo on the east side of the island. However, if you are staying in Kailua as we were, Hapuna beach and Kahaluʻu Beach Park are great places to go because of how close they are to the town.

This ended our 5th day in Hawaii. We headed back home and rested the remainder of the day. The next day, Day 6, we were going to have a much more relaxing day che3cking out local coffee farms and would do our first luau together…