Best Beaches For Turtle Watching On Oahu

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of Oahu, take a trip to one of its stunning beaches and go turtle-watching! Turtles have been around for millions of years, and it’s always a treat to observe them in their natural environment. 

On Oahu, several beaches offer excellent opportunities for viewing turtles. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best beaches on Oahu for turtle-watching so you can plan your next adventure with ease!

Turtle Watching Information

Snorkeling with turtles and turtle watching can be a wonderful experience, but it is essential to do so safely and respectfully. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before observing these amazing animals:

  1. Keep a safe distance: Turtles are wild animals and should be respected as such. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) to avoid disturbing them or causing stress. It is illegal in the State of Hawaii to get close to turtles or any other wildlife as they are protected by law.
  2. Don’t touch or feed the turtles: Turtles are sensitive to changes in their environment, and human contact can be harmful to them. Additionally, feeding turtles can disrupt their natural feeding patterns and may lead to health problems.
  3. Avoid using flash photography: Turtles have sensitive eyes and can be disturbed by flash photography. If you want to take photos, use a camera with a red light mode or a flash diffuser to minimize the impact on the turtle.
  4. Be mindful of your fins: Turtles can be easily injured by fins, so be careful when swimming near them and avoid kicking up sand or sediment.
  5. Respect the turtle’s natural habitat: Turtles are an important part of their ecosystem, and it is essential to respect their habitat and not damage it in any way.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy snorkeling with turtles and turtle-watching while ensuring the safety and well-being of these amazing animals.

What is the best time of year to see turtles in Hawaii?

Luckily, no matter when you plan to travel, chances are high that you may spot a turtle – they can be seen year-round if you know your spots! 

What time of day are turtles on shore?

Turtles are usually only onshore early in the morning, midday, or late at night. However, they can also be seen onshore at any time of the day.

Laniakea Beach

Laniakea Beach on Oahu is a sight to behold. Most mornings, visitors will find the shoreline speckled with sea turtles basking in the sun. Known locally as “turtle beach,” this sandy spot has become a popular go-to spot for families, tourists, and locals alike who come to view up close these majestic creatures. While there, you can also take part in swimming and snorkeling around the crystal clear waters of this natural paradise. 

If you’re lucky, you may even spot a few interesting critters like dolphins or whales out in the deep sea! With its great views and its large concentrations of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, a visit to Laniakea Beach should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for turtles.

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay is another great destination for seeing turtles. While this area tends to get busy due to its close proximity to a resort, it can still be a smooth experience. If you manage your time wisely, going early in the morning is the best time for avoiding bigger crowds and still having a relaxing visit. That way, you can peacefully observe these creatures in their natural environment without feeling overwhelmed by other travelers. It’s also a very calm beach, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and lounging.

Electric Beach

Located near a power plant, the warm waters that flow around this area create a perfect environment for sea turtles to hang out in. 

This location should be reserved for experienced snorkelers and swimmers, though. If you’re only here for turtle watching, they are best observed from shore. Always swim with a buddy, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other interesting marine life!

Waikiki Beach

There’s no better convenient spot than Waikiki to see some sea turtles in action – and it’s surprisingly easy! All you need is your swimsuit and a bit of patience. Finding the perfect snorkel spot early in the morning, when everyone else is still sleeping soundly, will more often than not guarantee turtle sightings. But if you like to sleep in, all hope is not lost. A sunset stroll on the beach can be just as rewarding; with luck, you’ll spot at least one curious turtle poking its head out from underwater.

Waikiki Beach is easily accessible and has plenty of amenities, lifeguard stations, and much more. Overall it’s one of the best beaches on this list to bring the whole family out.

Haleiwa Beach Park

Haleiwa Beach Park, also known as Ali’i  Beach Park, on Oahu’s north shore, is a popular place to observe Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles all year round. Many locals and tourists come to the beach park with hopes of catching a glimpse of one of these gentle creatures. Although it doesn’t receive the same attention from sea turtle fans as beaches like Laniakea Beach, Haleiwa Beach Park still has its fair share of turtle opportunities for visitors.

Facts About Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles (Honu)

  • The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle in the world.
  • Honu can live for several decades, with some individuals reaching up to 80 years old.
  • These turtles can grow to be quite large, with some reaching up to 4 feet in length and weighing over 350 pounds.
  • It is a traditional Hawaiian belief that swimming with green sea turtles brings good luck and wisdom.
  • The Honu are considered “honored guests” in Hawaii, and it is illegalto touch or disturb them.

Looking for a fun way to see Hawaiian Turtles? Rent with Surf N’ Sea!

Ready to explore the clear, blue waters of Hawaii and soak in some idyllic coastal views? Surf N’ Sea has the perfect equipment just for you! From kayaks to paddleboards, there are various ways to get out on the water and experience the wonders of Hawaiian nature. And if you’re lucky, you can even see some sea turtles while paddling around. Time spent exploring is time well spent with Surf N’ Sea!