Best Turtle Bay Snorkeling

The 15th most popular snorkel dive spot in Oahu.


  April 30, 2018

North of Honolulu and Waimea on Oahu, the snorkeling at Turtle Bay is popular dive site, but it is not known for quantities of green sea turtles. In the past, this bay was a turtle nesting ground. The waters can be pretty rough throughout the winter months. If the surf is knee high or less, you can at least enter the water at low tide, but it’s a rough ride. If the surf is too rough for snorkeling at Turtle Bay, you can check out the other local dive site about 1,000 feet away to the north in Kuilima Cove which has a protective reef.

To reach Turtle Bay snorkeling from Honolulu, head west on H1 to H2. Head north on H2 to Kamehameha Highway. Continue north on Kamehameha Highway through Waimea and up to Turtle Bay Resort. There is parking for Kuilima Cove in Turtle Bay Resort on the right near the tennis courts. To reach the Turtle Bay snorkeling head towards the pool area at Turtle Bay Resort and then follow the boardwalk left to the rocky water entrance. To reach the best snorkeling on Oahu by air, you will need to fly into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) which is located just on the west side of Honolulu. There are direct flights into Honolulu from the US, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Tahiti, Japan and Fiji. In addition, there are inter-island flights to all the main Hawaiian Islands. When planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands, be aware that the State Of Hawaii has banned all sunscreens that oxybenzone, which has been proven to kill coral reefs. There is good snorkeling on Oahu year-round. But, the conditions very around the island depending upon time of year due to winds and currents. The north shore snorkeling dives are best from June through September and are usually closed out the rest of the year due to high surf. The south shore dive sites are best from November through May. The main exception is Hanauma Bay, which tends to be good year-round since it is very protected.

Overall, Turtle Bay is the 15th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 23 snorkeling dives in Oahu. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Turtle Bay including Kuilima Cove, Sharks Cove, Three Tables, Kawela Bay, Hanakailio Bay and Kaihalulu Bay.

Local Contacts:  Hawaii Visitors (808) 245-3971.

Best Season:  Apr.-Sept.

Average Difficulty:  Easy

Base Camp:  Kaiaka Bay Beach Park Campground; Maleakahana State Campground; Backpackers Inn, Waimea

Luxury Loding:  Turtle Bay Resort, Kahuku (808) 293-6000

Breakfast Restaurant:  Teds Bakery, Sunset Beach (808) 638-8207

Reference Source:  click here

GPS:  21.703703, -157.998805

Date Published:  1/3/2012

Date Updated:  4/30/2018

ID:  23907

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Turtle Bay Snorkeling Map


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