NOTES: Northeast of Hanalei on Kauai, the snorkeling at Hideaways Beach (Pali Ke Kua Beach) is well known. While snorkeling at the secluded Hideaways Beach, you may encounter green sea turtles, butterflyfish, goatfish, eels and parrotfish in the 5 to 20 foot deep water. Since it is shallow, the best snorkeling off Hideaways is about 1 hour before and after high tide. If the water is calm, you can snorkel east around the rocks to a hidden beach where the better snorkeling is to the far east point. Also, if the surf is calm at Hideaways, there is good snorkeling to be found further out beyond the shallow reef. Watch out for the strong currents with rapid onset at both ends of the beach.
To reach the snorkeling at Hideaways Beach, head west on Kuhio Highway (SR56) through Kapa'a towards Hanalei. At Princeville, turn right heading north on Ka Haku Road into Princeville Resort for 2 miles to the end of the road. The public parking is just prior to the main Princeville Hotel parking lot. There is room for only 8 or so cars, so make sure to arrive very early. The hike down off the cliff to the beach is very sketchy on broken, rusted stairs and a slippery trail. This is not a place for kids.Before snorkeling at Hideaways Beach, make sure to check the current surf report. The waters off Kauai are known for potentially strong currents, high surf and rogue waves. Luckily, there are excellent up-to-date surf reports that can provide guidance on these adverse conditions. In addition to changing surf conditions, a Hideaways Beach snorkeling dive may expose you to sharp coral reefs and you may encounter sharks, such as whitetip reef sharks, galapagos sharks and tiger sharks.
For more details on Hideaways Beach snorkeling, we highly recommend the Kauai Snorkeling Guide eBook.
Additional printed reading material on Hideaways Beach snorkeling
can be found in Snorkel Kauai
by from Judy Malinowski.
INFORMATION: Hawaii Visitors (808) 245-3971; Kauai Weather (808) 245-6001.