Two Step Beach
best snorkeling in hawaii
Imagine swimming with multiple schools of fish, Hawaiian sea turtles, and DOLPHINS! Two Step beach on West side Big Island is home to the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii because of the amazing experiences you will have here. This underwater world will blow your mind as it is unlike any where else in the world.
When I originally found two step beach, Google read that it was a 'great snorkel spot' so I figured why not check it out. To my surprise this ended up being the best place I have snorkeled to date. When we got here I saw a few people following something, and then I saw them DOLPHINS! It has been on my Hawaii bucket list for so long and I finally got to swim with these beautiful animals here on Big Island. They come here every morning, so if you want to swim with Dolphins come here between 8 am and 10 am!
*Please be an expert swimmer if swimming dolphins- the water depth is 100+ ft. *
One other safety note is to please be cautious of all the sea urchins here. We joked in some places it was Urchin City because I have never seen so many in one place! There are large black Urchins here too and while they may look intimidating, don't let them scare you off. DO NOT touch them, if you do say hello to your new Hawaiian Tattoo*!
There are so many vibrant beautiful fish and schools here. It was so refreshing to see such lively coral as well. Unfortunately a lot of the coral on Oahu is bleached or dead. At Two Step it is nothing but colorful mounds of healthy coral. Do not stand or touch the coral though, it is a living animal! Doing so can harm and even kill the coral.
It is such an amazing place to snorkel and discover amazing marine life gems. The way the ocean is laid out is about half a mile of coral and then a 100+ foot drop off! The drop off is where the Dolphins swim. Please only come this far if you are an experienced swimmer. If you do make it, be sure to look for the 'ALOHA' on the sea floor :)
Here you can see how epic the mounds are! I always snorkel with my Da Fins because they help you dive deeper and use less energy! Always snorkel with fins if you plan on being in the water for a long period of time. I don't use a snorkel because I love to dive deep and stay underwater but this is just a personal prefernce!
Always be cautious of water conditions before swimming out. This beach is popular for scuba diving as well so if you are certified add this spot to your dive list!
Besides amazing fish, dolphins, urchins and more there is also sea turtles! You will most likely see them feeding on coral on the left hand side of the beach. Please respect them and do not feed or touch!
how to get here
Getting to Two Step Beach is fairly easy! GPS will take you right here but DO NOT pay to park at the Pu'uhonua National Historic Park becuase there is no snorkeling allowed here, and it's just the wrong spot :) From Kona you will take the Kaahumanu Hwy to O Keawe Rd. From here you will turn on Honaua Beach Road where you will park and arrive at the beach on the left hand side. Parking is limited street parking so go early!
If you are not an experienced swimmer please do not attempt snorkeling here. Due to ocean depth and coral floor, resting by standing is not an option so you must know how to float. Getting in and out of the water maybe slick and dangerous so please use caution. Do not feed, touch, or harm wildlife and always pick up trash.
*Hawaiian Tattoo's come from the spine of an urchin needle. Once in contact with your skin the spine will break off leaving a piece in your skin. It will not harm you, but it will be in your skin for a few years!! It will eventually dissolve but cannot be removed due to the paper thin quality.