Tropical Yet Metropolitan
Warm white sand and clear blue water along 112 miles of coastline make Oahu snorkeling a top activity.
Oahu’s capital city of Honolulu has an average yearly coastal water temperature of between 76°F (March) and 81°F (September) – that’s only a 5°F change all year!
Oahu also draws more visitors than any other island in Hawaii with its blend of scenic beauty and metropolitan conveniences. Famous sites like the capital city of Honolulu, Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, The North Shore, Punchbowl, and Hanauma Bay are on Oahu.
Low Wind For Calm Seas
Across the State of Hawaii, the trade winds blow in from the Northeast. Therefore, on Oahu, the calmest ocean conditions are on the South and Southwest shores.
That’s not to say that you can’t find great snorkeling on the windward shores but overall the wave conditions tend to be the flattest on the leeward side away from the deep ocean swells.
Trade winds bring the tropical rain so the Northeastern side of Oahu tends to be greener. Rain is a great thing for plants but the freshwater run off into the ocean makes for more turbid sea water. In other words, the more rivers flow into the sea, the murkier the water. As a general rule of thumb, the leeward side of the island consistently has the clearest water.
A Snorkeling Beach For Everyone
My favorite Oahu snorkeling beaches are Hanauma Bay for its high fish population, Kuilima Cove for its perfect beginner snorkeling conditions, Kahe Point for its clear deep water and advanced snorkeling conditions, Kaena Point State Park for its beautiful sand beach further away from the city, and Sharks Cove for its wonderful blue water and tropical fish.