While many visitors head to Lawai Beach for Kauai snorkeling, another option is Koloa Landing with its typically calm conditions year-round. Located below our Kauai vacation rentals at Whalers Cove, it is also easy walking distance from both Waikomo Stream Villas and Poipu Kapili Resort.
Kauai snorkeling enthusiasts can look for Hawaii turtles, parrotfish, schools of tangs, butterfly fish, Moorish idols among others. Entry to the ocean is easy walking down an old boat ramp. Stay to the right and the water depth ranges from 5-15 feet. You will find the best coral on this side too.
Tip: If you are new to snorkeling, Reef Guides Hawaii offers instruction here at Koloa Landing from October through April. Call the Parrish Kauai activity coordinator for details at (808) 742-4763.
Koloa Landing has an international following for Kauai scuba diving. Scuba Diving magazine named it one of the Best Shore Dives in the Pacific. Seasport Divers and Fathom Five offer daily Kauai activities from here for those seeking underwater adventure.
This protected bay is also known as Hanakaape which means “headstrong” in Hawaiian. In the olden days, Koloa Landing was the third largest whaling port in all of Hawaii. Now the only humpback whales seen in this area are live ones making their annual winter migration to our tropical waters.
When whaling was king, dozens of ships anchored here to trade for provisions. As the only port of entry on Kauai, it was used exclusively by the sugar industry through the early 1900’s.
Driving Directions from Koloa Town:
Head south towards the water on Poipu Road. At the roundabout, take the second exit on Lawai Road and then a left on Hoonani Road. Look for a dirt road soon after on right side that ducks down to Koloa Landing.
Facilities: Parking available before boat ramp. No lifeguard, restrooms or showers.
Advisory: Only drive your rental car on the dirt road if it is dry. Use caution when surf is over four feet. Never snorkel or dive alone. Not recommended for swimming.
Bookmark our Kauai Beach Explorer to stay current on Kauai beaches and facilities. Watch our Kauai video with important ocean safety information. It’s six minutes of your time that can save your life or that of a loved one.