The fourth largest island in the Hawaiian chain, Kauai is also known as the ‘Garden Island’ – and for very good reason. The verdant valleys cloaked in majestic rainforests and the cascading waterfalls make it a destination for tourists who are in search of that fabled tropical paradise – and for those who are lucky enough to spend time on Kauai that search is rewarded. Hiking the trails of Kauai is an experience that will not soon be forgotten. However, there is another attraction that brings increasing numbers of visitors to the unspoiled shores of the island each year and that is the opportunity to snorkel the crystal-clear waters of the magnificent beaches of Kauai – and marvel at the wealth of marine life that calls these waters home.
If you are planning a snorkeling trip to Kauai, you will be spoiled for choice as far as where to get your fins wet – but here are some great choices that offer wonderful rewards to the snorkeling enthusiast.
1. Nualolo Kai.
This is one of the best snorkeling locations on the entire island. Those donning mask will encounter magnificent sea life including the many rainbow-colored fish species that populate the healthy corals at Nualolo Kai. Snorkelers should try and reach the beach as early as possible due to the fact that visibility is fabulous before the wind picks up – which it usually does later in the day. You will only be able to access the beach via a charter operator – make sure that the captain knows that this is one of your preferred destinations.
2. Kee Beach.
Travel to the end of the North Shore road and you will be at the perfect place to explore one of the most exciting reefs on Kauai. This is a great location for both intermediate and experienced snorkelers. There are times when the surf conditions do not permit snorkeling – but when it is calm it is about as close to perfection as it gets. Intermediate snorkeling enthusiasts will revel in the magnificent barrier reef found off the sands of the beach – and will gaze in wonder and excitement at the sheer richness of the marine life. For those who are more experienced, it is possible to venture outside of the shelter of the reef – where the marine life is even richer. Be aware that this is an option only for those who are comfortable swimming in the open ocean – the rips that make it easy to exit beyond the reef can make it difficult to get back to shore.
3. Hideaways Beach.
When conditions are right this snorkeling destination delivers an exceptional experience very close to shore and only a short distance from the St Regis Resort. The reef is shallow and has a variety of intriguing crannies and hideaways (as the name would suggest) where an abundance of marine life lurks.
These are only three of the snorkeling locations available to the visitor – there are many more. Snorkeling off the shores of Kauai is one of the most rewarding saltwater experiences that is available on the island chain of Hawaii. Take advantage of the natural wonder and make sure that you get out into the turquoise waters off those pristine beaches.