Best time to visit Hawaii

Snorkeling in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the best destinations on Earth for snorkeling. The underwater life here is simply fantastic​


In the tropical climate of Hawaii, it's possible to swim and snorkel all year round. However, summer is considered to be the most favourable time for these activities. The water temperature in mid-summer reaches 27 °C, so you can stay in the water for an hour or more and feel comfortable. In winter, the water is usually no warmer than 24 °C, which is not that comfortable if you want to stay in without a wetsuit. Also, summer gets significantly less rain and the wind, which lets the water remain calm and clear. So if your primary goal in Hawaii is snorkeling, choose the summer months for your visit. Hanauma Bay is reportedly one of the best snorkeling locations in Hawaii. The water is very calm and clear due to the shape of the bay, and coral reefs are abundant with fish so don't forget to bri​ng your underwater camera.​ ​

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Hawaii for snorkeling?

Hawaii offers year-round snorkeling, but the ideal time is from April to October, when the climate is inviting, and the water temperature reaches 27°C. During these months, the weather is less rainy, the water is calm and clear, and visibility is optimal, providing an excellent snorkeling experience. Show more

Where is the best place to go snorkeling in Hawaii?

Hanauma Bay is located on Oahu Island and is known to be one of the best places for snorkeling in Hawaii. It is an accessible and well-preserved volcanic crater near Honolulu that boasts calm, clear waters. Visitors can expect to find a vibrant and colorful range of marine life, including green sea turtles and plentiful fish. Show more

What is the average water temperature in Hawaii for snorkeling?

The average water temperature in Hawaii is suitable for snorkeling throughout the year. However, from April to October, the water temperature ranges from 26-27°C, creating optimum snorkeling conditions without a wetsuit. In contrast, from November to March, the water temperature decreases to an average of 24°C. Snorkelers might need a wetsuit then, though it remains warm enough for long snorkeling periods. Show more

How do I choose the best snorkeling gear for Hawaii?

When selecting snorkeling gear for Hawaii, visitors should ensure it fits comfortably, provides a clear view, and is suitable for use in the water. A key factor in choosing the right snorkeling gear is the mask skirt's material. Soft silicone is better than rubber or PVC, ensuring there is no water infiltration. A snorkel with a dry top valve helps seal the entrance, which is more efficient in restricting water access. Lastly, fins should fit well and feel comfortable in the water. Show more

Are there any dangerous marine animals to be aware of while snorkeling in Hawaii?

Marine creatures that can pose a threat include Man'o war, Box Jellyfish, and sea urchins. While stingrays and sharks are common, they typically stay away from humans. In case of any contact with Man'o war or box jellyfish tentacles, rinse with saltwater and remove them carefully. Lastly, avoid stepping on sea urchins as their spines could be toxic, so always stay alert and give these creatures enough space while snorkeling. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin