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TripAdvisor Insider – February 2016

It has been another great month here on the island of Oahu filled with lots of excitement and adventures with our visitors. As of today, Hawaii Turtle Tours has 469 excellent TripAdvisor reviews. We thank you all for your feedback and for sharing your experience on our TripAdvisor page. Here is our monthly TripAdvisor Insider post where we share some of our favorite feedback we have received in the last few days. Mahalo for your support and a hui hou (as we say here in Hawaii… see you soon)! Awesome tour! 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago My girlfriend and I where approached by a happy smiling Jason on the streets promising an amazing tour round Hawaii in a day. I admit we were hesitant but we where eventually convinced! Jason delivered it was amazing! We had a group of 4 (plus this cute little baby who was all smiles). Our awesome tour guide Jacob was so informative while on the road and on every stop. Read full review. Thank you Daniel and Casey for a perfect day 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago If you want to have a day filled with laughter, fun and be educated along the way on Hawaii while visiting breathtaking places, you simply must book a tour with Hawaii Turtle Tours. Casey and Daniel are amazing tour guides and so much fun, they made the day complete. Read full review. Awesome day with Daniel and Mike! 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago We had a great day today doing the circle tour with Daniel and King Mike. From the get go they were very nice, funny, and relaxed, which made the whole trip really enjoyable. The tour is a great way to see more of Oahu while learning lots of cool information along the way that you probably wouldn’t normally get the chance to hear, and we also got to see turtles up close and whales in the distance as a bonus. Read full review. Definitely worth it 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago Raul was an amazing guide who made the trip very entertaining and had amazing tips and was very passionate and funny! We loved Paul the driver!! He was always smiling and welcoming! this trip was definitely worth the money lots of ocean, sunshine and seen a few turtles 🙂 Read full review. Recommended to first timer in Hawaii 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week A great way to start our family hawaii vacation. Small group and small tour van made it more intimate and enjoyable. Introduced us to lots of different sites around the island so we can visit later with a rental car. Josh and Casey were excellent tour guides with Josh keeping us entertained. First time snorkling was a little tough for myself and six year old daughter at the north shore area. Read full review.

TripAdvisor Insider – January 2016

Happy New Year, or Hau’oli Makahiki Hou, as we say here in Hawaii from all of our Hawaii Turtle Tours ohana (family)! Just like in years past we will continue being the best part of your Hawaii vacation. Join us on an unforgettable Oahu island sightseeing tour that takes you to gorgeous beaches where Hawaiian sea turtles like to hang out. Our friendly tour guides are committed to providing 5 star service and making this Oahu island tour different than any other you have experienced before. Here is a quick glimpse at our TripAdvisor Insider early January edition and what our visitors say about us and our Hawaii turtle tour.  “Great sight seeing and learning experience 5 of 5 stars Reviewed today We went on the turtle your near the end of our stay. Got to see a bunch of places we hadn’t been to yet. Also learned a lot about the culture and sites seen. I’d recommend doing it near the beginning of your stay so you get to learn everything there first as we did end up re-hearing info we had learned at other locations such as pearl harbour (fun nevertheless). We did see turtles and fell in love with dole whip!!! Read full review. “Fantastic Day Out !!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago The BEST tour ! Our guide and driver, Raul and King Mike were fantastic ! They set the day off in fun and the vibe lasted all day ! They took us to amazing places and avoided the larger your groups. We saw so much of the island and learned a lot more. Beautiful beaches, amazing scenery and turtles ! Read full review. “Great day outside of Waikiki !!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago Perfect tour to see the island and learn many stories from local people ! Amazing view points, really good stop for lunch. Highly recommended !! Read full review. Turtle Tour was Awesome 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 day ago We had so much fun with my wife and 6 year old daughter. The guide was so great with kids and the driver knew exactly how to drive the roads and where to park to make our experience really easy. We explored back road beaches that we would have never found even if we rented a car.Read full review. “Take it from someone who was hesitant at first, this is a must do!!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 day ago When walking along the street we were stopped by Jason. After being very hesitant to buy off the street my partner and I decided to book the tour (he was a great salesman). I can honestly say what he said though was 100% accurate. We saw so much of Oahu and so much more beyond the limits of Wakiki. Read full review.

TripAdvisor Insider – December 2015

Hawaii Turtle Tours on TripAdvisor

Hawaii Turtle Tours has recently been given the Bravo! reward by TripAdvisor and rated “excellent” by 431 travelers. We thank you all for your feedback and for sharing your experience on our TripAdvisor page. As part of our commitment to be the best Hawaii turtle tour we will continue providing excellent service for all our future guests. We are proud to offer one of the most unique tour experiences in Hawaii in a boutique, family-friendly atmosphere. In this new category on our blog titled TripAdvisor Insider we would like to regularly share what our guests who have recently done our tour say about their experience. So here is some recent feedback we have received from our guests. “Simply a great day out!” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed today I must admit that my group of seven (three families) was a little skeptical at first, as we had read some very mixed reviews of this tour. I’m very pleased to say that we were more than satisfied! Our guide, Bo, and driver, Casey, together gave us a day out that will live long in our memories. Bo is one of the most enthusiastic, knowledgeable and culturally sensitive guides we have ever come across. Read full review. “Best Day in Oahu 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who has not been to the island before. The best part of the tour was King, our tour guide. Not only was he hilarious and knowledgeable, he share so much of his own experiences with us that we left the bus feeling like family. He took the time to show us amazing local sights and great food spots. I missed him the moment we left the bus! Read full review. “Highlight of the trip” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago Great way to see some of the best spots on the island – must do as soon as you arrive. King Mike and Raul were fantastic guides – so informative – trip would not have been the same without them. Read full review. “Great Tour ” 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago Josh and Mike are great Tour guides they not only had tons of history but were very nice guys. It rained most the tour but we did have a little dry time they made the trip the best it could of been they can’t control the weather. Read full review. “Excellent for those who would like an overview of Oahu Island 5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago Thanks to our host, Sam, we had a great time. I would say Sam enhanced our joy and experience going around the island. The service overall was very good and I would recommend first timers to engage their service. Read full review.

The Best Oahu Snorkeling Spots

The best Oahu snorkeling spots give you access to some of this island’s most fascinating underwater sights. And you don’t have to be an experienced scuba diver to see the wealth of creatures and fish that live in and around the island. You can strap on a mask, flippers, and mask, then hit the water. There are a number of beaches on the beautiful island of Oahu that are perfect for underwater sightseeing and creature-spotting. Here are our top five spots:
  1. Hanauma Bay
While this location can be a little crowded in the high season – with tourists trying to get a peek at different species of fish and turtles – there is a reason Hanauma Bay is so popular. It has clear, calm waters and it’s a great Oahu snorkeling spot for beginners. Also, it has easy access and a passage through the reef, which is perfect for more experienced snorkelers.
  1. Three Tables
Three Tables is a small and sandy beach that has access to some of the best coral on Oahu. Best explored during the summer, when the water is calmer, the exposed area can be a little dangerous for inexperienced snorkelers and it’s best to use caution when swimming here. Make sure you follow lifeguard instructions and come back to shore if the waves begin to get too strong. You’ll be certain to see a number of native sea creatures, fish and stunning coral here.
  1. Kuilima Cove
One of the calmest and most serene beaches on the island, Kuilima Cove, is also one of the best places to snorkel – especially for beginners and young children. Found on Oahu’s famous north shore, the beach is less well-known and is often a little quieter than other beaches in the area. The shallow water is full of coral and various species of fish, including a number of the Hawaii State Fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa fish.
  1. Makaha Beach Park
The clear, blue waters at Makaha Beach Park are what attracts visitors back to this Oahu snorkeling spot every summer. Expect to see everything from taape, octopuses and eels to dolphins, green sea turtles and manta rays. For the more adventurous snorkeler there are caverns, arches and tunnels that are up to 40-feet-deep and offer some great underwater views of the island’s sea life.
  1. Kapiolani Park Beach
Head to the center of the park at Kapiolani Park Beach to find the best snorkeling spot, also known as Queen’s Beach or Queen’s Surf Beach. The waters are usually calm here and while the spot is known mostly for its bodyboarding surf, there is a spot in front of the Waikiki Aquarium that has some gorgeous reef for snorkeling. As with a lot of the beaches in Oahu, be aware of the currents and changes in the waves, and stay safe.   You can also try one of the most famous spots Shark’s Cove if you are an experienced snorkeler or want to scuba dive, or the beautiful Kahe Point Beach Park.   If you prefer to see the island with a guided snorkeling tour then let Hawaii Turtle Tours help you. We offer you a snorkeling adventure in the hands of our experienced guides, as well as insight into Oahu culture and landscape. Tours are very popular so please book your spot well in advance.

