The Best Times of Year to Visit Hanauma Bay

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, one of the must-see attractions is Hanauma Bay. This stunning nature reserve is located on the southeast side of Oahu, and it’s a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Hanauma Bay is home to an abundance of marine life, and it’s one of the most remarkable places in the world to go snorkeling and explore the underwater world. However, if you want to make the most of your visit, it’s important to choose the best time of the year to visit Hanauma Bay.

In this blog post we detail the best times of the year to visit Hanauma Bay based on the following 3 categories: Weather, Waves and Visitor Volume. In our opinion these are the three categories that severely affect the enjoyability of visiting the bay, and we hope that it helps you to plan your vacation and get the most out of your visit.

    What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Hanauma Bay?

    After spending thousands of hours taking our guests to Hanauma Bay over the years, we’ve been able to map out which times of the year are the best for making a trip out to the bay. As mentioned above, we considered the following 3 categories to be main factors that contribute to an enjoyable, lousy, or so-so time at the bay:

      Weather Conditions

      The weather is one of the most important factors in determining when you should visit the bay. Although the weather in Hawaii is around 78 degrees on average year-round, there are some months that you should avoid making a trip out to Hanauma Bay.

      Seasonal Waves

      Ocean swells are an important thing to look at as well when you consider a snorkeling excursion. Although Hanauma Bay is in a cove, large waves on the East or South side of Oahu may affect the water conditions and visibility.

      Visitor Volume

      The number of visitors to Hanauma Bay is fixed at 1400 guests per day. During busy times of the year, there’s thousands of people trying to get one of the 1400 reservation tickets. You can only obtain reservation tickets 48 hours in advance, and Its not uncommon for the tickets to sell out in 5 minutes during busy times of the year.

      Best Times to Visit Hanauma Bay

      After considering the above factors, we came to the conclusion that there were two really good times to visit Hanauma Bay during the year. Both ranked equally well in each of the categories. It was a tough decision, but we ranked the best options to visit Hanauma Bay in order below:

        September - Mid November

        The best time of the year to visit Hanauma Bay is September through mid November. We determined this due to the following:

        Weather Conditions: The weather during this time of the year is still very nice. You may get the occasional rain shower from time to time, but showers usually pass quickly and do not last for a prolonged period of time.  Light rain showers can also provide a welcomed respite from the heat commonly found at the bay.

         Seasonal Waves: By early fall, the annual south swell begins to die down on Oahu. While this is a bad thing for surfers, this is a great thing for snorkelers. Because the water becomes calmer during this time of year, the water visibility improves at Hanauma Bay, and allows for a better overall experience.

        Visitor Volume: Due to it’s family-friendly nature, Hanauma Bay is a big attraction for visiting families. That being said, families usually visit during peak travel times during the summer and spring breaks. With school-aged children back in school by the first or second week of September and parents back at work after their summer vacations, there will be less people to compete with when trying to obtain a reservation at Hanauma Bay.

        Mid April - Early May

        The next best time of the year to visit Hanauma Bay is Mid April to Ealy May:

        Weather Conditions: The weather during this time of the year is very nice and consistently warm. You get the occasional rain shower or windy day from time to time, but there’s typically not a prolonged period of rain or wind during this time of year.

         Seasonal Waves: While there can be some early swells that arrive at this time of the year, the waves are typically not big enough to create a stir quite yet. The bigger swells don’t arrive until the end of May or even well into June or July.

        Visitor Volume: Most schools are still in session from mid April to early May. Further, spring break usually ends by the second week of April. Due to this timing of schools typically in session, there will be less visitors vying for reservation tickets.

        Plan your visit with us!

        We hope that this blog post helps you to determine the best times of the year to visit Hanauma Bay. If you need any assistance or want to know how you can get a reservation ticket on short notice, click here.  At Snorkel Hanauma Bay, we provide our guests with reservation assistance when they book our Transportation Package. This package comes with transportation (roundtrip from Waikiki to Hanauma Bay), full snorkel gear, and reservation assistance. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us by phone or email, and we’ll be sure to help you out.  Mahalo!

        The Snorkel Hanauma Bay ‘Ohana

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