Hanauma Bay Reviews
We've found 32 Hanauma Bay reviews from Viator.com travelers and members: what they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved. It's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
We went on the 9AM Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Adventure on February 7, 2013 as part of our cruise to Hawaii. My husband and I had never been snorkeling before, so we chose Viator because we could walk into the water from the beach. Information we read about Hanauma Bay indicated it was a good location for beginners and we liked that it is a nature preserve. Stephanie was our driver. She met us at the Ala Moana Hotel and after picking up the other passengers, pointed out many landmarks on the way to HOP's Office: the harbour that was the opening scene in Gilligan's Island; the building Jack Lord jumped from in the original Hawaii Five-O; the beaches in Waikiki; Diamond Head; Koko Crater; and the homes of celebrities Bruce Willis and Tom Selleck. This was a nice surprise as all we expected was transportation and the snorkeling equipment rental, not a tour! At the office we were fitted for snorkeling masks and taken in a passenger van to Hanauma Bay. We had to pay the $7 entrance fee and watch a 15 minute video about the area before walking down the hill to the beach. The water was cold! However, we saw fish almost immediately. I have to admit, I had trouble breathing through the snorkel tube even though I believed I was a mouth-breather! After many attempts, I gave up and wore the mask and fins only. I held my breath and went swam underwater. It felt like swimming in an aquarium, there were so many colours and varieties of fish, it was amazing! Viator is the way to go as transportation to and from Waikiki and snorkel gear is included. The equipment rental on the beach is more expensive and you have to wait in line to get it. HOP's staff are polite and friendly - you won't regret choosing them - we didn't!
Very reasonable price for transportation and gear. Previous reviewers tips re taking your own snack and making sure you have money for park entry were good. Hanauma Bay was a highlight of our trip. Would do this tour again.
Hanauma Bay itself was AWESOME!!! Most definitely a must if you are in Honolulu. But I would not buy this package. Too much driving involved: they don't drive you directly to and from the Bay, first they take you to their office and outfit you with gear and try to upsell you the extras (life vests, floatation belts, no water snorkels, etc). Then they take you to the bay in another vehicle and drop you off at the bus/taxi area. The entrance fee to the park is NOT included, $7.50, neither is the trolley ticket down and up the hillside, $2.00. It would be more cost effective to take the bus for $2.00, rent the equipment in the park, pay the $7.50 and buy your trolley tickets.
I have not been to oahu for a number of years, and always remembered Hanauma Bay fondly, but I was Very UNHAPPY this time, not with the tour, but with the area itself. Way too crowded and most of the fellow snorkelers did not know what they were doing or how to snorkel (which is very simple by the way) You are required to stand in line forever to get a ticket and then stand in another line and watch a movie (which has a good premise) however, either these people did not understand english or didn't care about the health of the reef system, it was very hard to snorkel, because people were rudely crashing into you, not watching where other people were and standing on and kicking the coral, something has to be done about this or Hanauma Bay will be ruined forever. I would not go there again, to upsetting!!! Not the enjoyable day of my memories
We had so much fun!! The coral at Hanauma Bay was so beautiful that it was prettier then Maui and other islands we visited. We were delivered to our site by limo and treated exceptional!!
This was the best value pkg to go to Hanauma Bay. No glitches, good communication, on-time, driver knew our name and pretty much stress-free, particularly with the driver knowing the side streets to get around road construction and heavy traffic. Very beautiful place with better snorkeling experience than the Caribbean. The only improvement is just wish shuttle would pick us up at Ilikai instead of walking to Prince. However, the driver dropped us off at the Ilikai.There were no surprises. Everything was communicated upfront. Highly recommended.
Hanauma bay is amazing.Well worth the price of the tour which isn't that much really. Saw plenty of different fish and even luckily enough to see and swim with a green sea turtle...very cool.
i was disappointed in hanauma bay,too many people and water was murky.we didnt see any fish!:(
Hanauma Bay was great!!! When we were picking up our equipment at HOP it was a bit disorganised . It was easy to book and confirm.
when we booked this "tour" we thought we would be taken by boat to a cool place out in the sea for snorkeling. This company only picks you up from the hotel, takes you to their office where they give you the snorkel equipment and then they drop you off at the Hanauma Bay where you need to go and do everything by yourself.
We are experienced snorkelers so that was fine for us, but if you are unexperienced snorkeler, I don't recommend this.
The driver was late arriving to depart from the hotel. In addition, there were multiple other stops along the way before we arrived at the HOP office. While there we received our snorkel gear but received no instructions for use, this being our first time doing this it would have been helpful and with the cost of the trip I would expect some instruction. The time at Hanauma Bay was awesome, I would highly recommend it. My advise, drive yourself, it only cost a dollar to park, you can rent your gear there and then you can leave when you want with no restrictions and the cost will be less then being transported by someone else.
If you're booking a tour, note that the departure times are approximately when you're leaving the hotel and not when you actually get to Hanauma Bay. We got picked up at a hotel a block and a half down at 7:55AM. Not sure why we couldn't get picked up at our hotel, but we didn't mind walking over. We chose the 8am departure and got picked up promptly and on-time. We then had to go to 4 other stops. It sucked because the first two guests were on-time, but at the third stop, the guests were 20 minutes late. I'm not sure if it was because they were told the wrong time, but we had to circle the block several times before they came out. We got dropped off at the office and got our snorkel equipment. It's nice to be able to get the tour company's equipment instead of at Hanauma Bay. We had a choice of 3 times to get picked up at, which was nice.
The bay itself is alright. They tell you not to step on the reef but it's so hard not to. We came out with a couple scrapes from the shallow parts of the bay.
Bring sunscreen, towels and an underwater camera.
We confirmed 24 hours in advance. They picked us up on time at the Hilton Hawiian Village. The driver was friendly and informative. We were quick at getting fitted into the snorkel gear. The regular gear is just fine. Lot's of extras at the shop. Due to the delays getting into the park I would suggest a later pickup ( which they offered!) Take snacks and water as the concession is at the top of the hill. Fabulous snorkeling for our whole group of 10 ( ages 11 - 65) They easily handled all of us and were very efficient! Great experience with Viator and the Hanauma Bay Snorkel shop! There is no way I would take a bus and try and do it ourselves. The best $20/ person spent our whole vacation! - Rob ( Canada)
Hanauma Bay is gorgeous. Though the water was a little cool, I stayed in long enough to see a beautiful variety of fish.
My son and I had a great afternoon of snorlkeling in Hanauma Bay. We saw tons of fish, a sea turtle, and an eel! The folks who handled our equipment were very helpful. I would recommend this tour. FYI - it was windy the day we went and we were happy to have wetsuits.