Among of the top natural attractions on Oahu are the honu – aka sea turtles. So much so that many visitors want to make it the first thing they see after arriving at the airport or they hope to squeeze it in before their flight back home. While you will certainly come across them when snorkeling near the airport at one of these conveniently located spots, not everyone wants to get wet before checking into their hotel or prior to hopping on a plane. The good news is that you can find them resting on the shore on some of the island’s sandy beaches. While you are required to keep a safe distance (for their protection) it’s a remarkable experience and we highly recommend checking out the spots detailed below. Better yet, the destinations are within a relatively reasonable distance from HNL when you hitch a ride on our private shuttle.
3 Best Places to Find Sea Turtles on the Shore Near (sort of) Honolulu International Airport and What Else You Need to Know
Secret Beach, Ko Olina (25 Minutes from HNL)
If you’re staying in the resort community of Ko Olina you’re in luck because tucked into the leeward oceanfront is Secret Beach, home to a good number of sea turtles. They don’t come to right on to shore as much as they used to, because despite the name this beach is not quite confidential and gets a little too crowded for their comfort. However they come into the small lagoon which is protected from the waves. You can wade in and with a keen eye will spot the honu swimming peacefully (so please don’t disturb them) around the calm waters. The beach is found by following a small path north from the Four Seasons resort property.
Waialua Bay, Haleiwa (40 minutes from HNL)
OK, so the North Shore isn’t exactly close to the airport, but our private shuttle service will make it seem that way as we get you there in about 35-40 minutes assuming reasonable traffic. Now we know you’ve heard about Laniakea Beach (aka “Turtle Beach”) on the North Shore, but this isn’t it. In fact – don’t go to Laniakea Beach because while you may be guaranteed to see sea turtles on the sands, it has become a jam packed tourist attraction that pretty much spoils the whole experience. Instead, head over the Waialua Bay which is right beside Ali’i Beach Park in Haleiwa. There are typically one or two turtles on the shore, but thankfully roped-off to keep people from getting too close. Enjoy them from a good distance, then head on over the next spot which is detailed below.
Pua’ena Point Beach Park (40 minutes from HNL)
In a 20-minute walk from Ali’i Beach (mentioned above) you will find Pua’ena Point which is just passed Haleiwa Beach Park. There is a small strip of sand along this popular little surf spot where sea turtles enjoy relative peace and quiet as the local populous knows to let them be. You can admire them from the short sandy ledge and snap plenty of photos without feeling as if you’re in a tourist trap.
Book a Driving Tour to See Sea Turtles Instead (from HNL)
While you can check out one of the beaches above and have a great time, why not hit ALL of the best sea turtle spots on the island in one relaxing driving tour? That’s right, in addition to HNL pickups and drop-offs we also offer custom island tours and one of the pre-packaged offerings is the Sea Turtle Tour which takes approximately 5-hours including pickup and drop-off. With Honolulu Airport Transfer, your sea turtle tour can begin or end (as applicable) at HNL. Even better, you can keep your luggage safely within our comfortable minivan the whole time. View details and rates for our sea turtle driving tour, or call us to customize it to your unique needs.
Simply give us 24-hours notice and we’ll pick you and your party up from the airport (or your hotel) and take you directly to one or all of the beaches above. Call us at 1.800.929.1219 or complete the form found here.
~ ALOHA ~