ETA: Unfortunately, there will be no more snorkeling at the Kapoho Tide Pools as they have recently been covered with lava. On May 3, 2018, there were significant amounts of earthquakes and openings in the ground where lava has started flowing, covering a vast majority of the town of Pahoa. This particular area has been devastated and most, if not all, of the homes and tide pools, have been destroyed. Thankfully, we had the chance to visit and will have lasting memories of this beautiful area.
Hawai’i isn’t just about swimming at the beach. It isn’t about saying you went to Hawai’i. There is so much to do on in Hawai’i, in particular on the Big Island. One of most fun things to do is to go snorkeling, and the best place to do it is at the Kapoho Tide Pools. Yes, there are other places; however, this is the best place we’ve found for snorkeling so far.
Snorkeling at Kapoho Tide Pools
Although you have to walk through a private community to get to the Kapoho Tide Pools, you are welcome to visit. Just know that you have to park just outside of the community, at a little parking area. It isn’t much of a walk, maybe a half a mile. The walk is mostly down the streets of the little vacation land are called Kapoho. Just don’t disturb the residents!
There are two ways into the tide pools, and both lead to a great place to put your belongings and head into the water. Just be careful where you do put your belongings and if you arrive during high or low tide. If you visit during high tide, then you should have no problems. However, if you visit during low tide, then you may want to watch your stuff. When high tide hits the area, most of the lava rock formation that creates the pools disappear under the water.
There are plenty of areas to enter and exit the water with ease. Some places you can swim right up to a tilted ledge and some places you step right out.
Tide Pool Views
Not one for snorkeling but still want to view the tide pools? No worries, when the water is calm, you can look right down into the tide pools and see the fish and coral.
There is more to see than just the fish swimming or the coral. There are also some spectacular homes lining the tide pools. Some of them are even rental homes that you can rent during your visit to the Big Island of Hawai’i.
There is a lot of snorkeling to be had at the Kapoho Tide Pools. Just be cautious of where you are snorkeling because you could end up out in the middle of the ocean. Although you have an easier time staying within the tide pools during low tide, during high tide, you could end up going a little too far.
For the most part, the waters are very calm in the tide pools because of all the lava rock the waves have to get past before entering. However, there are times when you get a good current rolling in and out of the tide pools so be careful.
If you are looking for another great place that is a must-see, then you should check out Lava Tree State Monument.