When planning your Hawaii vacation, you won’t want to miss visiting Hanauma Bay. Located on the island of Oahu, this State Park offers pristine beaches, picturesque views, and diverse marine life. For the outdoor lover, there is no greater spot to explore the wonders of nature than Hanauma Bay. The snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is often said to be some of the best in the world!

Learn everything you need to know about Hanauma Bay, from its history to highlights, so you can plan the trip of a lifetime and make memories you’ll never forget.


  • Swim in the clear protected waters of a marine sanctuary
  • Visit one of the most popular snorkeling spots on Oahu
  • Great snorkeling for both beginners and experienced ocean-goers
  • Reserved ticketing required to guarantee your entrance into the state park.
  • Easily accessible by both car and public transportation


Aerial View of Hanauma Bay
© Shutterstock

Hanauma Bay is a stunning curved bay created by a series of volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago, and in Hawaiian, “hana” means bay and “uma” means curved. Its curved shape is due to its location inside a volcanic cone, which also explains its rich marine life. Due to its beauty, Hanauma Bay has long been a favorite destination for both local residents and the royalty of the past, who would swim, fish, and boat along its shores.

Although it was officially named a marine life conservation area in 1967, the lack of regulations allowed thousands of visitors to visit its beaches every day. The extreme number of visitors took its toll, and by 1990, the Counsel of Honolulu noticed and realized the environmental damage the area was receiving. They laid out a plan to limit visitors and reduce their impact on the area, including regulating tours allowed on the waters surrounding the beach.

Today, guests are expected to enjoy Hanauma Bay respectfully which means not getting too close to the marine life, never stepping on the coral, wearing reef-safe sunscreen, and watching an educational video before entering. Hanauma Bay is a wonderful destination to enjoy but sustainability is the first and foremost priority.

Hanauma Bay Reservations

Hanauma Bay Reservation
© Kaimana Tours

Hours of Operation

Opens at 6:45AM (last entry 1:30PM). All guests must leave Hanauma Bay by 4:00PM.

Entrance Fee

  • $25.00 per non-Hawaii resident 13 years old or older
  • Free admission for children 12 years & younger
  • Free admission for Hawaii state residents with valid state ID

Parking Information

  • $3.00 per vehicle for non-Hawaii residents
  • $1.00 per vehicle for Hawaii state residents

How to Purchase Hanauma Bay Tickets

Tickets for Hanauma Bay are available through the City & County of Honolulu’s online booking site which can be found here.

The online reservation system will allow you to select an entry time two days prior to your visit. For example, on Monday at 7:00AM HST, you will be able to reserve a time slot for Wednesday. Tickets often sell out in minutes, so be ready to book right when ticket sales are made available.

To accommodate guests without computer or internet access, a very limited amount of tickets are available directly at Hanauma Bay. Same day tickets often get sold out before 9:00 AM.

Hanauma Bay Entry

Hanauma Bay limits the number of guests to 720 per day and requires online reservations. Access into Hanauma Bay (including the parking lot, entrance, and theatre) will be limited to 30 individuals at a time. Once that group enters the theater to watch the mandatory educational video, the next group will be allowed to enter.

All visitors will be required to watch the educational video in the theater for each visit to Hanauma Bay. The previous viewing of the video will not allow visitors to skip this step.

Facilities at Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay Facilities
© Shutterstock

Hanauma Bay has a wide range of facilities accessible to guests, and is one of the most wheelchair accessible beaches on Oahu.

Hanauma Bay Amenities

  • Lifeguards
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Snack bar & concession stand
  • Locker rentals
  • Snorkeling gear rental

Hanauma Bay Wheelchair Accessibility

Tram service is available between the upper parking lot and the beach.

Beach wheelchairs are available for free on a first come first served basis. Ask any of the Hanauma Bay representatives when you arrive for more information.

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Snorkel at Hanauma Bay
© Shutterstock

Snorkeling is one of the main attractions at Hanauma Bay, and with coral reefs and abundant marine life, it’s easy to see why!

The abundant coral reefs at Hanauma Bay are home to a wide variety of Hawaiian fish like the yellow tang, trumpet fish, angel fish, and of course the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, or reef triggerfish, the Hawaii State Fish!

You can also often see Hawaiian green sea turtles in Hanauma Bay, but be sure to keep your distance since they are federally protected wildlife.

