The beautiful island of Lanai is located 8 miles off the coast of Maui. Lanai is much smaller in size with a slightly drier climate than Maui but is still a tropical paradise with plenty to see. The island has incredible remote beaches without the crowds you would encounter on other islands. Lanai’s most popular activity for visitors is its snorkelling and dolphin tours, usually taken as day trips from Maui. 90-minute round trip ferry rides from Maui to Lanai occur multiple times a day. Set sail on an exclusive tour and experience some of Hawaii’s most amazing snorkelling!
Snorkelling in Hulopoe Bay
While visiting Lanai, don’t miss Hulopoe Bay, the island’s most popular area. It was voted #1 Beach in America by Dr Beach. The Bay is located along Lanai’s south shore, an excellent picnic and swimming spot. Hulopoe Bay has Lanai’s only swimmable beach, with the calmest waters throughout the summer.
Snorkelers love the crescent-shaped Hulopoe Bay, an underwater marine reserve with very few boats or people during your trip, but will see plenty of marine wildlife. Along the bay’s east side, you will witness its delightful tide pools. They actually form inside the lava rock, capturing an aquarium full of colourful fish and other aquatic creatures.
Sweetheart Rock is another must-see highlight while touring Lanai. This beautiful 80-foot rock surrounded by crystal clear blue water between Manele Bay and Hulopoe Bay holds a touching romantic legend. From the beach, it is just a 20-minute hike to the top.
Whale Watching in Lanai
During whale-watching season (December through April), you can enjoy watching humpback whales. The coast of Lanai is mostly uninhabited, making it a prime choice for viewing dolphins in their natural habitat. Lanai has incredible remote beaches without the crowds you would encounter on other islands. Enjoy the spinner dolphin pod known to frequent the area. These acrobatic creatures are very friendly and enjoy performing leaps through the air. Remember to be respectful of the dolphins and their habitat. If you witness the dolphins in the bay, be careful not to come in direct contact with them and allow them to carry on as usual.
Lanai Snorkeling Tour
For a complete snorkelling experience, try booking a Lanai tour that circles around the entire island. Snorkelling and dolphin tours from Maui to Lanai will also allow you to take in one of Hawaii’s longest reefs. Most Lanai snorkelling tours are taken on double-decker catamaran or adventure yachts. Depending on the time of your tour, breakfast or lunch will be served on board. Lanai’s picturesque coastline is ideal for snorkelers to dive in and explore. Snorkelers of all skill levels find the waters quite enjoyable.
Several of the snorkelling tours offer all-inclusive day trips that provide meals and snorkelling gear. The beach area has public restrooms and shower facilities, as well as picnic tables. Unless you are a guest at the Four Seasons or receiving snorkelling gear on a tour, be prepared to bring your snorkelling gear with you.
Four Seasons Lanai
Most of the islands’ dining choices are found on the Four Seasons property. The resort offers five restaurants to choose from, ranging from a sports bar and grille to Nobu, Lanai. The Sports bar has big-screen TVs for sports fans and boasts a variety of options including traditional and spicy ahi tuna poke, steak, venison and pasta dishes. This restaurant also houses a small cafe serving espresso, coffee, and latte. For a more upscale dining experience after your snorkelling endeavours, try Nobu, Lanai to enjoy upscale Japanese fine dining.