Hanauma Bay deserves its top ranking as one of Hawaii’s best spots for snorkelling, with hundreds of tropical fish in shallow coral reefs and a protected bay. But this pristine beach is so popular that reservations are now required, so let’s take a moment to cover what you need to know so you don’t miss out on your next trip to Oahu.
The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. You’ll want to plan your arrival time carefully – the park opens at 6:45am and closes sharp at 4:00pm, and there’s no entry after 2:00pm. Only 1,000 guests are allowed each day, and so you’ll want to book your tickets in advance. Walks in without a reservation are allowed, but are VERY limited so we highly recommend making a booking to avoid disappointment.
Online reservations can be made two days in advance starting at 7:00am (HST) – that’s Hawaii Standard Time – and will sell out in minutes. Once the reservations have been made, no changes are allowed and you’ll need to make sure to bring your ID with you on the day for confirmation upon entry.
Entry fees apply for adults, and children 12 and under are free. Parking is available on a first come first serve – and it’s cash only, so make sure to bring a few coins with you. Having a reservation is not a guarantee for parking, and the small parking lot fills up early so it’s best to book an early timeslot. Other options are to take “TheBus” (Oahu’s public transport system) or Uber/Lyft. Snorkelling gear is available for rent on-site if you don’t have your own, but make sure to bring your beach gear, reefsafe sunscreen, and a cooler for drinks and snacks.
And remember, everyone is required to watch the 9-minute educational video to learn about the park’s marine life, safety rules and conservation efforts.
Now start practicing… humuhumunukunukuapua’a…