Pin It

Big Island Snorkeling

by Dee Andrews

Big Island Snorkeling at the Kapoho Tide Pools

Snorkeling the Kapoho Tide Pools should be on the top of your list of things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii. Just east of Volcanoes National Park, take another day on this part of the island to explore these fascinating tide pools, which offer some of the most interesting Big Island snorkeling and make for great family travels.

The lava rocks form a maze of dozens and dozens of ocean-blue, crystal clear tide pools that lead out to the crashing waves of the ocean. It’s a spectacular setting that makes for a perfect day of Big Island snorkeling, exploring and sunbathing.

One of The Best Snorkeling Locations

What makes the Kapoho Tide Pools one of the best snorkeling locations on the Big Island of Hawaii is they are easy and safe for beginners and children and interesting and different for experts and enthusiasts. The Kapoho Tide Pools offer the following:

Kapoho Tide Pools

Kapoho Tide Pools

  • Calm, crystal clear water that makes spotting fish and coral enjoyable for hours
  • Shallow pools that can be swam or stood in for exploration by everyone
  • Virgin reef growing from the lava rocks offering a glimpse of life springing forth
  • Unusual lava formations that look like elephant’s skin or soft-serve ice cream
  • Microscopic views of coral and reefs forming

  • Spectacular Location on the Big Island of Hawaii

    Apart from the fascinating Big Island snorkeling, other benefits to the Kapoho Tide Pools are:

  • Easy access and parking on public roads, no 4-wheel drive car necessary
  • Ten minutes from the quaint town of Pahoa for lunch and shopping
  • Beautiful setting for sunbathing, picnicking and relaxing
  • Great for family travels as the tide pools are calm and crystal clear, allowing for hours of exploration, even without snorkeling
  • Near Volcanoes National Park, making the Kapoho part of the Big Island of Hawaii a great place to rent a house for a couple of nights
  • Off the beaten path, don’t miss the refreshing and fascinating Kapoho Tide Pools for some of the most interesting Big Island snorkeling Hawaii has to offer. After a day or two of exploring Volcanoes National Park, the tide pools are one of the best snorkeling locations and a great place to relax, unwind and explore the Big Island of Hawaii further.

    How to Find the Kapoho Tide Pools

    Located on the southeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, near the town of Pahoa. After leaving Pahoa Village, drive east on Hwy 132 toward the coast. Turn south at the junction for Hwy 137. Continue south on Hwy 137 to Kapoho-Kai Road, turn left just before Mile Marker 9. Continue through the entrance to the Waiopae neighborhood winding around to your right until the road seemingly dead-ends, turn left and look for the signs and parking lot. A donation of $3 is requested to park.

    Related Posts with Thumbnails

    { 1 trackback }

    Travel With Teens and Tweens
    August 13, 2010 at 7:19 am

    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Rachel Denning August 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm


    Are you currently living in Hawaii?

    Dee August 10, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    We did spend almost six weeks in Hawaii this summer, but are back home now in Colorado and gearing up for school to start. We were eager to try “location independence” for the summer when we didn’t need to manage school for our daughters. Our experiences in Spain taught us that we could blend work and traveling, as long as we had a good internet connection, but a year was an odd time for us to be away. Not enough time to fully move somewhere and engage in another culture and language, but too long for traveling and living as nomads.

    We did take a “vacation” to the Big Island for one of those weeks, but spent most of our time living on Maui, working in the mornings when the time zone meshed with the mainland, and spending afternoons at the beach and exploring Maui.

    For the most part it went well. My husband had some funny conference calls from the toilet in the dark, trying to find peace amongst the kids, loud birds and fan that came on if he turned on the light. I had to manage my expectations about how much writing I would get done and when, but I reminded myself to relish the time with my daughters. School starts in a week, and I’ll play catch up then. I loved that we fell back into relaxed activities of family board games, reading out loud to each other, taking walks and just generally spending time together.

    Michael November 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    We’re currently starting to read about a possible Hawaii summer vacation for us. I was there about ten years ago – on the Big Island mostly, with a few days on Oahu. But my wife and six year old son really want to go, so Hawaii has made it to the top of our list of possible summer 2012 getaway spots. We’re currently reading about possible Darn Good Digs on the islands, since that is what we always do. But we’re also thinking about doing some camping. I was psyched to see your snorkeling and hiking posts – if we go, I’ll be sure to read them again!
    Michael´s last blog post ..Best Small Caribbean Hotels for Budget-Minded Travelers

    Sharon November 15, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you very much for pointing out that Kapoho Tide Pools one of the best snorkeling locations on the Big Island of Hawaii.

    It is a shame that a lot more people are unaware of this.
    Thanks for the info and tips.
    Sharon´s last blog post ..Which are the 5 best full face snorkel masks & which to avoid?

    Leave a Comment

    CommentLuv badge