Glancing down from the overlook, it’s easy to understand why Hanauma bay is universally considered such a special place. The beautiful bay was actually a volcanic vent that opened up millions of years ago as Oahu was being formed. It was used for fishing and camping by locals until it was destined a Nature Preserve in the 1960's. However, over the years, the area became popular with tourist since it is a safe area for swimming and snorkeling. As a result, the reef has suffered from tourist tromping over it and causing irreparable damage. I love to look at the old photos of Hanauma Bay and imagine what it would have been like to snorkel here in the 1800's.