Hey guys, welcome back to Adventures in Aviators! In today’s snorkeling series, we’re taking you to the beautiful snorkel destination of Two Step, located in Honaunau Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. Two Step is renowned for its convenient water access, thanks to a natural cutout in the lava rock, making it easier for you to slip right into the water. This vast snorkeling area offers a chance to explore and observe various marine life, from dolphins and turtles to sharks and a variety of fish. Just be aware that Two Step can get crowded, especially during mid to late-day hours, and boat traffic is also a factor to consider.

Facilities-wise, there are porta-potties available, but if you’re looking for proper facilities, you can find them at the National Historic Site with paid parking. It is recommended to visit Two Step in the morning for better visibility and less crowded conditions. So, come on down and experience the beauty of Two Step, a must-see snorkeling destination on the Big Island of Hawaii!

Remember, at Adventures in Aviators, we’re all about sharing the wonders of nature and helping you make the most of your outdoor adventures. So, if you’re new to our channel, please like, subscribe, and share this video, as we want everyone to experience the amazing sights that surround us. Let’s dive right into the captivating world of snorkeling at Two Step, where we’ll rate it on our scale of manta rays, with one manta ray being subpar and five manta rays signifying a premier site. But before we delve into the specifics, let’s clarify that Two Step is the informal name of this snorkeling spot located in Honaunau Bay, near the Honaunau Place of Refuge. It gets its name from the small step down to the water, which provides easy access. The location is about a 40-minute drive south of Kailua Kona town, and while free parking is available, you can also opt for paid parking at the National Historic Site.

Location and Access

Snorkeling Review -Two Step, Hawaii (Honaunau Bay, Place of Refuge, Big Island)

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Honaunau Bay, Big Island

Honaunau Bay, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, is home to the renowned snorkeling spot known as Two Step. This bay is situated close to the Honaunau Place of Refuge, a significant historical park. If you see signs for the National Historic Park or Honaunau Bay, you’re heading in the right direction. Two Step is about a 40-minute drive south of Kailua Kona town, making it easily accessible for both locals and tourists.

Snorkeling Experience

Two Step water access point

The name “Two Step” refers to the water access point at Honaunau Bay. This access point is unique, as there is a small step down in the lava rock, providing a convenient entryway into the water. Unlike many other spots along the Hawaii coast, Two Step offers a relatively safe and easy way to enter the water for snorkeling.

Vast snorkeling area for exploration

Once you enter the water at Two Step, you’ll be greeted by a vast expanse of snorkeling opportunities. The snorkeling area in Honaunau Bay is expansive, allowing you to explore various underwater landscapes and habitats. If you’re an adventurous snorkeler, you’ll have plenty of room to swim around and discover new areas.

Opportunities to see various marine life

One of the highlights of snorkeling at Two Step is the abundance of marine life you can encounter. From dolphins to turtles, sharks, and a variety of fish, the waters of Honaunau Bay are teeming with wildlife. If you’re lucky, you may even come across some unexpected creatures during your snorkeling adventure.

Abundant wildlife sightings

The diverse and rich marine life found at Two Step has earned it a rating of five manta rays. This signifies that it is a prime location for encountering a wide range of marine species. Whether you’re interested in observing vibrant tropical fish or encountering majestic dolphins and turtles, Two Step offers an excellent opportunity for wildlife sightings.

Crowded Conditions

Crowding during mid to late-day hours

While Two Step is a popular snorkeling destination, it can become crowded during the mid to late-day hours. As the day progresses, more people may flock to the bay to enjoy the snorkeling experience. To make the most of your visit, it is advisable to arrive early in the morning when the bay is less crowded.

Consideration of boat traffic

In addition to fellow snorkelers, it’s essential to be mindful of boat traffic when snorkeling at Two Step. Many tour operators bring tourists to this beautiful location, especially during the mid to late morning hours. To ensure your safety and maximize your enjoyment, it’s vital to remain aware of boats in the area and give them plenty of space.


Porta-potties available on-site

While facilities at Two Step are limited, there are porta-potties available on-site. These provide a convenient option for restroom needs during your snorkeling excursion. However, visitors may also choose to utilize the proper facilities at the National Historic Site, where paid parking is available.

Proper facilities at National Historic Site with paid parking

For those seeking more comprehensive facilities, the National Historic Site near Two Step offers amenities such as proper restrooms. Although there is a fee of $15 for parking at the site, the additional facilities make it a worthwhile option, especially for those planning a day-long snorkeling adventure.

Optimal Visit Timing

Morning visit recommended for better visibility and less crowded conditions

To ensure an optimal snorkeling experience at Two Step, it is recommended to plan a morning visit. During the morning hours, visibility in the water tends to be better, allowing for clearer views of the marine life and underwater landscapes. Additionally, arriving early will help you avoid the crowds that may gather later in the day, ensuring a more peaceful and enjoyable experience.


Snorkeling at Two Step in Honaunau Bay provides an exceptional experience for nature enthusiasts. With its vast snorkeling area, convenient water access, and abundant marine life sightings, it is considered a top snorkeling destination on the Big Island of Hawaii. Despite potential crowding during certain hours and boat traffic to be mindful of, the beauty and diversity of Honaunau Bay make it a must-visit location. While porta-potties are available on-site, visitors can also take advantage of the proper facilities at the National Historic Site. For optimal visibility and less crowded conditions, it is recommended to plan a morning visit to Two Step. So grab your snorkeling gear, dive into the crystal-clear waters, and immerse yourself in the wonders of Honaunau Bay at Two Step.