When and Where to See Hawaii's Green Sea Turtle

Want to learn more about Hawaii’s green sea turtle? The best way to find out about this amazing, iconic animal is to visit Hawaii and see it for yourself. Oahu’s North Shore is one of the best places to meet this endangered sea creature face to face.

About the Green Sea Turtle

Green sea turtles are found throughout the world and many make their home in Hawaii. Early Hawaiians ate green sea turtles and used them as sources of food and tools. Today, however, they are a protected species and have become a major tourist attraction for Hawaii. Although the world’s population of sea turtles is declining, Hawaii’s local population is booming. This growth is due in large part to the protective measures put in place in the late 1970s, which prohibited the harvesting of turtle eggs. These turtles eat algae and seaweed, can weigh as much as 500 pounds, and may live as long as 70 years. Though the population in Hawaii continues to grow, there are still threats to the species. Disease is perhaps the biggest threat in the Hawaiian Islands, particularly Fibropapillomatosis, which causes tumor growth. In other areas of the Pacific, such as Guam and American Samoa, egg harvesting continues to pose a danger. Other threats include entanglement, natural predators, and ingestion of marine debris. In Hawaii, there are non-profits dedicated to protecting and preserving this endangered species. The Hawaii Wildlife Fund, for example, conducts research, collects pictures of the turtles, and educates the community about the sea turtles.

When and Where to Find Green Sea Turtles in Hawaii

Oahu’s North Shore is perhaps the best place to find green sea turtles. These turtles come here to bask in the sun, eat seaweed, and take a break from the ocean waves. If you visit Oahu’s North Shore on your own, the best time of year to come is during the summer. Winter sees larger waves than the rest of the year. This makes winter a great time to visit if you’re into surfing. But turtles tend to avoid the larger waves, so it’s not the best time to come for turtle viewing. In the right conditions and at the right time, you can find turtles on shore. But the best way to see the turtles is by scuba diving and snorkeling. You can have an extraordinary adventure, see the turtles in their native habitat, and explore the natural beauty that makes Hawaii so famous. Unless you’re a local, you won’t know the best spots to view the turtles. So if you want to scope out these turtles in their marine home, book an eco tour. Hawaii Turtle Tours’ Turtle Eco Adventure Tour takes you directly to the best hidden spots for viewing turtles. Additionally, you’ll be escorted to some of Oahu’s top sightseeing spots. North Shore Hawaii Turtle Tours operates Oahu’s best turtle viewing tours. In addition to the Turtle Eco Adventure Tour, Hawaii Turtle Tours offers custom private tours and Oahu Circle Island Tours. To book your tour today, contact us or book directly online.

Your Complete Guide to Oahu Snorkeling Spots

Looking for the best Oahu snorkeling spots? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced veteran, Oahu’s got some of the best snorkeling in the world. This list of Oahu snorkeling spots is a great way to start exploring the marine life on this wonderful island.

