Hanauma Bay – Hawaii’s Nature Preserve

by Crissandra Ayroso
Hanauma Bay nature preserve

One glimpse below the surface of the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve will reveal a spectacular underwater display of colourful fish, swirling sea turtles, and bright coral reef. The former volcanic crater is a crescent-shaped basin of calm, clear water, a diver’s and snorkeller’s dream. Lemon-yellow Butterflyfish, spotted Moray eels, and striped Tangs – you can spot over 400 species of marine life!

colourful fish in hanauma bay

Hanauma Bay was once where Hawaiian royalty came to fish and relax. Relax on the palm-fringed white sand beach and bask in this tropical paradise.

Hanauma Bay is an incredible underwater park and has been a protected marine life conservation area since 1967. Since the park’s rise in popularity in the early 2000s, a marine education centre opened to protect Hanauma Bay’s pristine marine ecosystem and to keep the marine animals and coral reef safe. (Be prepared to bring reef-safe sunscreen!) First-time visitors are required to watch a 9-minute video before entering the park.

beachgoers at hanauma bay

Hanauma Bay is one of Hawaii’s most popular destinations. The mornings are the busiest times of the day, while the mid-afternoon is one of the least. Arrive during or after lunch to beat the crowds, and keep in mind that the park is open every day except Tuesdays. Hanauma Bay hours start early at 6 a.m. and remain open until 7 p.m.