A large selection of tide pools.
Type: Protected From Open Ocean
Type: Tide Pools
Parking: Street only
Good For: Snorkeling
The Wai'opae Tidepools Marine Life Conservation District is also known as the Kapoho Tide Pools because of the community that they are located in. This is entire area is a huge area of protected tide pools and can make for some great snorkeling.
The pools are well protected from the open ocean due to the reef that sits here but still get excellent water circulation that creates for an amazing amount of coral and marine life here. This area is a popular place for younger marine life as well so it's also a nursery of sorts.
Note that no fishing of any kind is allowed in this protected district and kayaking should be avoided so you don't disturb the coral in shallow areas. Since this is largely volcanic rock (there is no sand here), you'll want to wear reef shoes to avoid getting cut up. Note that there are no facilities here.
Visiting during the week is your best bet as this place may get a little crowded with locals on the weekends. If the weather over here isn't all that great early in the morning, wait a bit as it often clears up. Some prefer to snorkel here a few hours before high tide hits when the pools are less shallow and more clear.
To get to the Kapoho Tide Pools, which are about an hour south of Hilo, you'll take Highway 130 south. You'll then head east onto Highway 132 and turn right (south) onto Highway 137. From there, you'll be heading south for just over a mile and turn left (east) onto Kapoho Kai Street. Follow that road to the parking areas which will be marked by signs which will be next to the Vacationland subdivision. Once parked, you'll find access to the tidepools via posted signs.
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