Big Island of Hawaii RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Where to See Turtles on the Big Island of Hawaii

By Viator, January 2018

5 38 Reviews | Add your review

A favorite Big Island thrill is the sight of wild green sea turtles popping their heads above the surface or swimming next to you underwater. Here are the best places to spot the inspiring shelled creatures, known locally as honu.

And wherever you go to spot turtles on the Big Island, remember to respect these wonderful, wild animals. It is illegal to touch a sea turtle in Hawaii. Also, be sure to avoid feeding turtles or swimming above above them, as this can prevent them from surfacing for air.

Kahaluu Beach Park
One of the Big Island’s most reliable turtle-spotting destinations, this beach park right in Kailua-Kona makes an easy pit stop during a day of sightseeing. While not an official marine sanctuary, the protected, shallow lagoon is a big draw for novice snorkelers as well as the sea turtles and fish they come to admire.

Kiholo Bay
Visitors who tackle the hike down from the highway to reach this rocky lagoon in Kohala are often rewarded with excellent, uncrowded views of sea turtles. Bring snorkeling gear, as you may be able to get a close look if water conditions are calm.

Honaunau Bay
Bordering a former place of refuge for ancient Hawaiians fleeing persecution, today this historic site south of Kailua-Kona offers shelter from sea swells. The protected, clear waters are a big draw for snorkelers, and sea turtles are often seen swimming in the bay. Try to arrive early to beat the crowds.

Punaluu Black Sand Beach
If you’d prefer to glimpse sea turtles without getting wet, try Punaluu Beach. Keep an eye out for turtles bobbing in the surf or sunning themselves on the distinctive black sand and lava rocks. No snorkeling mask or fins required.

Tours & Tickets

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Small-Group Big Island Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kona Coffee Farm, Big Island of ... 
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Small-Group Big Island Tour: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kona Coffee Farm

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 69 Reviews

Journey to the Big Island's Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from Kona or Waikoloa on this exciting day trip, complete with your own personal iPad to use ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $186.99
Big Island in a Day: Waterfalls, Rainforest, Coffee Farm, History, Big Island of Hawaii, Full-day ... 
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Big Island in a Day: Waterfalls, Rainforest, Coffee Farm, History

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 356 Reviews

This 10-11 hour nature tour offers an in-depth look at Hawaii’s youngest and largest island. Explore the diverse landscape and natural wonders, including visit ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $182.30
Zodiac Raft and Snorkel Adventure, Big Island of Hawaii, Day Trips
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Zodiac Raft and Snorkel Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 48 Reviews

Skim across the waves on an exciting Big Island Zodiac tour to Kealakekua Bay, site of the Captain Cook monument and Hawaii's finest marine sanctuary. Snorkel ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: Flexible

From USD $115.00
Kayak and Snorkel - South Shore Turtle, Maui, Day Cruises
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Kayak and Snorkel - South Shore Turtle

4.5 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

In the morning, the guide will lead you on a leisurely paddle through Makena Bay along its beautiful coastline with views of Molokini and Haleakala Volcano. ...  Read more

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $75.00
Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise from Waikoloa, Big Island of Hawaii, Kayaking & Canoeing
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Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise from Waikoloa

4.5 star rating: Recommended 11 Reviews

Discover the Big Island’s vibrant underwater world on this glass-bottom boat cruise on Anaeho’omalu Bay. From Waikoloa, near Kona, board a comfortable 26-foot ...  Read more

Location: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Duration: 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $28.94
Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast, Big Island of Hawaii, Glass Bottom Boat Tours
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Big Island Snorkel Cruise Along Kohala Coast

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 18 Reviews

Discover the best snorkeling off the Kohala Coast on this 3.5-hour Big Island snorkel cruise. Aboard a comfortable catamaran, admire Hawaii's postcard-worthy ...  Read more

Location: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $157.54
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Big Island Highlights Small Group Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, ... 
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Big Island Highlights Small Group Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

See two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, on a small group tour that features the natural wonders of the UNESCO-listed Hawaii ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii, Hawaii
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $166.67
Big Island Keauhou Bay Kayaking and Optional Snorkeling Cave Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Nature & ... 
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Big Island Keauhou Bay Kayaking and Optional Snorkeling Cave Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Enjoy an exciting day of kayaking below Hawaii's soaring cliffs and around its sea caves! Experience the picturesque beauty of the Big Island on this aquatic ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $99.49
Hilo and Kalapana Big Island Backroads Mercedes 11 PSGR Tour, Big Island of Hawaii, Kayaking & ... 
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Hilo and Kalapana Big Island Backroads Mercedes 11 PSGR Tour

Great Tour for Cruise Excursions. One Price all 11 Seats in the Mercedes Benz van are for you on this Private Tour. Embark on a private 6-hour guided tour ...  Read more

Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $699.00

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