Snorkeling at Leleiwi Beach (Hilo)

Who says the diving in Hilo isn’t good? I recently went back to Leleiwi Beach Park, where I have dived dozens and dozens of times. I still enjoy it each time - there is abundant coral and fish life, and the main attraction the 10-30 turtles that you will see each dive. I’ll make this post more of a photo essay:



The water conditions were exceptional this dive - great visibility, especially for Hilo. I saw more fish on this dive than I have in the past at Leleiwi; in fact, the water was teeming with colorful tropical fish! The coral was colorful, diverse, and lush. The water entry was a little tricky with high tide and a surging surface state - we simply timed our entry in between sets and made it fine.

I have seen more than thirty turtles on a dive here at Leleiwi. I enjoy observing their impressive presence underwater; some of the adult turtles here are without a doubt older than I am. I see many of the turtles resting gently on the reef, in caves and holes between the coral, and in sandy clearings underwater. Some of the younger adolescent turtles are happily swimming about, curious of me as I am of them.

If you are lucky you will see a turtle cleaning station where fish help the green sea turtle by cleaning his shell. This turtle happened to pose ever so patiently for me to steady my camera and take the shot!

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Related Posts:

  1. Hawaii Snorkeling Guide - Hilo
  2. Leleiwi Beach Park
  3. Question - Snorkeling near Hilo
  4. Shore Diving - Hilo, Hawaii
  5. Snorkeling at Pawai Bay

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  1. Kay Nagata says:

    I agree with you, as I have also seen more than thirty turtles on a dive here at Leleiwi wih my diving master at Hilo. I enjoy observing happy turtles underwater; some of the adult turtles here are fully gorwn up (big) and relaxing . I have never seen that many of the turtles resting gently on the reef in any other places including Kona side of the island. The diving is exciting and entry is not so easy particularly with a high current, but I (being a middle aged woman) managed the beach entry from the stair-like rockes and the overall visibility is also not so bad. The site is to be visited and it is defintely under-estimated. If you have a chance to visit Hilo, please allocate half a day to diving this site. There is a good diving shop in old downtown Hilo.

    • Letsgo-Hawaii says:

      There is one particular spot on the Leleiwi dive that I always enjoy - it is the part right next to the natural sea arch (about 75 yards to the south of the entry point in about 30 feet of water). Here, I often see a large mature green sea turtle resting at the bottom just beyond the sea arch - in fact when you swim through it, you can get a nice view of this old fellow.

      I’ll agree that the entry at Leleiwi Beach can be tricky - especially if the ocean surface conditions are rough. Not only that, but the exit can also be particularly rough - you really have to time your swim-in with the waves. I once was dashed onto the rocks when I mistimed the waves - a rogue wave ripped my mask off my face and my camera out of my hands throwing me onto the lava rocks there; luckily I only suffered cuts and bruises!

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