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Discovering Oahu’s Hidden Gems: Top 5 Places to Encounter Sea Turtles

Where to find turtles in Hawaii


Best places to find Honu in Hawaii.

Oahu, the heart of Hawaii, is a haven for sea turtle enthusiasts seeking unforgettable encounters with these majestic creatures. Known locally as “Honu,” Hawaiian green sea turtles grace the island’s shores, offering mesmerizing moments for visitors.

Fun fast about the Honu. Despite their name, Hawaiian green sea turtles are not exclusively herbivores. While they do feed mainly on algae and seagrasses, they have been known to munch on jellyfish, sponges, and even small invertebrates. They get their name due to the color of their fat. They eat so much of the seagrasses on the shore, their fat will turn green. Wild huh?

Here are five of the best locations on Oahu where you can reliably spot these gentle giants:


Quick word from our sponsor:

Before we do go and give you this list we want you to be aware that it is illegal to harass any of the wildlife on the islands. You are able to go in and look at these beautiful creatures laying on the beach or swimming in the water for please do not bother them. You need to understand that they are out there fending off predators but also trying to feed them selves all day. When you see them laying on the beach they are exhausted in Alaska they want is for some knucklehead to come up and try to take a stupid selfie picture that no one will even like on your Instagram anyway. So do yourself a favor if you do not bother these animals. Anyway, here is the list.


1- Laniakea Beach (Turtle Beach):

Nestled on the North Shore of Oahu, Laniakea Beach stands as a sanctuary for sea turtles. Renowned for its resident turtle population, this iconic stretch of coastline provides ample opportunities for close encounters. Watch in awe as these magnificent creatures bask in the sun, but remember to maintain a respectful distance to safeguard their well-being.

The traffic up in this location can be very bad in the mid day into the early evening. We recommend getting up there early or better yet, take a tour with us and don’t worry about it all. Sit back and just enjoy all the best spot and the turtles.


2- Waikiki Beach (Kuhio Beach):

Surprisingly close to the bustling energy of Waikiki lies Kuhio Beach, a hidden gem for sea turtle sightings. Near the Duke Kahanamoku Statue, turtles gracefully glide through the crystal-clear waters, offering a delightful surprise for snorkelers and swimmers alike.

Also look for them to be swimming around the Sheraton Waikiki. Right where the catamarans pull off of the beach, that is a great place to look for the Green Sea Turtle to be swimming around.


2.5- How About Diving?

Learning to scuba dive in Hawaii and going to see turtles would be super cool for several reasons! Firstly, Hawaii is renowned for its stunning underwater ecosystems, boasting crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life. Imagine immersing yourself in this underwater paradise, surrounded by colorful fish, mesmerizing coral formations, and graceful sea turtles gliding gracefully through the water.


Check out Dive Oahu for a great experience.


3- Shark’s Cove (Pupukea Beach Park):

Venture to the North Shore’s Shark’s Cove, a renowned snorkeling haven teeming with marine life. Amidst the rocky cove’s underwater wonders, sea turtles gracefully navigate the vibrant coral reefs. Exercise caution and respect the delicate marine ecosystem while reveling in this enchanting encounter.


Make sure you pay attention to the swells and do not go into this area when the waves are big on the North Shore. This will not be a good part of your vacation if that’s the case. We recommend doing this only in the summertime when there are no waves on the North Shore.


4- Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve:

Immerse yourself in the underwater wonderland of Hanauma Bay, a cherished snorkeling destination brimming with biodiversity. While exploring the bay’s protected waters, keep a vigilant eye out for sea turtles gracefully gliding amidst the coral gardens, adding to the allure of this marine sanctuary.

Just note you have to make reservation for this location. Here is the link where you can do that.

Make Hanauma Bay Reservations


5- Electric Beach (Kahe Point Beach Park):

Journey to the leeward coast of Oahu and discover Electric Beach, an extraordinary snorkeling spot renowned for its warm waters and diverse marine life. Here, sea turtles are frequent visitors, drawn to the area’s unique ecosystem shaped by warm water discharge from a nearby power plant. Dive into the azure depths and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colorful fish.





While there are indeed numerous places on Oahu where you can spot Hawaiian green sea turtles, I’d recommend considering the option of going with a guide. Here’s why:

Exploring the island with a knowledgeable guide not only enhances your chances of spotting these magnificent creatures but also offers a more immersive and educational experience. Guides are familiar with the best locations and times for turtle sightings, maximizing your chances of encountering them in their natural habitat.

Moreover, guides can provide valuable insights into the behavior, biology, and conservation efforts surrounding Hawaiian green sea turtles. You’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for these fascinating creatures and their importance to the local ecosystem.

Additionally, going with a guide ensures that your turtle-spotting adventure is conducted responsibly and in accordance with conservation guidelines. Guides prioritize the well-being of the turtles and their habitats, ensuring minimal disturbance while still offering you an unforgettable wildlife encounter.

So, while there are plenty of opportunities to spot turtles independently, opting for a guided tour provides a curated and enriching experience that truly elevates your Oahu adventure. Let an expert guide lead the way as you discover the beauty and wonder of Hawaiian green sea turtles around the island.

Book one of our Complete island Tours to see all the sites and Hawaiian wildlife. 

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Our 5.5-hour photo tour is of the most spectacular colors Hawaii has to offer. Our most relaxing tour will show you the most amazing colors Hawaii has to offer. We will take the “Hawaiian Time” approach and let you capture the beauty all around you. Your guide will help you capture the most impressive photos with any camera you bring.