It is official!

Dr. Beach declared Hanauma Bay to be the best U. S. beach!

Hanauma Bay, Island of Oahu, Hawai'i

Through an airplane window, it may look like a meteorite crashed into the island of Oahu, punching out the hole we call Hanauma Bay, but the opposite is true: Hanauma Bay is all that remains from an ancient volcano.
Over thousands of years, ocean waves stormed the seaward wall of the crater; eventually the wall crumbled into dust and waves rushed in to fill the void.
The natural beauty of Hanauma Bay attracted Hawaiian royalty, which ruled for its preservation. After Hawai'i became the fiftieth of the United States, Hanauma Bay became a Marine Conservation Area.
As a result of these historic actions, YOU can go to Hanauma Bay today and swim with turtles. YOU can snorkel and dive among the most colourful and exotic marine life in the world, and YOU can take amazing underwater photographs of creatures you couldn't see or approach anywhere else but Hawai'i!

The beach at Hanauma Bay has all the modern conveniences: toilets, showers, places to rent snorkels and fins, buy underwater cameras, etc. It has all the wonderful eye candy one expects to see on beaches in Europe, or the USA.

When you look closely at the little grass shack, you can see row upon row of photos of fish, turtles, seashells, and other marine life you are likely to meet as soon as you go in the water at Hanauma Bay!

This may not sound very exciting if you have never been swimming with fish and turtles before, but when you do, you will certainly want photographs to record the historic event! The underwater photos on these webpages were all taken with Kodak or Fuji disposable underwater cameras available at stores in Honolulu for $10.00, in Waikiki at $15.00, and for $20.00 each at Hanauma Bay!

The Number 22 Bus goes from Waikiki to Hanauma Bay every day except Tuesday, when Hanauma Bay is closed to give the coral and other marine life one day of rest. Passengers are packed in the bus like sardines - going and coming - so many people opt for clilpping out a coupon from one of the tourist magazines and going with a snorkel tour company.

The summer 2005 rate is $11.00 for pick-up from a Waikiki hotel to Hanauma Bay and return, with snorkel and fins. These tours are usually for 3-4 hour stints. I have found the most reliable to be Seabird Tours (808) 220-3968; they pick you up when they say they will, don't try rip you off with hidden charges or detours to other sales outlets, and their gear is also clean and reliable.

To avoid long lines at the ticket counter ($5.00 entrance charge), I recommend going before the first 22 bus arrives, i.e., before 09:00 in the morning!

When I go to Hanauma Bay, I can easily spend 4-6 hours in the water, which is a long time to have a snorkel clenched between one's teeth, or fins weighing down one's feet (I don't wear fins because they scare off fish, and they kick up sand which makes for very blurry photos!). As you can see in this photo, all I need is goggles, disposable underwater camera, and the mandatory swimming trunks to have a perfect day at Hanauma Bay.

If you still believe the only place you want to see fish is on your dinner plate, PLEASE click "MORE" and see what you are missing!