Continuing with our snorkeling series, we move on to…
If you’re heading up to the North Shore, this is definitely a worthwhile stop. With smaller crowds than Hanauma Bay (not to mention no admission fee) but an incredible variety of marine life, it’s easy to see the appeal.
When should I go?
Summer months only!! You know how the North Shore is famous for its surfing competitions from October to April? Well, those giant waves may provide the perfect surfing conditions but they also make for some of the worst and most dangerous snorkeling ones. Don’t risk it.
How can I get there?
You could take the public bus, but you would have to be prepared for a 2.5-hour bus ride (at least!) That could be quite a waste of your valuable time, in which case we suggest either renting a car or going on one of the tours that include a stop here. The Surf Bus or Oahu X are both great options that offer snorkeling at Shark’s Cove as part of their excursions.
What can I expect?
Don’t worry, no sharks! There are, however, tons of fish (some really BIG ones too) and sea turtles are known to frequent the area. It’s pretty rocky entering the cove itself – not really meant for people to hang out on the sand and sunbathe, although there are some open spaces. What’s great is that you can start seeing fish almost as soon as you stick your face in the water. This is an ideal spot for adventurous guests, as there are lots of nooks and crannies to explore. There’s also a cliff that you can jump off of. It’s not too high, but still fun.
In terms of parking, there is a small free lot but same problem as at Hanauma Bay – it can fill up pretty fast. The nice thing is that people don’t tend to spend more time than is needed at the cove so the parking has a fairly fast turnover rate. If it’s full when you arrive, you can wait for a spot to open.
If you need snorkel gear, there is a rental shop right across the street. They also rent out bicycles if you want to ride one around the North Shore beaches.