Price & Hours
- Recreation, Swimming/Pools Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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The Hawaiian Islands boast 1,200 miles of coral reef, so it's hardly surprising that two of Oahu's most popular activities are snorkeling and scuba diving. Dive into the island's surrounding turquoise water and you'll likely find an array of colorful fish (think: bright yellow tang, rainbow runners and reef triggerfish), plus bigger marine creatures like dolphins and sea turtles.
Past travelers loved snorkeling for free at public beaches like Sans Souci Beach Park (by Waikiki Beach) and Makaha Beach Park (on the Leeward Coast), citing the ample marine life and clear water as reasons to return. But keep in mind that loaner equipment fees vary by shop and rental period. Popular options include Snorkel Bob's, Aqua Zone Scuba Diving & Snorkeling and Hawaii Beach Time. Other regions, such as Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, are best explored during a snorkeling excursion via tour operators like Snorkelfest Snorkel Hanauma Bay and Hanauma Bay Tours. These half-day trips – which include round-trip transfers and the use of a mask, fins and a snorkel – generally cost $25 to $30 per adult (or about $20 for each child 12 and younger), plus taxes and an additional $7.50 preserve entrance fee for adults.
Divers can check out Witch's Brew at Hanauma Bay or other locales, such as Shark's Cove (on the North Shore) and the Sea Tiger and Corsair wrecks (near Waikiki and the Windward Coast, respectively). Oahu Diving, Reef Pirates Diving and Living Ocean Scuba are just a few scuba companies that offer diver-approved excursions. Expect to pay $115 to $150 per two-tank morning or afternoon dive. All organized dive trip prices cover equipment rentals, and some rates also include transportation to and from your hotel, instruction from a certified diver, digital photos and snacks. For additional information about snorkeling and diving on Oahu, visit the Hawaii Tourism Authority's website.