Are you ready for our Shark's Cove snorkeling and kayak rental in Oahu?
Shark's Cove on the island Oahu in Hawaii is arguably the most well-known snorkeling location in the world. It is consistently ranked among the "Top Shore Dives in the World." We want to show you our favorite summer snorkeling spot and provide you with everything you need to have a great time.
You'll get a small bottle of biodegradable baby shampoo to defog your mask, a dry bag, a snorkel mask and fins, a life vest, and some great tips on where to snorkel and the best routes on this self-guided tour.
Sharks Cove's calm, clear waters are home to an abundance of sea life. The small bay's volcanic rock formations, combined with a sea bottom made of large smooth rock formations, provide a safe haven for marine life. Don't expect rainbows of color because this isn't a coral garden, but you won't be disappointed by the lack of fish or the occasional sea turtle that ventures into the cove. Needless to say, Pupukea, and particularly Sharks Cove, is a snorkeler's dream.
This is an excellent snorkeling option for both novices and experienced free divers. We'll show you some of our favorite snorkeling spots, including both sandy and rocky entry points. There is plenty of free diving for those with more experience to get up close and personal with the sea life.
We recommend that you apply reef-safe sunscreen, wear a swimsuit, a rash-guard if you need extra sun protection, bring/wear water shoes or sandals to the beach, and leave your valuables at home.
There are three main snorkeling locations for this experience, all of which are within walking distance of Pupukea Beach Park, where we will meet you with the gear.
Shark's Cove is part of the North Shore's Pupukea Beach Park. If the name sounds unfamiliar, don't worry; the location is nestled between Sunset Beach and Haleiwa, making it a convenient location for anyone exploring the north side of the island. This location alone will keep you busy all day.
Sharks Cove's entrance to the water is rocky. We'll show you the best entry point, but if you're uncomfortable with uneven ground and using your hands and feet to get to the water, the next snorkel spot, Three Tables, is a better fit.
Three Round Tables
This location is only a short distance from Shark's Cove. For many people, Three Tables Beach is a better place to start snorkeling for many people, especially if it's your first time. There is a perfect sandy entry area where you can walk into the water with your snorkel mask on and wade into the water to put your fins on without being pushed around by big waves. The added bonus for this location is that there is some live coral scattered throughout the area, and turtles enjoy hanging out at the Three Tables "table" rock formations.
Waimea Bay's South Shore
This far side of the bay is accessible by foot. It's about a quarter-mile walk from Three Tables and a good way to mix things up if you're renting for four hours. In the summer, the north side of Waimea Bay is known for its cliff jumping, but the south side of Waimea Bay has some nice snorkeling. There's a fun rock right at the water's edge where fish like to hang out. There are fish moving with the tide through the rocks all along the water's edge as you snorkel further along the rocky side of the bay. You can find patches of coral reef deep down if you follow the shoreline among the large round basalt boulders, and at the end of the point, there are massive lava boulders that litter the seabed. It is, without a doubt, a one-of-a-kind location.
Shark's Cove is a popular destination with limited parking. Get there early in the morning for the best parking. If not, you may need to park further down the road and walk in. We recommend parking at Pupukea Beach Park Parking.
That parking lot is less crowded in the mornings and is still a short walk to either of the snorkeling areas. There are public restrooms and showers near the parking lot.
There isn't a lifeguard on duty. Snacks and drinks can be purchased from small stores across the street. We suggest that you make sure all of your gear, food, and drinks are ready before you get to the site. Stock may be limited, and you don't want to show up empty-handed.
What are you waiting for? Join us on this Sharks Cove snorkeling and kayak rental!