Top Snorkeling Destinations Near Mauna Lani Resort

  • Hawaii Luxury Real Estate
  • 03/12/22

Guests of Mauna Lani Resort have access to several world-renowned snorkeling destinations within a short distance. With gorgeous sugar-white beaches and crystal clear waters, the Mauna Lani Resort area is also a hit with swimmers, surfers, paddleboarders, and photography enthusiasts.

The seven closest snorkeling options are Mauna Lani Beach on Makaiwa Bay, Pau’oa Bay, Honoka’ope Bay’s 49 Black Sand Beach, Anaeho’omalu Beach, Hapuna Beach State Park, Mauna Kea Beach, and the nighttime manta ray snorkeling expedition available from Puako Boat Ramp. These destinations offer a variety of underwater exploration opportunities sure to please both novice and advanced snorkelers.

Mauna Lani Beach on Makaiwa Bay

Guests are privileged to have easy access to the 4th best snorkeling spot on Hawai’i Island  according to Hawaii Magazine. The resort’s beach features a shallow reef and the chance to encounter schools of colorful fish, coral, octopi, and eels. Snorkeling conditions are best when the ocean is calm, and for visitors brave enough to explore further from the shore, larger schools of fish and more coral provide an otherworldly and unforgettable natural experience.

Pau’oa Bay

Pau’oa Bay at the Fairmont Orchid is ideal for novice snorkelers. Known for having the most reliably safe waters on the entire island, beachgoers enjoy a sand bottom water entry into waters rendered peaceful by a surf-breaking reef. Highlights include a relaxed atmosphere on a  local reef and often see the iconic Green Sea Turtles while you are snorkeling.  Enjoy a bite to eat at the Hale Kai Restaurant on the beach front for lunch and dinner as well.

Honoka’ope Bay’s 49 Black Sand Beach


Located in Mauna Lani Resort and local Mauna Lani Resort real estate, guests and locals can enjoy Honoka’ope Bay, home to 49 Black Sand Beach. It gets its namesake from the volcanic glass that has been broken down in the sand, giving it a distinct darker color. Located in a cove protected by natural walls of lava rock on both sides, snorkelers can enjoy some of the best coral reefs on the island.  This is a very private scenic beach free from any bustling tourist crowds. It is recommended that  you bring umbrellas and water shoes to ensure a comfortable experience.

Anaeho’omalu Beach


Just over five miles away from Mauna Lani Resort beachfront homes, Anaeho’omalu Beach, or A-Bay as it is more frequently known, offers snorkeling spots along both sides of the bay with better viewing along the northern edge. Although the water at this beach is not as clear as others, it’s tranquil and provides safe conditions for snorkelers. When done exploring the water, visitors can enjoy the still actively maintained historic royal fishponds or the local archaeological sites and petroglyphs. If staying later in the day, be sure to take advantage of the popular scenic beach views and take a photograph of the breathtaking sunsets.

Hawaii Manta Ray Night Dive and Snorkel at Puako Boat Ramp

For snorkelers who prefer a guided tour, Dive Blue Wilderness offers the Hawaii Manta Ray Night Dive & Snorkel trip Monday through Friday during sunset. The tour lasts two hours and is open to participants aged ten and older. While snorkeling does not require certification, anyone planning to participate in diving must show a valid dive certificate.

Located within 6 miles of Mauna Lani Resort, the tour costs $150 for each snorkeler or $165 for divers and leaves from Puako Boat Ramp. Divers have the option to rent full gear for an additional $45 as well.

Billed as one of the top ten dives in the world, this tour offers the chance to experience manta rays and other marine life up close and personal. There are rules for interaction that tour guests must agree to obey in order to ensure the safety and comfort of participants and wild animals alike. The tour offers a 24-hour cancellation policy and the option to go on a second trip if you are unable to see a manta on your first one. Note that the Manta Policy offers second chance viewing on a standby basis, so you may have to wait a few days to be able to participate.

Hapuna Beach State Park

A little less than seven miles away from Mauna Lani Resort beachfront homes, Hapuna Beach State Park’s recreation area is frequently rated as one of the best Hawaii beaches. Popular for its size and longest sandy beach in Hawaii and great for sunbathing.  This beach offers advanced snorkelers the chance to see coral and many fish at the rocky south end. The waves can be challenging during high surf, so only snorkel when the water is calm. Note that this beach often draws crowds due to its popularity, so be sure to arrive early to catch more solitude.

Mauna Kea Beach


Just shy of nine miles from the hotel and nearby Mauna Lani Resort real estate, Mauna Kea Beach, or Kauna’oa in Hawaiian, offers shallow water and a white sand beach with a gorgeous view of Maui’s southern shore across the water. Note that parking allows only forty cars at a time in the interest of keeping the beach uncrowded and peaceful so plan to come early.

Visitors can expect to see spinner dolphins and the occasional whale passing off the shore and plenty of calm water perfect for snorkeling. Be sure to explore the schools of fish and colorful reefs near the rock outcroppings at both ends of the beach. Keep in mind that the right side has stronger surf because it is more exposed to open water, so it should only be attempted by strong swimmers.

With so many snorkeling destinations within a short drive from the Mauna Lani Resort, avid snorkeling enthusiasts will find it hard to leave when their vacation ends. The clear waters, gorgeous coral reefs, and magnificent schools of fish enchant anyone who has the privilege of experiencing them in person. While the option to return for another visit is always encouraged, those who find their hearts captured by the nearby beaches and clear waters should consider moving into one of the Mauna Lani Resort beachfront homes or have a second vacation home or condo in Hawaii.

If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Real Estate Agents at Hawaii Luxury Real Estate for their expert assistance. Their team would love to show you what is on the market for Beachfront Homes and Mauna Lani Resort Real Estate for Sale.



Marketing Luxury Resort Properties

Hawaii Luxury Real Estate has vast knowledge and experience in the Luxury Resorts and Kohala Coast and is equipped to assist you in all areas of Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii. Please explore the island on our website, and contact Ahmad or any of our team and we will provide you with surpassing attention and expertise to meet your Real Estate Goals.

Follow Us on Instagram