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With miles of stunning coral reefs and an abundance of colorful tropical fish, Hawaii is a snorkeling paradise. If you’re planning a trip to the Aloha State and want to enjoy some aquatic adventures, you’re probably wondering what you can expect to budget for snorkeling excursions.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The average cost of snorkeling in Hawaii ranges from $30 to $120 per person, depending on the type of snorkeling tour you choose and additional services like gear rental and food.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the typical costs associated with snorkeling in Hawaii and provide price estimates for popular snorkeling destinations across the islands. We’ll cover everything from shore snorkeling to snorkel cruises to help you plan your Hawaiian aquatic adventures.

Average Costs for Popular Snorkeling Locations in Hawaii

Oahu Snorkeling Costs

Oahu offers some excellent snorkeling spots that can be accessed for free from the shore, like Shark’s Cove on the North Shore and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Going on a snorkel cruise or booking a snorkel rental will cost between $30-$100 per person depending on the tour length and gear included.

For example, Viator’s 4.5-hour small-group surf and snorkel tour along Oahu’s pristine North Shore beaches and shores costs $109 for adults and includes transportation, gear rental, and light refreshments. On the budget side, snorkel and mask rentals start at around $20 per day.

Maui Snorkeling Costs

Maui is home to incredible snorkeling destinations like Molokini Crater and Turtle Town. Expect to spend $100-$150 per person for the full experience of an organized morning or afternoon snorkel cruise to offshore reefs.

For example, Redline Rafting’s 5.5-hour Molokini and Turtle Town trip costs $150 for ages 13+.

For a more budget-friendly option, rent snorkel sets from an outfitters like Maui Snorkel Store and visit beaches like Ulua, Maluaka, or Kapalua on your own. Figure around $10/day for mask and snorkel rentals plus any parking fees for beach access.

Kauai Snorkeling Costs

On the “Garden Island” of Kauai, snorkel cruises typically run $100-$130 per passenger while rental gear like masks, snorkels, and fins can be found for around $6 per item daily. For example, Blue Hawaiian Helicopter’s Napali Experience Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat cruise allows you to snorkel with sea turtles at majestic Nualolo Kai for $124 for ages 13+.

Or you can rent full snorkel sets from Snorkel Bob’s for $20/day.

Free public snorkeling access is also available in spots like Lydgate Beach Park and Anini Beach Park on Kauai’s north shore as well as Salt Pond Beach Park on the south side.

Big Island Snorkeling Costs

On Hawaii Island, plan for $130-$180 per person to book a premiere snorkel cruise to Kealakekua Bay or manta ray night snorkels off the Kona Coast. Or rent just what you need like fins and masks and visit Hapuna Beach State Park for world class snorkeling from $10-$20.

For instance, Blue Hawaiian Helicopter’s Rays Day Trip takes you to pristine snorkeling spots teeming with marine life for $179 ages 13+ while you can rent full snorkel sets from vendors like Big Island Snorkeling Store Kona for $30/week.

Types of Snorkeling Tours in Hawaii

Shoreline Snorkeling

Shoreline snorkeling is enjoying the underwater sights by swimming out from Hawaii’s beaches. This is the most affordable type of snorkeling, as you just need to rent or buy basic snorkeling gear like a mask, snorkel, and fins.

Some of the best beaches for snorkeling from shore on O’ahu are Hanauma Bay, Shark’s Cove, and Waimea Bay. Maui is known for snorkeling at beaches like Kapalua Bay, Ka’anapali, Ulua, and Makena Landing. The Big Island has terrific shore snorkeling at spots like Kahalu’u Beach in Kailua-Kona.

Snorkel Cruise Tours

Joining a snorkel tour with a boat cruise takes you to prime offshore reef locations that aren’t accessible from beaches. Snorkeling tours typically use a large catamaran boat with gear provided. Guides will give a safety briefing and overview of the marine ecosystem.

The boats moor for 60-90 minutes in 2 or 3 different snorkel locations. Molokini Crater off Maui and Hanauma Bay off O’ahu are iconic snorkel cruise destinations teeming with tropical fish and sea turtles.

These half-day public tours average around $80-$120 for adults or $40-$60 for kids based on the operator.

Private Chartered Snorkeling Tours

Private snorkel charters involve booking a smallboat and captain for an exclusive trip for just your group. Usually 4-12 people max. The itinerary and locations are customized to your interests and skill level. You can visit more off-the-beaten-path coral reefs with better visibility and aquatic life.

