People often ask, “where is the best place to snorkel?” The fact is that every day is different and each location has different features. The trick is learning to appreciate that which is unique about each area.
Highlights of this Kauai Snorkel Tour
- Guided to some of the best snorkeling on the island
- North and South shore tours
- Snorkel Gear included
The best snorkeling spots on Kauai are inside protective reefs. Kauai, being geologically older than the other inhabited islands, has had more time for these reefs to form. The choice of destination is determined by a variety of factors including the tide, surf, wind and restrictions.
Given that we are snorkeling inside a reef, the best time to snorkel is at low tide. The water coming over the reef with each wave must find an escape route. There is always some current at the good snorkel spots on Kauai. At low tide, less water comes over the reef, giving the water a chance to settle and clear up.
On each tour, the tour leader will brief you on the site, what you can expect to see, how to avoid damaging the environment, and how to snorkel and look good doing it. Snorkeling is very easy and most people learn to relax and enjoy the experience quickly. Just stick with the tour leader who will be looking for unusual things to point out to you. For those who need a little extra help, no worries. Relax. We have taught thousands of people to snorkel including non swimmers, people who are afraid of the water, even paraplegics. The tour assistants have large, soft surf boards with handles around the edges. If you are a little nervous, just hang on to the board and we will tow you around with the rest of the group so you can join in the fun.
We’ve Got You Covered
The price of your tour includes the use of professional quality equipment. Silicone masks and US Divers, Impulse snorkels make for comfortable, easy breathing. When you book your tour, we will ask for your height, weight and shoe size. This is so we can pack just the right equipment for you, including a wetsuit, in your own personalized equipment bag. We always bring along optical masks for those who need corrective lenses. Also included are fruit, snacks and beverages.
There is always ample time for our expert guides to educate you about our unique, marine ecosystem. Hawaiian waters have a high percentage of endemic species. Many species found here are found nowhere else in the world.
South Shore Tour Description
Guests staying in Lihue or north of Lihue, meet us at Kilohana Plantation at 7:45 in the morning. Guests staying in the Poipu area are picked up between 8:15 and 8:30. We arrive at our snorkel destination shortly thereafter. Getting there is half the fun. Getting to know your guide and learn about the island on the way there and back is an important part of the tour.
Our first snorkel spot is usually at Lawai Beach by the Beach House Restaurant. The reef is 50 yards or so from shore and the water inside the reef is about 8 to 10 feet deep. We spend most of the time on this first snorkel hovering over the reef in just a few feet of water. There is a great variety of species here including, butterfly fishes, tangs and surgeon fishes, wrasses and puffers. We are in the water for up to 45 minutes before taking a break. After we are refreshed, those who are comfortable with a slightly more advanced snorkel, accompany us to the second area where we see the pacific green sea turtles. This area, in front of Prince Kuhio Park, is just a short walk away. It is a little deeper but the coral formations are more developed.
After a shower and some snacks we will head back.
The tour returns to the Poipu area around 12:00 and to Kilohana by 12:30.
North Shore Tour Description
People staying in the Poipu area meet us in Lihue at 7:45, we are picking up in Kapa’a around 8:15, Princeville around 8:45 and arriving at the snorkel spot by 9:15. The drive from Princeville to Haena is one of the most picturesque you will ever see.
Makua, or tunnels as it is known, is a gorgeous beach with Bali Hai as a backdrop. The inner reef is volcanic and has a large shallow area that leads out to a drop off. In places the depth changes from 3 feet to 60 feet, straight down. There are lava tubes and underwater caves which create habitat for a variety of marine life. We follow the natural contours of the reef exploring as we go. There are only a few places where you can head for shore without getting into very shallow water so we return to our entry point to exit.
Conditions, and your stamina permitting, we will tour the area inside the outer reef for our second snorkel.
We should be back in Princeville around 1:00, Kapa’a 1:30 and Lihue by 2:00.