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Which Side Of Kauai Is Best For Snorkeling

a body of water with a mountain in the background

The island of Kauai is one of the top snorkeling destinations around the world. Since people are heading into space now, dare we say Kauai is the best snorkeling destination in the universe? We aren’t kidding either. Out of the main Hawaiian islands, Kauai has the most untouched areas, making it a perfect home for marine wildlife. Many of these marine wildlife, such as sea turtles, tropical fish, dolphins, manta rays, and other sea life can be found around the island on snorkeling tours.

All around the island, you’ll find great locations to go snorkeling. The island of Kauai has dozens upon dozens of picturesque beaches, coves, and areas that are perfect for diving under the surface of the water and spotting marine life and coral reefs. But you may wonder, where are these beaches hiding? What side of Kauai is best for snorkeling?

Keep reading below to learn more about the snorkeling scene across the island of Kauai.

North Shore

The North Shore of Kauai is the northernmost point of all the Hawaiian islands. With clear waters, the north shore is an excellent snorkeling destination but only in the summer months. Being so far north, the north shore is prone to dangerous conditions and violent swells during the winter. But during the summer, the north shore is a great snorkeling area for beginner snorkelers. Some of the best beaches for snorkeling on the north shore include:

Na Pali Coast Snorkeling

The Na Pali Coast is an incredible location for snorkeling. With cliffs stretching four thousand feet above you, it’s one of the most unique and picturesque destinations in the world for snorkeling. The best way to reach the prime snorkeling spots is to take a napali coast boat tour to the perfect spots near the cliffs with a knowledgeable guide.

Snorkeling at Haena Beach Park

Haena Beach is a huge park on the north shore with parking for up to 100 cars. Haena Beach is home to Ke’e Beach Park and Makua Beach as well.

Makua Beach Park (Tunnels Beach)

Makua Beach, also called Tunnels Beach, is a special part of Haena Beach Park where lava tubes created caverns and tunnels in the water, making it an incredible place for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Ke’e Beach Park Snorkeling

Ke’e Beach is surrounded by coral reefs. This coral reef provides a barrier from waves and heavy currents, making snorkeling the shoreside of the coral reef a fun and safe experience.

Anini Beach Lagoon Snorkeling

Anini Beach is massive. 12.5 acres of shoreline offer a great snorkeling experience. The waters around Anini Beach are calm all year round. However, the currents can pick up the closer you get to the coral reef so this beach is only recommended for strong swimmers and experienced snorkelers.

East Shore

The eastern side of Kauai, also called the Royal Coconut Coast, is home to Wailua and Kapaa. While the eastern shore doesn’t have nearly as many Kauai beaches as the north shore, the East shore is great for beginner snorkelers, especially young children.

Snorkeling at Lydgate Beach Park

Lydgate Beach Park is probably the best snorkeling destination for young children who have never snorkeled before. There are two large ponds surrounded by rock walls that keep the large waves and currents from sweeping children out to sea. However, hundreds of tropical fish sneak through in between the rocks so there’s plenty to see while snorkeling. Children can get comfortable with snorkeling without the extra danger of swimming in an open ocean.

Anahola Beach For Snorkeling

Anahola Beach is a beach the locals love. There’s a small slope that gently declines into the water instead of a sudden dropoff. Around the beach lies a beautiful spread of coral reef with tons of tropical fish and marine life to see.

South Shore

On the South Shore, you’ll find the famous Poipu Beach, a beloved snorkeling spot.

Poipu Beach Snorkeling

Poipu Beach was once voted “America’s Best Beach” and once you get there, it’s easy to see why. Imagine soft, golden sands as far as the eye can see, crystal clear waters, and hundreds of tropical fish. That’s what you’ll find at this gorgeous beach. Poipu Beach also has a lifeguarrd, restrooms, and plenty of room to lay out a towel and soak up some sun after snorkeling.

Go Snorkeling With Kauai Sea Tours

To have a safe snorkeling experience, it helps to go with a team that has a long history of providing safe snorkeling excursions. At Kauai Sea Tours, we have helped thousands of guests go snorkeling around the island of Kauai and we strive to make memories you remember fondly for years to come. Our knowledgeable team even brings you to the best snorkeling spots, depending on the weather and conditions.

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