Snorkeling Mauna Kea Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
Pacific Ocean
North America
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Snorkeling Mauna Kea Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

Mauna Kea Beach is the most scenic and relaxing spot on the Big Island’s shoreline and on the list of the world prime beaches. This remote white sand beach is a divine place for your tropical vacation. Mauna Kea Beach snorkeling will add motion to your beach rest and introduce to you the breathtaking marine life underneath the ocean surface.

Virtually, the official beach name is Kaunaoa Beach / Bay. Its nickname “Mauna Kea Beach” the site got from the luxurious Mauna Kea Beach Hotel which overlooks the bay.

Amazing Mauna Kea Beach Snorkeling

The seabed of Kaunaoa Bay is sandy, in average the deep is 10 feet and the waters are very calm, hence, Mauna Kea Beach snorkeling is really safe and easy. This makes the beach a wonderful spot for snorkeling with kids.

The visibility is fine when no swells in the ocean but may be a bit cloudy if waves are up. Early morning snorkeling is the best.

The best Mauna Kea Beach snorkeling is at the beach right side which is nearby the hotel. Still it worth to explore the left rocky side as well.

Swim along the rocky ledges which are home to lots of bright fish and healthy corals. Most of pelagic life including turtles dwell in these places. You will start to discover some small fish already at the waist deep but the further you swim to the ledge edge the bigger variety of marine creatures you see and the healthier the corals are.

Manta Rays’ Night Dance

Except snorkeling and chilling out on the beach, Mauna Kea Hawaii grants you a unique chance to watch manta rays in the night. The hotel’s floodlights shine the water and attract a plethora of plankton which being manta rays’ best delicacy beckons them into the bay. The best lookout is at the hotel’s Manta Ray Point which allows you to watch manta rays gliding below you in the illuminated water.

The parking is at the hotel’s premises and includes only 25 lots for visitors who don’t stay at the hotel. Hence, if not being the guest of the hotel arrive before 9 am to get a parking space. Once the parking is filled you must wait until somebody leaves the beach. This policy helps the hotel to keep the beach secluded.

Where is Mauna Kea Beach

Hawaii Mauna Kea Beach lies on the Big Island’s North-West shore at 40 minutes drive from Kona International Airport.

Mauna Kea has a moderate tropical climate with yearly average air & water temperature +24oC (+21.5oC in the winter & +26oC in August & September).

mauna kea hawaii
mauna kea beach snorkeling
mauna kea snorkeling
Underwater Life: 
Snorkeling with turtles
Swimming with rays
Coral reefs
Tropical fish
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