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Makua (Tunnels) Beach

Hanalei Bay & the North Shore

Yet another too-good-to-be-true North Shore beach. Named for the underwater caverns and lava tubes that pepper the near-shore reef, Tunnels ranks among Kaua‘i’s finest snorkel spots in summer. It’s also the North Shore’s most popular dive site, suitable for shore dives. In winter, however, the swell picks up and the surf can be heavy.

In the shoulder season, the snorkeling can still be decent, but always check with lifeguards before heading into the water. Beware especially of a current flowing west toward the open ocean.

Access to Makua Beach is notoriously difficult. Two short dirt roads link it with the highway, but parking is very limited, and you may attract hostility. Most beachgoers park at Haʻena State Park, then walk a half-mile along the sandy foreshore.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hanalei Bay & the North Shore attractions

1. Haʻena Beach Park

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