When you visit Hawaii, you likely have a lot of stops on your itinerary. You’ll likely want to visit the island’s main tourist attractions, the waterfalls and forests, volcanoes, and check out a luau. Additionally, you will probably want to meet some animals, get a surfing lesson, and even go snorkeling.
And we think that’s a great idea. Visiting the beach, surfing, and snorkeling is a great way to immerse yourself in a world you might not be familiar with — the underwater world. Under the surface of the water, you’ll find a beautiful world filled with tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays, dolphins, and whales. And if you’re especially lucky, you’ll get a chance to see the coral reef.
Learn more about the coral reef and why you should visit the coral reefs by reading below!
What is the Coral Reef?
Contrary to popular belief, the coral reef isn’t a rock or shell. It’s a living creature. The coral reef eats, grows, and can even reproduce to build a larger reef. The coral reef is an important gathering place for fish and provides shelter for a multitude of marine wildlife. In fact, according to HawaiiReef.org, there are over 7,000 various species of marine plants and wildlife that call the coral reef home. 1,250 of those are unique to Hawaii’s massive spread of coral reefs.
The coral reef is one of the most unique beings in the world, and visiting the coral reef is an opportunity to see it in person.
Experience Coral Wildlife
The wildlife at the coral reef varies greatly from fish to sea turtles. When you visit the coral reef, you will likely spot several colorful, tropical fish. These include different types of butterflyfish, saddle wrasse, reef triggerfish, snappers, tangs, goatfish, parrotfish, and Hawaii’s state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. You may also see different invertebrates, such as octopus, lobster, crab, sea urchins, and even shrimp. You may also spot larger animals such as green sea turtles and manta rays. On rare occasions, you may even spot a small, harmless shark or dolphin near the reefs.
Marine Plant Life Among The Reef
Not only will you see vibrant and colorful fish, but you will also find various marine plants. You’ll likely see a lot of colorful algae and seagrass. These provide nourishment and oxygen for marine wildlife.
Visit The Coral Reef Respectfully
The coral reef is an integral part of the ocean’s ecosystem. The coral reef sustains a wide range of marine wildlife and plants. It protects the shore from erosion and preserves our beaches. The coral reef is so important and we want to encourage everyone to visit the coral reef as ethically and respectfully as possible.
Here are a few things to consider when visiting the coral reef.
No Chemical Sunscreens
The sale of chemical sunscreens is banned in Hawaii. This is because some of the most common ingredients in sunscreens are very harmful to the coral reef. Sunscreens with petrochemicals, avobenzone, and octocrylene are poisoning the coral reef and leading to the death of massive parts of the coral reef.
Do Not Touch The Coral Reef
The coral reef is delicate. Do not touch the coral reef in any way. It’s 100% ok to watch the coral reef from a distance, but you should never touch the coral reef or stand on it.
Respect the Reef’s Fish & Wildlife
The fish and wildlife in the coral reef need to be protected. Some people think that it’s ok to bring a bet and try to catch fish for their home aquariums. Each fish is a vital part of the coral reef’s ecosystem and it’s wrong to take them home.
Where To Go To See The Coral Reef
Where should you go to see the coral reef? We’re glad you asked. We highly recommend snorkeling to see the coral reef, granted you keep your distance and respect the marine wildlife. We’ve listed a few favorite snorkeling spots below. To see more snorkeling destinations around Kauai, check out our blog, “Where Are The Best Snorkeling Spots in Kauai.”
- Tunnels Beach
- Ke’e Beach
- Poipu Beach
- Lawai Beach
- Na Pali Coast
Experience the Reef with Kauai Sea Tours
Our favorite location in Kauai to go snorkeling is off the Na Pali Coast! Our team will take you to some of the best places around the gorgeous Na Pali Coast to see the coral reef and go snorkeling. We even bring the snorkeling gear.
With a team that’s passionate about creating incredible adventures in paradise, we’re excited to explore the Napali Coast with you. Check out our website for information about snorkeling next to the Napali Coast and exquisite dinner boat tours below the cliffs, and more.