Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

Have you ever tried sailing on one of the beautiful beaches of Hawaii?  How about snorkeling and swimming with large green sea turtles?  On our recent trip, we joined a tour which included both activities – snorkeling with Hawaiian green sea turtles and sailing in Honolulu!  We were even lucky enough to encounter a group of dolphins while sailing.  It is one of the highlights of our awesome trip and I highly recommend it for your next vacation in Hawaii.

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

Hanauma Bay

Before joining a tour, we drove to Hanauma Bay and tried to find the Hawaiian green sea turtles on our own.  We brought our brand-new snorkeling gear and flippers with us.  We were so ready!  Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy to spot the turtles in Hanauma Bay.  This made us decide to join a tour.  Despite our failed attempt, it was still a wonderful experience!  Hanauma Bay has large beautiful reefs and various tropical fish.

Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail Tour

There are many similar tours available in Honolulu.  We booked our tour with Holokai Catamaran at $60 each for a 2.5-hr Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail Tour.  We were guaranteed a 95% chance of seeing some turtles! 

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

Snorkeling and swimming with the Hawaiian green sea turtles

The tour sailed to Turtle Canyon in Kaneohe Bay, not far from Waikiki beach.  In a matter of minutes after our boat settled, a very large green sea turtle appeared beside the boat.

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

It’s hard to contain our excitement.  All of us couldn’t wait to jump off the boat!

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

Our tour guide explained that Turtle Canyon is also known for being a “turtle cleaning station.” Turtles go there to have their shells cleaned by the reef fish.  True enough, we witnessed three green sea turtles being cleaned by reef fish!

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

We knew the tour was worth the money we paid for because we saw the large Hawaiian green sea turtles numerous times.  We also saw different tropical fish swimming along with us.

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

Sailing with the catamaran

After the snorkeling activity, we sailed along the Oahu coast by catamaran.  We were treated with Waikiki’s beautiful skyline and a view of the famous Diamond Head.  We relaxed for 30 minutes under the sun, listening to beach songs, admiring the scenery and recounting the fun experience we had with the turtles and fish.

Surprise, dolphins!

While we were sailing, our tour guide mentioned that they sometimes see dolphins near the Diamond Head.  We didn’t realize we were that lucky until the sail was about to end.  Our tour guide caught a glimpse of dolphins and followed that direction.  In a few minutes, a group of dolphins were swimming along with the catamaran.  It was an amazing ending to the great tour.


Watch the full video here.

Things to Bring:

  1. Camera and gopro
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Snorkel (optional) – they provide snorkeling gear but bring one if you prefer your own
  4. Towel

*Life vests are provided.  For more information about the tour, click here.

Suggested Waikiki Accommodations Near This Tour:

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
Sheraton Waikiki
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach

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Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail with Holokai Catamaran in Oahu Hawaii

Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu | Snorkeling with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and Sailing in Honolulu

16 Comment

  1. Love this adventure! Looks like you had such a wonderful time … i’ll definitely be booking this tour when I’m next in the area!

  2. Okay, now I am dreaming of Hawaii! This looks incredible! I haven’t been in years but I love snorkeling and sailing so this is right up my alley. Did you use a filter on your gopro to help capture the beautiful blue water? Your photos are stunning!

    1. businesstravelerswife says: Reply

      Hi Chloe! I didn’t use a filter on my gorpro. The water is that beautiful! 🙂

  3. Seems that you had a wonderful trip! The turtels looks so amazing!

  4. Wow, this looks like a perfect holiday. I had heard of Honolulu before but I didn’t know that the place is this gorgeous. The dolphin video had me smiling.

  5. A 95% chance of seeing a turtle on the Turtle Canyon Adventure Sail Tour are pretty good odds, especially when you didn’t see any turtles searching solo. The Turtle cleaning station as it’s inventively called seems interesting, watching the reef fish ‘cleaning’ the turtle must be an incredible site. You go some wonderful images of the Turtle!

  6. This sounds so exciting! I would to swim around there. Underwater world is so fascinating .
    Those seem to be friendly dolphins swimming along side you. 🙂

  7. Ah! You had me at the mesmerising blues!! Sounds like an adventure, with dolphins and turtles. The place is high on my bucket list and being a water baby snorkelling with the dolphins is like icing on the cake! 🙂 Loved the video, felt I dived with you!

  8. I haven’t been to Hawaii and its a place I’d love to go! The beautiful landscapes with blue skies and blue seas is so spectacular! Good to know you also managed to spot dolphins! Haha, the turtles get their shells cleaned by fishes, that’s funny!!! Nature is indeed beautiful!

  9. I love your videos. I’d also like to experience this kind of adventure. Swimming with marine animals is awesome! I’d have to buy a GoPro if I want to do this someday.

    Iza c/o Fill My Passport

  10. I haven’t been to Hawaii yet and I would love to go one day. Sometimes tour guides are better equipped than us and we have to join group tours in such cases. And in your case, you managed to see the green turtles. Never knew they get them cleaned by fishes. So interesting.

  11. Snorkeling with Hawaiian turtles sounds so amazing. I am sure you must have had a lot of fun. I love turtles and can’t wait to snorkel in Hawaii. Thanks for the very helpful tips. Wonderful photographs.

  12. Looks like a great tour. I love snorkeling in clear waters like that and getting up close to the marine life.

  13. I would love to go sailing and swim with the sea turtles!!

  14. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii! It just sucks how expensive round trip flights are from where I am in Missouri! 🙁

  15. ravenoustravellers says: Reply

    Dolphins and turtles, ahhh sounds like heaven!! Love your photos and videos! It looks like paradise and the water is crystal clear. Hope we can visit someday, thanks for sharing.

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