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Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai
Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai
Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai
Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai

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  • Natural Wonders, Swimming/Pools Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2
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    5.0
  • Facilities
    2.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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If you're looking for a great place to snorkel in Kauai, head to Tunnels Beach. Tunnels Beach is located on the north shore of Kauai in Wainiha, about 2 miles east of the Kalalau Trail and 9 miles west of Princeville. The beach offers an expansive reef that is suitable for both novice and experienced snorkelers. Travelers can expect to see batches of coral, small sea caves and tunnels as well as wildlife, such as turtles, plenty of colorful fish, and if you're lucky, a Hawaiian monk seal. If you're not up for snorkeling, visitors say this beach is still worth a trip for its fantastic location. Here, the water is clear, palm trees abound and if you look toward the west, you can admire the cluster of lush, jagged peaks that flank the beach.  

There are lifeguards stationed at Tunnels Beach and regularly posted signs outline the day's conditions. If there are signs discouraging visitors from swimming and snorkeling, do listen, as the north shore is known for being a lot rougher than southern beaches. If you're still unsure of conditions, just ask the lifeguard. It's advised that novice snorkelers stay close to the shore in the inner reef; only advanced snorkelers should venture to the outer reef, which features steep drop-offs and is subject to stronger currents. There aren't bathroom facilities at Tunnels Beach but there is some at the nearby Haena Beach Park, which is a little more than a half-mile southwest. Recent visitors also warned that parking is a problem, so plan to arrive as early as 9 a.m. if you don't want to walk too far. For more information on Tunnels Beach and other snorkeling hot spots, visit the Hawaii tourism board's website.

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Hotels Nearby

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Hale Ho'o Maha Bed & Breakfast

Hale Ho'o Maha Bed & Breakfast ...

  • 0.9 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
The St. Regis Princeville

The St. Regis Princeville ...

  • 4.0 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
Hanalei Colony Resort

Hanalei Colony Resort ...

  • 0.9 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
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#1 Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park Waimea Canyon, aptly nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," should be at the top of every traveler's itinerary. This 14-mile-long, mile-wide and approximately 3,600-feet deep gorge is ... Read more » maximkabb / Getty Images

#2 Napali Coast The Napali coast is a 17-mile expanse of rocky, steep, but oh-so-gorgeous series of cliffs that stretch along Kauai's northwest shore. Travelers agree there's no better way to ... Read more » MartinM303 / Getty Images

#3 Polihale State Park Located on Kauai's west coast, Polihale State Park is the last beach before the Napali Coast begins. On the northern tip of the beach, you can enjoy an eyeful ... Read more » wallix / Getty Images

#4 Ke'e Beach Along with Polihale State Park, Ke'e Beach is the safest beach to access for prime Napali views. Ke'e Beach is conveniently situated at the Kalalau trailhead, offering beachgoers ... Read more » M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

#5 Tunnels Beach If you're looking for a great place to snorkel in Kauai, head to Tunnels Beach. Tunnels Beach is located on the north shore of Kauai in Wainiha, about 2 ... Read more » Kicka Witte / Getty Images

#6 Kalapaki Beach Despite its close proximity to the airport, cruise port and multiple hotels, travelers maintain Kalapaki Beach is a relaxing spot. The beach is located on the west side of the ... Read more » jorgemir / Flickr

#7 Po'ipu Beach Po'ipu Beach is considered one of the most popular beaches in Kauai. This small shoreline situated on the southern shore of the island appeals to many types of beachgoers ... Read more » EllenSmile / Getty Images

#8 Hanalei Bay Hanalei Bay is located about 4 miles southwest of Princeville, one of the island's premier resort areas. Hanalei Bay is composed of three different beaches: Waioli Beach Park, Hanalei ... Read more » M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

#9 Wailua River State Park If you want to experience Kauai's majestic rainforests without breaking too much of a sweat, then you'll want to add Wailua River State Park to your itinerary. This ... Read more » Michael Runkel / Getty Images

Waimea Canyon picture in Kauai
Napali Coast picture in Kauai
Polihale State Park picture in Kauai
Ke'e Beach picture in Kauai
Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai
Kalapaki Beach picture in Kauai
Po'ipu Beach picture in Kauai
Hanalei Bay picture in Kauai
Wailua River State Park picture in Kauai
Waimea Canyon picture in Kauai
Napali Coast picture in Kauai
Polihale State Park picture in Kauai
Ke'e Beach picture in Kauai
Tunnels Beach picture in Kauai
Kalapaki Beach picture in Kauai
Po'ipu Beach picture in Kauai
Hanalei Bay picture in Kauai
Wailua River State Park picture in Kauai

Waimea Canyon features several scenic lookout points throughout the park.  maximkabb / Getty Images

The Napali Coast is easily Kauai's biggest attraction. To view the Napali Coast, you can hike the Kalalau Trail, take a boat tour, or if you can swing it, a helicopter tour.  MartinM303 / Getty Images

Polihale State Park is located at the tail end of the Napali Coast, giving travelers a glance of the famous cliffs from the northern end of the beach.    wallix / Getty Images

From the Kalalau Trail, you can enjoy great aerial views of Ke'e Beach. M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

Tunnels Beach is favored by travelers for its scenic setting and snorkeling opportunities.   Kicka Witte / Getty Images

This beach on the southside is recommended for sunning and swimming, but you can also rent a sailboat, kayak or take a catamaran cruise. jorgemir / Flickr

Po'ipu Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Kauai.  EllenSmile / Getty Images

Hanalei Bay is one of the most popular shores in Kauai. Swimming isn't always advised, but travelers say a trip here is worth it for the incredible views alone.  M.M. Sweet / Getty Images

Wailua River State Park is billed as the only navigable river in Hawaii. A popular means of exploring the river is via boat tour, which can be arranged on-site. Michael Runkel / Getty Images

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