Hanauma Bay Snorkel Gear Rental

Get all of your snorkel and beach gear reserved in advance, so you can just pick them up and go! You can get all of your snorkeling equipment, including snorkel, mask and fins. If you want to maximize your comfort at Hanauma Bay, be sure to rent some beach chairs and umbrella too!

If you are wanting to capture stunning underwater photos and videos at Hanauma Bay, don’t forget to add a GoPro to your booking too!

Hanauma Bay Tours

Beginner Snorkel Tour with Expert Guide

From USD 99.00


Snorkeling Tour with Gear Rental

From USD 53.39


Best Time to Go

If you have not secured tickets online, you will want to get to Hanauma Bay no later than 7:00AM for same day tickets.

Afternoon is also a great time to go to Hanauma Bay since the sun will be overhead, and makes snorkeling much easier since the reef will be illuminated.

Best Snorkeling Spots

If you are a novice snorkeler, stick to the shallower areas until you are comfortable going out into the deeper waters. There is plenty of reef close to shore, so you will see plenty of marine life.

Keep an eye out for buoys and other markers, and do not go beyond them since the deeper areas of Hanauma Bay can have strong currents and waves.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen

As in all of Hawaii, reef-safe sunscreen is required to protect the fragile marine ecosystem from contamination and bleaching. Sunscreen can be detrimental to marine life and in 2015 over 14,000 tons settled over the oceans coral reefs. To know if your sunscreen is safe for coral reefs, check the label to ensure it doesn’t contain reef-harming chemicals. These include:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • And others found here

If you can’t find reef-safe sunscreen before arriving in Hawaii, you can purchase it once you arrive, which also supports the local economy.

How to Get to Hanauma Bay

By Bus

  • From Waikiki, take the #23 (Hawaii Kai – Sea Life Park) to the Hawaii Kai Park & Ride.
  • Transfer to #1L (Hawaii Kai – Limited Stops) to Lunalilo Home Rd + Kalanianaole Hwy.
  • Walk one mile to the Hanauma Bay.

The bus ride is approximately one hour, and the walk from the bus stop to Hanauma Bay is about 20 minutes. Be sure to get your Holo Card before you board the bus! It is $2.75 per bus ride, or $5.50 for an all-day pass once you take your second ride of the day.

By Car

  • From Waikiki & West Oahu: Take H1 East until it becomes Kalanianaʻole Highway. Continue until you reach Hanauma Bay Road.
  • From North Shore: Take H2 to H1 East until it becomes Kalanianaʻole Highway. Continue until you reach Hanauma Bay Road.
  • From Kailua/Kaneohe Windward Oahu: Take Kalanianaʻole Highway until you reach Hanauma Bay.

Upgrade your drive to Hanauma Bay with Shaka Guide, and have an audio guided tour on your way to Hanauma Bay from Waikiki!

By Taxi

All commercials vehicles, including taxis, ride shares, shuttle buses, etc., are NOT allowed to drop off guests at Hanauma Bay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hanauma Bay is a protected marine sanctuary, and home to a vast coral reef system, and a number of different tropical fish.

If you have not reserved tickets, aim to be at early in the morning Hanauma Bay at 7:00AM.

Entry into Hanauma Bay is $25.00 for adults and free for children under 12, active-duty military, and those with a valid state ID.

Yes, Hanauma Bay is open all year, except for Tuesdays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. It’s advisable to check their official website for the most current information.

Hanauma Bay is home to over 400 species of marine life, including tangs, trumpet fish, parrotfish, and the famous Hawaiian green sea turtle.

Visitors can help preserve Hanauma Bay by not touching or feeding the marine life, refraining from stepping on the coral reefs, and ensuring they do not leave any trash behind.

Don't Miss the Chance to Relish the Warm Hawaiian Sun!

Hanauma Bay, a jewel of Oahu, holds an unparalleled beauty that’s worth exploring. Its turquoise waters, teeming with vibrant marine life, beckon snorkeling enthusiasts and casual beachgoers alike. This nature preserve, nestled within a volcanic cone, offers a unique opportunity to witness and interact with diverse aquatic species in their natural habitat. While lying on the soft, sandy beach, or diving into the clear, calm waters of the bay, come, discover, and be captivated by the unspoiled charm of Hanauma Bay.