The Complete Guide to Oahu Snorkeling Spots

In no particular order, here are the Oahu snorkeling spots you should check out on your next vacation:
  • Kuilima Cove – Also known as Turtle Bay Resort, beginners should start here. Waters are tranquil in this sheltered location, so even if your swimming skills aren’t stellar, you can feel safe and confident here.
  • Sunset Beach Park – During the winter time, this is the place to go for surfing. But, at other times of the year, you should stop by for some amazing snorkeling.
  • Sharks Cove – One of the top snorkeling locations on Oahu, this area has lots of boulders and coral reefs that house marine life. It’s located near two of the biggest North Shore surfing beaches, however, so avoid coming when the swell is up.
  • Kahe Point Beach Park – This is a great place since there are so many fish here. It’s best for intermediate or advanced snorkelers.
  • Three Tables – Three Tables, also a good spot for intermediate or advanced snorkelers, earned its name from the three table-shaped coral reefs underneath the water’s surface. Like many other North Shore locations, it is best explored during the summer.
  • Hanauma Bay – Arguably the most famous snorkeling area on the island, Hanauma Bay is fish central. It isn’t affected by large ocean swells, so snorkelers of any level can feel comfortable here. Thought it can be crowded at times, it’s well worth a visit.
  • Waimea Bay – During the summer, surfers and swells are gone, so it’s the best time to snorkel. Here, you’ll find a variety of fish and marine life, including the occasional spinner dolphin. Arrive early to claim a spot on the beach.
  • Kaena Point – The ocean floor here is made up of coral and white sand. It’s relatively flat and it’s an easy snorkel, but you will want to avoid days when the ocean is active, since the sand can get rather cloudy.
  • Makaha Beach Park – This beach is on the western shore of the island and is a popular surfing beach. Avoid it when the surf is up, since you’ll face competition from wave riders.
  • Ko Olina Lagoons – These lagoons are good for beginners, since they stay calm year round. They are also good spots to see the occasional green sea turtle.
  • Lanikai Beach – Lanikai is good for intermediate or advanced snorkelers, since the winds and waves can be difficult. If you’re up for the challenge, however, the coral reefs can offer some fascinating glimpses into Hawaii’s marine ecosystem.
  • Waikiki – In Waikiki, look for Queens Beach and Sans Souci Beach, or Kapiolani Park Beach. These two beaches offer the best snorkeling in this famous tourist area, but try to go when the waves are calm. Otherwise, the sand will limit visibility.
Looking for more marine adventures in Oahu? North Shore Hawaii Turtle Tours operates Oahu’s best eco adventure tour. On this guided tour, experts will escort you to a secret area for viewing green sea turtles, as well as several other top sightseeing locations. Visit the tour’s home page to book your spot online.  

Shark's Cove

By Jonathan Howery A great photo op on the Hawaii Turtle Tour is on the North Shore of Oahu to see Shark’s Cove. This spot is rated by Scuba Diving Magazine as one of the “Top Twelve Shore Dives in the World.” This petite rocky bay forms part of Pupukea Beach Park on the North Shore and boasts blue water with an impressive amount of sea life. The walls of the immediate bluffs provide calm water inviting schooling surface fish and the bottom is made up of large smooth boulders. There are coral heads which form small caves and ledges where marine life can hide: Butterfly fish, eels, big eye, parrot fish, goat fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, tang, wrasse, perch, chub, triggerfish, jacks, mullet, cornet fish, needle fish, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Also turtles, you can’t forget the turtles! Sharks Cove is not a sand beach and the entrance is rocky, so watch your step as you get in. The inside of the bay is about 8 to 15 feet deep, progressively getting deeper as you head out. Beware because there is no lifeguard on duty. The Pupukea tide pools are on the south side of Sharks Cove. This is a good spot for wading and exploring. Sharks Cove is thought to be one of Oahu’s best snorkeling and dive beaches. It is possible that you will encounter crowds on occasion but once in the water, you probably won’t even notice. Sharks Cove is located between the Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline. October through April is considered Hawaii’s surf season. Waves peak between December and February, so the summer months are the best time to snorkel Sharks Cove. Another favorite Oahu snorkeling beach might be safer and Kuilima Cove is only 15 minutes north from Sharks Cove. Unless you are just going to wade in the waters or explore the tide pools, it is not recommended taking small children to swim in the open and deep bay. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

