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Snorkeling Questions for Kauai

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Any recommendations for where to snorkel on Kauai? And where to rent equipment for a day? (We need the prescription level ones.) We will have a rental car.  

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When is the key. There are places you just can't go in the winter. Also, what else are you doing that day? What other islands will you be going to? Kauai is not known for great snorkeling like the Big Island or Maui.

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We took an excursion along the Napali cliffs the end of December. The excursion took all day (we had some time for shopping at the little shopping center next to the port, but that was about it), but it was worth it if you enjoy incredible scenery  (the cliffs), and good snorkeling. The water was clearer than the snorkeling we did at Hanauma Bay and Honoloa Bay. There were enough fish/sea life, although not as much as Hanauma Bay. And the coral formations were excellent. Although I had my own snorkel equipment, the tour operator did provide equipment for those who did not have gear. The boat also went past a school of spinner dolphins!

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We didn’t find the snorkeling very good in Kauai.  Fabulous scenery and my husband also did a dive which was off the Napali coast. I went along for the boat ride and scenery. The boat capt. let me snorkel around when the boat would stop. We saw many spinner dolphins and I did snorkel with a large turtle within about 5 feet of me and it seemed to hang around (curiosity?). Admittedly we were usually in deepish water.  However other areas that we tried out did not have very good snorkeling around the island even where the water was more shallow. Perhaps if you went to a beach reachable by zodiac and the water was very calm your luck might better along the Napali Coast(?). MThe best snorkeling from that island that we found was off the central part of the eastern shore.  Can’t recall the name of the beach but it had sort of a breakwater lagoon that was calm so many people snorkeled in that area.  We have snorkeled in many locations. Some great and some pretty poor.  I would rank it pretty low. Yet I love Kauai otherwise! 

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If it has to be Kaui then for  beginners  Poipu Beach  in Southern Kaui is a good place. Calm water, lots of fish, walk in from the beach.

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Just an add on...Snorkle Bobs rents equipment at seveal locations on all the islands & you can return it to any other location any island.

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If you need prescription snorkeling masks, consider getting one on Amazon. Hubby has horrible eyes (-9.0) and we got this mask for ~$50. Tried it out in the pool on our last cruise and he said it was perfect. Now I can finally convince him to book snorkeling trips with me for our upcoming POA cruise since he can finally see underwater.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OMCXLBM/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1

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We are on Kauai now (land vacation) snorkeling off Poipu beach (in front of the Marriott) has been very good. Snorkeling at the small beach in front of the Beach House restaurant, can also be good.

There is a Snorkel Bob location in Koloa town, excellent gear. You can actually rent at one location and return at another, which would be handy if you plan to snorkel on any other island.

 

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Up north at the very tippy top of Kauai is Ke'e beach. We've seen sea turtles, goatfish, butterlyfish, wrasses, coronetfish, unicornfish and more. Stay in the center and go straight out. Some of the best snorkeling I've ever done outside of Bora Bora was at Tunnels about a mile walk in the sand south of Haena Beach. It's a hike but worth it.

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Ke'e and Tunnels are still currently closed due to the road conditions from the historic April 2018 flood. Both of these beaches are beautiful (Tunnels is my fav beach ever!), but please keep informed as to when they will open the road and beaches. There is supposed to be a announcement in mid May about timing.

I highly recommend Anini Beach on the north east side, before you reach Princeville, for snorkeling. It is beautiful and plenty of shade. It is protected by a reef off shore, so it makes snorkeling safe. My kids said it reminded them of a pool, but with fish. It is generally safe year round.

Make sure to eat at Street Burger in Kapa'a and get a shave ice from Hee Fat General Store. Some of my favs.

Snorkle Bob's has a location in Kapa'a, on our way north, so that might be a good option for you.

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