Top 3 Snorkeling Beaches in Kauai | Hawaii

Top 3 Snorkeling Beaches in Kauai | Hawaii

Snorkeling in Kauai is one the most magical experiences. Here are the most favorite beaches for snorkeling on the beautiful Garden Isle. 

#1 Tunnels Beach 

The post-card scenery of Tunnels Beach offers a wide crescent-shaped golden sand beach, shady ironwood trees and views of the Bali Hai and lush jungle mountains.

This beach boasts a grove of ironwood trees providing comfortable shade for your visit, golden, soft sand and spectacular views at the edge of the Na Pali coast. Also, while a popular spot with both tourists and locals, the beach is not overly crowded and you can always find a spot distanced from other beach goers. The sunsets are also spectacular. 

Tunnels Beach
The center portion of beach has a huge is a half moon shape with a large reef about 1/8 mile off shore. This reef provides for excellent snorkeling and diving and creates a barrier from the rough surf conditions and strong currents characteristic of the North Shore. The shallow, sandy bottom in front of the reef remains calm even in the rough winter months and the waves breaking beyond the reef makes for an an excellent surfing spot.
Snorkeling
If you aren’t scuba certified, you can still check out some of the amazing coral and marine life at this beach. While you may not get to explore some of the underwater tunnels without a tank on, you’ll still be able to take in the underwater beauty of this reef.
 
Enter the water at the sandy spot on the northern part of the reef. The wide sand beach offers the easiest entrance into the water. Don’t attempt to enter the shallow areas where there are rocks and reef that come all the way up to the beach edge. Large and small Lava tubes form the many underwater caverns give Tunnels its name as well as a magical underwater world to explore. 
Hawaiian Turtle
#2 Poipu Beach
The most popular beach on the South Shore is Poipu Beach, which is fronted by Poipu Beach Park, and a few resorts. Poipu Beach was named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel, ranking top among the 10 “best” beaches selected nationwide. This beach is a series of golden sand crescents, strung together where beach-goers will find snorkeling, swimming, a natural ocean wading pool, boogie-boarding and surfing.
Snorkeling 
Snorkeling Poipu Beach Park is popular and the beach offers all the facilities needed for hanging out on a beach for hours. The snorkeling is decent but crowded. It is just to the right of the tombolo (described below) out to the island. The other areas are generally too wavy for fun snorkeling here.
#3 Ke'e Beach
Ke'e Beach is one of the most visited beaches on Kauai. It's located at the north end of the island where the highway ends and in fact, is the last beach accessible by car on the north shore.  So it's literally located at the end of the road. The famed 11 mile gorgeous and treacherous Kalalau Trail begins at the western end of the beach. Ke'e's gentle ocean lagoon is best utilized in the calm ocean conditions of the summer. 
Snorkeling
On calm days, we have found that just outside the inner reef is the best place to swim with turtles, schools of tuna and other exotic fish. It's very shallow getting out to this spot, depending on the tide, but once you are there, it drops into a nice lagoon, with fish and underwater amazement. It's usually just past the crashing waves of the inner reef. Either swim carefully in shallow water, or carefully take a channel out from the lifeguard area. Again, beware of dangerous currents that will take you down the west side and out to sea!