Ahhh, Hanauma Bay, so bummed I didn’t get to snorkel (it was closed the day I tried to come). Maybe next time, I still managed to get some great photos.
The word hana means bay in the Hawaiian language (the usual addition of bay in its name is thus redundant). There are two etymological interpretations of the second part of its name. One interpretation derives it from the Hawaiian word for curve, referring to either the shape of the feature or to the shape of the indigenous canoes that were launched there. Another stems from the indigenous hand-wrestling game known as “Uma“.
This “Curved” bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. This is the very best beach area if you are new to Scuba diving or snorkeling with a diversified population of fish and a rich coral reef. The bay floor is the crater of a volcano that opened up to the ocean when the exterior wall collapsed.
There is a large sandy beach perfect for sunbathing and there are several hiking trails leading to breathtaking lookouts.
The bay provides some protection from large ocean waves and allows swimmers a terrific opportunity to view the reef life in a safer, protected environment.