Private charters generally range 4-6 hours for $700-$1,200 total, working out to under $100-$200 per person when you split amongst a group. The highest demand locations are West Maui and the Kona Coast of Hawaii Island.

Shoreline Snorkeling Snorkel Cruise Tours Private Chartered Tours
Cost Free – $20 for Gear Rental $40 – $120 per Person $100 – $200 per Person
Skill Level Beginner Beginner to Advanced Beginner to Advanced
Locations Beaches & Coastlines Offshore Sites & Reefs Reefs & Secluded Coves

With shore snorkeling, snorkel cruises, and private charters, Hawaii offers world-class underwater sights for all adventure levels. Just watch out for occasional jellyfish stings! Overall though, snorkeling the pristine Pacific waters is one of the most enjoyable activities for families or groups visiting the islands.

Additional Snorkeling Cost Considerations in Hawaii

Snorkel Gear Rental

Renting snorkel gear in Hawaii can cost between $5-$20 per day depending on the quality of the gear and where you rent it. Shops near popular beaches generally charge more. Many hotels and tour companies also rent gear for similar prices.

To save money, you can buy cheaper gear at ABC Stores, Walmart, or Target for $15-30. This can be more economical if snorkeling for multiple days. Just don’t expect the best quality.

Other Services and Amenities

When planning your Hawaii snorkeling adventure, consider these additional potential costs:

  • Parking fees at beaches – $5-10 per day
  • Beach chair/umbrella rentals – $10-20 per day
  • Food, drinks, snacks at beach – $15+ per person
  • Photos of your epic snorkeling experience – $20+
  • Seasickness medication if boat snorkeling – $15
  • Fuel/transportation costs getting to the beach
  • Tipping guides for snorkel tours – 15-20% is customary
  • By properly budgeting for gear, amenities, parking, food, and unexpected incidentals, you can relax and focus on the amazing underwater sights on your Hawaii snorkeling adventure without breaking the bank!

    Tips for Saving Money on Snorkeling in Hawaii

    Snorkeling in Hawaii can be an expensive endeavor, but there are ways to cut costs while still enjoying the incredible underwater sights. Here are some budget-friendly tips for getting the most bang for your buck:

    Rent Gear Instead of Buying

    Purchasing a full set of snorkeling equipment like masks, snorkels, and fins can set you back over $100. Instead, check local dive shops that rent equipment for around $5-10 per day. This allows you to test options without a huge upfront cost.

    Many hotels and tour groups also include gear rental with excursions.

    Go Shore Snorkeling

    Shore snorkeling sites are free to access, while boat tours charge $50-100 per person. Excellent snorkeling beaches exist on every Hawaiian island like Hanauma Bay on Oahu and Kahaluu Beach on Big Island. Come early to claim free parking spots and beat crowds.

    Join Group Tours for Discounts

    Booking snorkel cruises for families or groups allows you to qualify for bulk discounts of 10-15% off. Tours also provide gear, transportation, guides, and access to deeper reefs unreachable from shore. Consider sharing an Airbnb with friends to lower lodging expenses too.

    Research Off-Season Savings

    Hawaii’s high season for tourism runs January-March when airfares, hotel rates, and activity costs are inflated. Visiting during shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October can slash snorkeling prices by 20-40%. The weather is still ideal for snorkeling with smaller crowds.

    High season January – March
    Shoulder Season April – May, September – October

    Check Conditions Before Booking

    Inclement weather like storms, high winds, or ocean swells can disrupt snorkeling visibility for days. Research marine forecasts at sites like HawaiiWeatherToday before locking in tour dates. Reputable companies offer rainchecks or refunds if conditions deteriorate too.

    Snorkel Eco-Consciously

    Practice responsible snorkeling by not touching coral or harassing marine wildlife. Reducing your environmental impact saves Hawaii’s reefs and quite possibly your wallet from fines up to $100K! Following snorkel guidelines preserves nature’s beauty for future generations of travelers.


    With miles of stunning coral reefs and colorful tropical fish, Hawaii offers world-class snorkeling for every budget. From shoreline snorkeling to snorkel cruises, costs typically range from $30 to $120 per person depending on the type of tour, gear rental, amenities, and more.

    By knowing the average prices for snorkeling tours at popular island destinations, understanding your options for shoreline vs boat tours, and factoring in costs for gear and other services, you can easily budget for snorkeling adventures on your next Hawaiian vacation.

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