Kaua`i's varied terrain - lush valleys, swamps, cliffs, waterfalls and beaches - is what draws most visitors to the island. But, perhaps the most unique experience to be had on the island is to explore the underwater world. Snorkeling is one of those things that everyone loves, but experience levels vary and snorkeling goals do too. For a unique and amazing snorkeling tour of the island, take your pick from this itinerary. Choosing at least one location from each part of the island will lend insight to the diversity of the reefs and sea life on different sides of the island.
On the North Shore, right at the north end of the Na Pali Coast, is Ke`e Beach. A semi-protected pool with spectacular snorkeling, it's one of the more well-known spots on the island with good reason. Sea life here always seems to be active, and beginners can explore the pool while more experienced snorkelers can swim outside the pool in the open ocean.
Underwater in Kaua`i — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Also on the North Shore is Tunnels Beach, which is considered part of Ha`ena Beach. Another renowned snorkeling place, snorkelers with less experience will see wonderful sites not far from shore, while those with more experience can head farther out and swim along the edge of the ledge that drops off into the open ocean. Always be aware of the waves here as a popular surf break is farther out.
Calm water at Anini — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Farther east is Anini Beach Park with an area at the end of the road that is usually shockingly calm and peaceful, making it a wonderful choice for small children and beach goers with minimal water experience. Make a day of it here and look for the rope swing hanging from the tree on the beach.
Out on the west side is Salt Pond Beach Park, a beach with full amenities that is great for family time. Often calm waters here offer good snorkeling that is quite hospitable to beginners.
Dolphins along the Na Pali — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Lydgate Beach Park on the east side is known as a snorkeling hot spot. Always reliable for seeing a vast amount of sea life, this is possibly one of the most popular places to snorkel on the island, reason being the two protected pools that are generally a safe bet. It's a great spot for snorkelers of all ages and levels simply because the views are so great.
The Na Pali Coast itself is not to be forgotten. Reachable only through boat tour, take a snorkel cruise along the coast and you will see jaw-dropping terrain and varied sea life from jumping dolphins to exotic fish. Holo Holo Charters or Na Pali Explorer are good options.