Hanauma Bay, O’ahu, Hawai’i

Hanauma Bay has long been one of the island of Oahu’s jewels. Native Hawaiians have been enjoying life on the bay for thousands of years. The beach and surrounding natural park get their name from two Hawaiian words: “hana” which means bay and “uma” which means curved. To the Hawaiians, Hanauma Bay has long been part of their history. In fact, there are many legends about how the curved bay got its name. The bay was historically an excellent area for fishing. Records show that the Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s often stayed at the bay for entertainment and fishing.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967

Formed within a volcanic cone, today Hanauma Bay offers a pristine marine ecosystem after the City and County of Honolulu laid out a plan in 1990 to restore the “curved bay,” after years of neglect and abuse from the millions of visitors who visit and love to snorkel Hanauma Bay. Volunteers have a booth located on the beach level to help visitors learn about conservation of the reef and the types of fish that live there.