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Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach (also known as Makua Beach) is a world-famous beach on Kauai’s North Shore renowned for its world-class snorkeling and world-class beauty. The beach features a protective inner reef perfect for beginners and children and a complex outer reef for more advanced snorkelers.

The beach gets its name for the underwater caverns found offshore. Tunnels Beach sits adjacent to Haena Beach at Maniniholo Bay.


There’s plenty to explore offshore at Tunnels if the waters are calm. In the winter months, large waves can pound the beach and make snorkeling difficult. has an informative page about snorkeling at Tunnels Beach.

When the waters are calm enough to go scuba diving or snorkeling, it’s one of the best places in Kauai for that. You can find plenty of sea turtles, fish, and even seals. You can enter the beach from any point as it has a sandy bottom floor, so no need to worry about rocks. The water is so clear you can see the reef from shore!

Tunnels Beach Reef

One thing the large waves that make the beach good for is surfing. The high surf makes it a good surfing spot, especially in the winter months. Due to the way the waves break on the shore at Tunnels, the beach is more suitable for surfing and snorkeling and less for general swimming.

Tunnels warning sign

The long, golden sand beach is stunning, set against a green backdrop that includes the famed Bali Hai (Mount Makana) from the movie South Pacific. Sunsets are grand at Tunnels.

Mount Makana view

Sandbags have been placed along the beach to control erosion.

How To Get To Tunnels Beach

Getting to Tunnels Beach is rather simple. Simply take Kuhio Highway (560) until you reach the beach access sign, which will be on your left if you’re coming from the west or on you’re right if coming from the east.

Parking can be a problem at this super popular beach. Perhaps the best place to park is at adjacent Haena Beach Park which is right next door (Tunnels Beach is to the right when facing the ocean).

Arrive early if you’re driving since parking can be difficult to find during peak times.

Attractions Near Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach isn’t always a traveler’s main destination, but it’s in a good spot to check out along the way. Ha’ena Beach is to the west, so you can visit both beaches on the same day. The Maniniholo Dry Cave behind the Ha’ena Beach Park is another popular tourist attraction worth visiting.

Tunnels Beach sunset

This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and the most beautiful beach on Kauai, in our opinion.

Be sure to stay for the epic sunset!

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