Honauanau-Place of Refuge-Two Step

Shore Diving and Snorkeling Site

Pu'uhonua O'Honaunau - Place or Refuge - Two Step

Pu'uhonua O'Honaunau, or Place of Refuge, is named for the ancient Hawaiian village that was in the area. The National Historic park has re-creations of ancient Hawaiian structures, and park rangers offer talks and tours through the area, describing various features and what they mean to the Hawaiian culture. Some of the stone walls from the original village are still in place after hundreds of years. The snorkel/dive site, which is just to the north of the park, is called Two Step, named for the two steps leading into the water.

 Dive Site Maps:


Two Step Dive Site Map, Big Island Hawaii 

Site Briefing: 

  • Accessibility:  The snorkel and dive site is just North of Pu'uhonua O'Honaunau National Historical Park. Drive South on Highway 11, South of Kailua-Kona (about 45 minutes). Make the turn just past Mile Marker 104 onto Route 160. Turn right onto a small road before the gates to Pu'uhonua O'Honaunau National Historical Park. This will take you into a residential area, where you will also see the boat ramp. There is some parking along the side of the road, or you can pay a nominal fee to park inside the Canoe Club area.

  • Nearby Facilities:  Plenty of parking, Porta-Potties, and picnic tables.

  • Features:  Very popular snorkel area, so keep an eye out for snorkelers when entering and exitingIf you go out at a 45-degree angle to the right, you will come to a sand patch at about 40’ with “Aloha” written out in cinder blocks on the bottom. Continue out and you will come to a nice drop-off and sand area that goes down to about 90-100’. The deeper part of this site is an underwater canyon. If you head along the south wall and you will see another “Aloha” in the sand at about 100’. In the shallow water south of the boat channel there are shallow pukas (small holes) with white-tip reef sharks sleeping and turtles. Occasionally there are also dolphins in the middle of the bay during the early mornings.

  • Entry/Exit:  You should gear up where you park and then walk down to the entry area. It is almost all smooth lava rock. The entry is just north of the boat ramp, two steps down into the water. It can be done without booties, but there are urchins by the steps so be careful.

  • Depths:  0-100’: Very shallow reef shelf with drop-off to sand.

  • Special Concerns:

    • Tides: During low tide it can be tricky to get out of the water with your gear on.

    • Depth: Make sure to watch your depth and no-decompression time, as it can get deep the farther you go out.

Site Photos:

  • Coming soon

General Info:

  • Check the weather, surf, and tide reports:  Plan ahead for safety

  • Know your limits: Diving and snorkeling from shore means you have minimal help if something goes wrong.  Know your limits, and consider taking a snorkel lesson, a scuba refresher, or book a guided trip to increase you experience before considering diving and snorkeling from shore.

  • Use a Dive Flag:  These are required by law for both scuba and snorkeling and we have them available for rent.

  • Rent gearWe have a full line of rental snorkel and scuba gear, and air and nitrox tank fills.

  • Check Your Gear and Bring Spares:  Whether you rent or own your own gear, inspect it thoroughly before heading to the dive site.  Many are in remote locations, so save yourself the long trip if you forget something.  Jack's Diving Locker is the best dive shop on the island to help restock your save-a-dive kit with spare o-rings, mouthpieces, and tools.

  • Use the Buddy System:  Dive and Snorkel with someone capable of assisting you in an emergency

  • Be Reef Friendly:  Please use reef safe sunscreens, don't stand on the reef, don't touch marine life, and don't feed the fish.

  • Be Respectful of Our Community:  Act with aloha, pick up litter if you find it, and be helpful to others.