Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
Los Angeles, California
May 3, 2005
Both beaches are reachable from Highway 560. Tunnels (Makua) Beach is in Ha’ena, about a 15- to 20-minute drive past Hanalei and Princeville. It’s a beautiful stretch that runs about 2 miles long, keeping it from feeling too crowded, and there are lots of trees and shady spots that offer a nice break from the beating heat of the summer sun. There were lots of fish and unique tunnel-like coral formations to explore among here. Parking is available by Mile Marker 8, but if that’s full, just continue to the Ha’ena Beach parking lot (where there are bathrooms and shower facilities) and take a short hike along the beach to Tunnels.
Though we enjoyed Tunnels, it was the spectacular snorkeling at Ke’e that surprised us. Ke’e isn’t too far from Tunnels. Just continue on Highway 560, past the Dry Cave, to the end of the road. The road leads into a forest-like setting with lots of parking. Even so, due to its popularity, if you don’t arrive by 9am, you’ll have a tough time finding a spot. The tropical, jungle-like setting surrounding the lagoon at Ke'e was very surreal. This was a beautiful beach, our favorite of the trip, and it’s no wonder it’s so popular with both locals and tourists.
The minute we stepped into the tranquil water, only a few feet deep, we were surrounded by a school of a dozen fish over 1-foot long swimming alongside us. Like all the beaches we had been to on Kauai during our trip, there were many colorful fish, only in greater numbers and with better visibility at Ke’e. We saw butterfly fish, trumpet fish, and parrot fish, and we even saw a large crab scurrying on the floor of the ocean, being chased by what looked like a flounder fish, camouflaged in the sand. Every few steps, it would pause for a few seconds, then continue on, just like a scene out of a Disney movie.
**Whether it’s your first time or you’re a longtime pro, snorkeling in Kauai is a must. Because you never know when the opportunity will arise, be sure to rent snorkel equipment early in your trip. Weekly rentals are available at water-sport shops such as Snorkel Bobs or Hanalei Surf Company. Good quality, affordable gear can also be found at superstores like Costco in the spring and summertime, so you may even consider buying your own. And don't forget an disposable underwater camera.
From journal Vacation in Kauai Without Breaking the Bank
August 2, 2003
From journal Aloha Nights
June 29, 2002
From journal Our most recent trip to Kauai
San Francisco, California
June 15, 2002
I would recommend getting up and going in as early as possible- you can find parking, you will have the fish to yourselves, and the waters are often the calmest in the morning, allowing for better visibility and a chance to venture further out.
On especially calm days you may be able to swim to the outside side of the reefs. The waves were too choppy for us to feel comfortable doing so when we were visiting.
We did not get the chance to try Hideaways or the beaches near Poipu. We were going to try Lydgate, recommended by some guidebooks as having a nice enclosed area that is good for calm snorkeling. When we arrived were were horribly disappointed to find that the enclosures were about the size of a small-town swimming pool. So don't bother unless you are teaching your child to snorkel for the first time.
From journal 6 Days, 7 Nights
san francisco, California
May 15, 2001
From journal Mainstream Kauai