La Perouse Bay is next to the Ahihi Kinau Nature Reserve, an area that encompasses 1,238 land acres and 807 submerged acres. When guide books talk about the snorkeling at La Perouse Bay, they are actually referring to the side of the Bay that is part of the reserve. The panoramic photo below shows the view of the Bay from the parking area. There is no snorkeling here. The good snorkeling is located in the cove areas around the Nature Reserve, as seen in the aerial photo (in the aerial photo the parking is at the dirt road that leads off from the main road, between the trees and lava fields). The small beach seen in the photos is private property.
more LaPerouse Bay aerial pictures
The area tends to be very windy and is also prone to big surf in the summer. The best snorkeling opportunities will be early in the morning before winds pick up. Because access is difficult and the area is large (requiring a lot of swimming), this is not a good location for beginner snorkelers. Visibility improves the further one goes around the peninsula, and snorkelers can easily be luired into going too far.
Note: The Nature Reserve is closed to the general public until at least July 2012 - this includes the snorkeling area of La Perouse Bay. This is to allow the very fragile eco system to recover from overuse..
LaPerouse Bay Panoramic Pictures