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4 Best Places to Snorkel in Ko Olina

Young couple snorkeling in Hawaii

Oahu is one of the brightest gems of the Pacific, beckoning travelers from all over the world. Ko Olina, one of the coastal treasures of this Hawaiian island, is home to various vacation activities. Guests journey here to enjoy exquisite beaches, sunset sailing, and snorkeling in calm, clear waters filled with ocean wildlife. Ko Olina is home to four artificial lagoons. These calm, turquoise waters are excellent for snorkeling. The lagoons are located in front of resorts and are easily accessible on foot. Here is a guide to the 4 Best Places to Snorkel in Ko Olina.

Lagoon #1

Ko Olina Lagoon #1, the Kahola Lagoon, is west of O’ahu in the Ko Olina Resort. It is the largest of the Ko Olina Lagoons and the location of Aulani: A Disney Resort and Spa. It is also home to the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Guests crowd this lagoon most days, so the parking situation here is often challenging. There are 18 public spots in the 1A lot and 18 more in the 1B lot. Plan to get there early if you want a parking spot.

Each of the Ko Olina lagoons officially opens at 8 AM and closes at sundown. We recommend getting there at 8 AM to get a parking spot or claim an umbrella. Also, no lifeguards are on duty at the lagoons, so you swim and snorkel at your own risk.

The designers built this first lagoon area like the other beautiful Ko Olina Lagoons. Sometimes, it has a soft water pad that lingers about 20 yards into the water you can swim to and dive from. The Disney Resort also has a mini catamaran that sails in and out of the lagoon, giving rides to anyone staying there.

Lagoon #2

The Ko Olina lagoons have protected, calm waters, making them safe for beginning snorkelers and kids. Their sandy bottoms and beach entrances allow seawater to flow in and out of the lagoons.

Ko Olina Lagoon 2 is called the Honu Lagoon in the Ko Olina Resort on the west side of O’ahu. It is the only lagoon with permanent umbrellas on the beach for shade. There are not many available, though, so it is essential to get here early if you would like to enjoy them. You cannot bring your own shade umbrella structure, but you can bring chairs onto the beach. There is less parking available at this lagoon as well, but the outlet to the ocean means that fish are plentiful, making it an excellent place for snorkeling.

Lagoon #3

The vision for the Ko Olina Lagoons started in the mid-1980s. It won the Best of Oahu Beach award and continues to be reshaped each year into even more extravagant attractions.

The third Lagoon is in front of the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club. It offers the same snorkeling attractions, sandy beaches, and good swimming opportunities as the other lagoons. These lagoons are interchangeable in terms of snorkeling opportunities.

Lagoon #4

The fourth lagoon, located at the Ko Olina Resort, next to the Marina, offers the most parking. It has 100 parking spots, making it the most accessible of all four lagoons. It is also, understandably, one of the busiest. It also has a large grassy area since there is no hotel here. During the week, this is the most open lagoon of the four in Ko Olina.

Additional Snorkeling Options

Paradise Cove is another popular spot for beginner snorkeling. It is in a small, sheltered bay north of Ko Olina. Kahe Point, or Electric Beach, is known for its underwater electric cables, which attract a variety of marine life. It has become a popular spot for snorkeling on the south side of Ko Olina. Kahe Point Beach Park is just adjacent to Electric Beach. This park offers fantastic snorkeling conditions while being less crowded than other attractions. The Secret Beach, or Lanikuhonua, is secluded just north of Paradise Cove. When the surf is calm, this beach offers lovely snorkeling opportunities.

If you love snorkeling or want to experience some of the most beautiful marine life in Hawaii, contact us to schedule a snorkeling excursion with Ko Olina Ocean Adventures. Because we bring you right to the snorkeling, you don’t have to worry about dealing with crowds of parking. We are here to help you make the most of your Hawaiian getaway in the sun and the sea.