[Big Island Day 4] Snorkeling @ Honaunau Bay

We spent the rest of Day 4 afternoon at Honaunau Bay, which is right beside Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. It was the best snorkelling experience we’ve ever had!!

Honaunau Bay Underwater
Some underwater scenes of Honaunau

What We Did

The snorkelling spot at Honaunau Bay is also known as Pae’a, Two Step, or the City of Refuge. It is not a proper park so there aren’t any amenities except for some washrooms by the road.

We were surprised that the water here was very calm. In Day 2 and earlier in Day 4, we encountered strong currents most of the time, and thus we didn’t have a good snorkelling experience. The shore is made of lava rock flats about the same height as the sea level, and thus we had to walk very carefully on the flats go into the water. At the edge of the flats, I could sit down, stood on the step and then jumped into the water. Returning to the flats was equally easy.

The underwater scenes were truly amazing. I saw a lot of fish swimming quickly beneath me. Also, there were quite a few huge sea urchins at the bottom and small ones in the holes of the lava rocks. I remembered that I went into the water six times with breaks in between. I think we spent more than an hour in water.

Honaunau Bay Sunset
Sunset at Honaunau Bay


This is one of the three most unforgettable things on Big Island. I will definitely come back for more, especially in the morning when the sky is clearer.

Honaunau Bay Info

Look for “Honaunau Beach Rd Snorkeling access” on Google Map. It is right next to Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, but it is located outside the park on Honaunau Beach Road. Street parking is available.

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