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Honolulu Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Do Not Disturb
Formerly Hanauma Bay Beach Park, the area is now called Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, indicating the stepped up level of concern for preserving the natural environment. While you are welcome to enjoy the sandy beach and calm, clear water, you are prohibited by law to disturb the local marine wildlife, or to cause any damage to or even to touch the abundant coral reefs. Cameras are permitted, however, and you may be able to catch some amazing shots of the colorful flora and fauna in this lush area. How would that be for a fantastic green souvenir?
Snorkeling (swimming underwater using a mask, breathing tube and flippers) is a favorite way of viewing the awesome sights under the surface of the sea. The equipment needed for this sport is not bulky or expensive to rent, and unlike scuba diving, no special accreditation is required. You and your kids do not have to be especially strong swimmers to snorkel, especially in the safe preserves of Hanauma Bay. And once you get started, you will see immediate rewards – sightings of the hundreds of species of fish that live in the bay, most notably parrotfish. You may spot some baby Green sea turtles, which nest nearby.
Tips for Visitors
Overuse of the popular Bay beach and consequent damage to the environment resulted in new measures to limit its use. The beach is closed to the public on Tuesdays so that the local fish may feed undisturbed. The rest of the week, visitors are allowed to enter the area only through the parking lot – once it is full, no one else is admitted. Beachgoers from out of state are charged an entrance fee. All new visitors are required to view a short film and learn about protecting the Bay’s fragile environment. Teach your youngsters to be respectful of this beautiful site, and make sure to properly dispose of any garbage.
Hawaii is a popular destination in the winter and has so much to see and do that you’ll appreciate staying in a comfortable hotel with easy access to everything. The nicer and lower priced Hawaii hotels tend to fill up fast, though, so it’s a good idea to reserve in advance (http://crshotels.com/
Carlos H Giraldo