Spotting Hawaii’s beloved sea turtles are a delight to see, whether by boat or beach. These green sea turtles (honu) are sacred and protected under both the federal Endangered Species Act and under Hawaii state law. Enjoy them, photograph them and keep a distance of at least 15 feet away so they too can comfortably roam on their island home.
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is one of great significance on Big Island. Honokohau Beach is where you’ll find sea turtles, either swimming or amidst the lava backdrop, which is from the eruptions of Hualalai at least 10,000 years ago. The park’s setting is features Hawaii’s heritage—heiau, halau (long houses), fishponds and fish trap lava rock walls.
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A beach with good facilities, located at mile marker #5 in Kona on Big Island, is Kahalu’u Beach Park, home to abundant sea life, including turtles. The beach is popular for snorkeling and the black sand is also popular among the turtles that opt to swim up and rest on the beach.
Another black sand beach on Big Island is Punaluu, where turtles will swim, rest and nest. The beach is a sanctuary for the turtles; for visitors, it often serves as one as well. Quiet waves, plenty of room to relax and shady areas to sit and spot turtles make this an easy pick.
Kahuwai Bay in Kona on Big Island is another lava rock beach that the green sea turtles flock to as do the visitors that come to spot them. It’s a resort beach with shallow waters and a cove, a perfect atmosphere for the turtles. It’s a remote area, with a primitive feel. You won’t find lifeguards or other service amenities here and it’s not a swimmer’s beach, with its craggy lava remnants, but it is a wildly exciting setting to spot sea turtles.
Anaehoomalu Bay is known for tranquil waters, dramatic sunsets and sea turtles. Multiple coves entice the turtles to this Kona Kohala Coast beach area. If you plan to do more, swimming and snorkeling are great here. If you’re interested in an enlightening hike, take the nearby King’s Trail (Mamalahoa Trail), part of the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, where you’ll find fish ponds, ancient sites and petroglyphs.
Stay nearby the Kohala Coast in one of our Waikoloa condos.
Kukio Beach on Big Island offers beautiful coastline and clear waters. Located at mile marker #87, it’s a small beach with excellent paths for walking, plus historical markers and lots of shade for relaxation. The rock lava shelf is a resting pad for turtles as they take breaks from their swims.
Spencer Beach Park near Kawaihae Harbor is a Big Island favorite for barbecues, picnics, snorkeling and swimming. It’s also yet another Big Island beach for spotting turtles. Walk toward the coral reef and you’ll encounter sea life, including turtles. Pu’ukohala Heiau National Historic Site is nearby, so if you’re interested in a taking a historic hike, you’ll see heiaus and the ruins of Pu’ukohola.
Laniakea Beach, on Oahu’s North Shore, is naturally a surfer’s spot. Green sea turtles find Laniakea a natural resting spot too. Find them taking a moment dining on seaweed or simply warming themselves from the sun’s rays. Watch them make their way into the water for a swim. Also known as Lani’s Beach, its facets include a shallow reef and tremendous waves. The beach has no facilities, so keep that in mind when planning to spend time spotting sea turtles.
Visitors love spending a day at Poipu Beach, mostly for the sunny shoreline and sea turtles seem to love it for the same reason. Poipu Beach on Kauai is a good pick for families, with shallow cove areas and the nature experience of spotting turtles for the first time is guaranteed to be remarkable for children and adults.
Our Poipu condos on the island of Kauai are located in a great area to see Hawaii’s green sea turtles up close.
Turtle Town completes the list of beaches for spotting turtles. Maui’s Maluaka Beach, as it is formally known, is a marine life paradise, with turtles resting and feeding on algae. Pack a picnic and enjoy this beach that surrounds Makena Bay and offers lovely views of the island of Lanai.