Kaua‘i Day Trip: Snorkel Hawai‘i’s “Forbidden Island”

Just off Kaua‘i’s western coast, discover a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience: snorkeling the waters of Ni‘ihau, Hawai‘i’s “Forbidden Island.”

Hawai‘i is replete with amazing snorkeling and sightseeing, but an excursion to Ni‘ihau is truly something special — and the perfect addition to your Marriott Vacation Club® resort stay.

Na Pali CoastJourney into the Past

Get ready for adventure as you board a catamaran and set sail along Kaua‘i’s magnificent, ruggedly beautiful Nāpali Coast. You’ll head westward toward Ni‘ihau, also known as Hawai‘i’s “Forbidden Island,” for its secretive native community that remains closed to outsiders.

Ni‘ihau has been privately owned for more than 150 years by a family that purchased it in 1864 from then King Kamehameha V. Since then, its native Niihauans and their culture have endured. The island provides a glimpse into what Hawaiian life might have looked like in the past: no roads, no cars, no internet and more wildlife than humans.

NiihauUnder the Sea

Though very few are allowed to visit the island itself, all are welcome to snorkel its brilliant reefs and coastline. Once you arrive, the boat will anchor as you explore the surrounding crystal-clear waters. With incredible visibility — often as far as 150 feet — it’s ideal for snorkeling.

As you swim, you’ll see schools of brilliant tropical fish, seals, sea turtles and more up-close among the reefs of this mysterious island. The views both under- and above-water are simply unforgettable.

Just off Ni‘ihau’s northern coast is the iconic Lehua crater, a breathtaking crescent-shaped island. It’s part of the extinct Ni‘ihau volcano and another ideal destination for snorkeling and taking in truly awesome panoramic views.


Where to Stay:

Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club