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Where to See Turtles on Oahu

animal on the water

The crystal blue ocean surrounding the tropical island of Oahu is home to fascinating marine life that you can often spot just by walking down one of the island’s pristine beaches. But catching a glimpse of a green sea turtle (honu) might require a bit more effort. If you’re interested in observing the gentle honu floating along in the waves, here are some of our top picks for where to see turtles on Oahu

See Turtles at Waikiki Beach

With lungs two-thirds as long as their upper shell, it is believed that green sea turtles can stay underwater for many hours (depending on the size of the turtle). They have to pop up for air eventually and often do so in the waters offshore from Waikiki.

Spot Honu at Turtle Beach

Aptly nicknamed Turtle Beach, Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore is home to an impressive number of sea turtles. From grazing on seagrass and algae to sunbathing in the golden sand, you’ll likely see a handful of honu while visiting this beach.

View Turtles at Hanauma Bay 

A snorkeling paradise, Hanauma Bay is a protected marine area, which means there’s a good chance that Hawaiian green sea turtles will swim by during your exploration under the sea. Just be sure to view the turtles responsibly, as sea turtles are an endangered species and are fully protected under the federal Endangered Species Act and Hawaii state law.

Find Turtles at Shark’s Cove

Located in Pupukea Beach Park on Oahu’s North Shore Marine Life Conservation District, Shark’s Cove is known for its diverse marine life and spectacular underwater landscape. Sea turtles often delight those who snorkel and dive here. 

Admire Turtles at Kahana Bay 

Humans and sea turtles alike are drawn to the calm waters and tranquil atmosphere of Kahana Bay. Located within a conservation area and state park, the lush bay is an area protected for its natural environment and biodiversity. When visiting, be sure to respect the fragile ecosystems here.

Snorkel with Turtles at the Ko Olina Lagoons  

Located on the west side of the island in a beautiful resort called Ko Olina, this secluded lagoon is shallow enough for even the youngest visitors. Bring the whole family for a snorkeling experience full of turtle sighting potential! This is also an excellent opportunity to teach kids not to chase, touch, or disturb the sea turtles in any way, always admiring them from a safe distance

One of the best spots to see and snorkel with turtles on Oahu is just beyond the lagoon at an incredible reef that can be reached by catamaran. With a full bar and top of the line snorkel gear, an Oahu Catamaran Sail & Snorkel Adventure is your key to discovering the green sea turtles of the beautiful reef as well as the magic of Oahu’s hidden coast. Both AM Ocean Adventures and PM Snorkeling Tours offer ample opportunities to observe sea turtles, tropical fish, dolphins, whales in the winter, and other marine creatures all year round, so book your Snorkeling Adventure aboard our eco-friendly, safe, and luxurious full-service 53′ yacht today!

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