Aloha and welcome to the Pae’a Honaunau Bay/Two Step Guide to safe snorkeling! Honaunau Bay is one of the most beautiful and sacred sites in the Hawaiian Islands. It is adjacent to Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, a Place of Refuge. The two steps where swimmers enter the Bay is known to Hawaiians as Pae’a. Since access ranges from tricky to dangerous, depending on surf conditions, snorkeling here is only recommended for experienced swimmers and snorkelers. At all times, maintain 360 degrees of awareness for coral, boats, other swimmers, SCUBA and free divers, and wildlife. See below for recommendations for a safe, enjoyable swim. Kahalu'u Beach Park is recommended for beginners.
Originally a fishing village for many generations, Honaunau has become popular with tourists for its snorkeling. Sadly, this fragile place has been dramatically impacted by tourist activity. Fish, turtles and coral are declining. You can help restore this delicate ecosystem by following the guidelines here. When you enter the water, you are coming into their home. If you dive or swim after them, you may scare them, which could disrupt their feeding and mating patterns.
We ask for your kokua (help) by observing the following guidelines. If you have questions when you arrive, please ask for guidance. Tourists teach tourists: please spread the word about how to protect this precious area.
Two Step is a unique situation for snorkelers. This photo shows the two steps used for getting into and out of the water safely. This is NOT a location for beginner or inexperienced snorkelers or swimmers.
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This information has been compiled by concerned citizens from decades of observation.
Mahalo Nui Loa
Honaunau Two Step Beach Snorkeling Safety
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