Oahu's North Shore

Visiting Oahu’s North Shore is one of the highlights of this Oahu tour. Home of world-famous surfing beaches such as Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay, Oahu’s North Shore hosts one of the most popular surf competitions in the world, the Triple Crown of Surfing. During the winter months (October to February) waves heights can reach 30+ feet. These massive waves attract experienced surfers from around the world, so if you happen to be on this side of the island in the winter you way have the great chance to witness spectacular surfing competitions. If you visit in the summer months (May to September) the waves will be smaller, providing better swimming conditions. As we drive by miles of white-sand beaches and lush greenery you will see why Hollywood film producers were inspired by this tropical beauty. Oahu’s North Shore is a popular filming location where TV shows and movies, such as LOST, Ride the Wild Surf, North Shore, Blue Crush, The Big Bounce and Forgetting Sarah Marshall were filmed. Even though Oahu’s North Shore is the world’s surfing capital you will find that surfing is not the only thing to do here. The luxurious Turtle Bay Resort, located on a scenic peninsula at the doorway to the North Shore, features upscale beachfront accommodations and is a preferred a destination for romantic gateways. Here you can also enjoy two world-class golf courses, horseback riding and other cultural events. Right in the heart of the North Shore is Haleiwa town, where you can find the most choices of restaurants, art galleries and shops along this side of the island.

Diamond Head

By Jonathan Howery The Hawaii Turtle Tours takes you to a stop to view Diamond Head Beach and Crater. A majestic crater along the Honolulu skyline is the 760 foot tuff crater of Diamond Head State Monument. On the most south-eastern point of Oahu, this is one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks. Diamond Head was once known as Leahi which means the brow of the tuna in Hawaiian. The crater was named Diamond Hill by nineteenth century British sailors who thought they had discovered diamonds on the crater. But they were disillusioned because these weren’t diamonds. Shiny calcite crystals of no value were what the sailors found. Eventually the name evolved into Diamond Head. Formed more than 100,000 years ago, the crater was once used as a strategic military lookout in the early 1900s. Fort Ruger was the first United States military reservation on Hawaii. Now only a National Guard facility and the Hawaii State Civil Defense remain. Because it continues to serve as a platform for antennas used by the U.S. government, part of Diamond Head is closed to the public. The park opens at 6am and also closes at 6 p.m. so no one is allowed to head up the trail after 4:30 p.m. Named a National Natural Landmark in 1968, the crater’s closeness to Honolulu’s resort hotels and beaches makes it a very popular tourist spot. Once there, the hike takes about 2 hours for a round-trip. Be prepared for steep steps used for a total elevation of 762 ft. The mostly unpaved trail winds over uneven rock, ascends 74 steps, then through a tunnel and up another steep 99 steps. A small lighted tunnel leads to a narrow spiral staircase of about 43 steps inside a coastal artillery observation platform that was built in 1908. From the summit above the observation platform both Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean can be seen in panoramic detail. The stunning views at the top of Diamond Head are well worth the effort. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com.  

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

By Jonathan Howery An amazing occurrence that the Hawaii Turtle Tours nearly guarantees every time on their tour is to see The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. Found throughout the world, green turtles primarily enjoy tropical waters. The Hawaiian green turtle, known as “Honu” in Hawaiian, is naturally different from other green sea turtle populations by nesting in the French Frigate Shoals of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. They feed on the coastline areas of the main Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian green sea turtle eats marine plants in shallow shoreline waters throughout the Islands. Primarily vegetarian, these turtles eat algae growing underwater on coral reefs and rocks in shallow waters. The upper shell of the adult is dark with olive or gold flecks. Green turtles received their name from the color of their body fat. The population of this type of green turtle was waning during the 1970s because of people harvesting the turtles and their eggs. Protection began in 1978 has shown that the population is growing steadily. Greens are now the most common sea turtle in Hawaii. But unfortunately, honu or green turtles are suffering from a disease called fibropapillomatosis. The herpes type virus causes the growth of cauliflower like tumors that grow on the soft tissues of the turtle’s body. These tumors hinder hunting, breathing, digestion and. Research is ongoing worldwide to find a cure. Scientists do not know what causes the disease. For more than 75 million years, these sea turtles have been around in Hawaii. But there are actually three species of sea turtles considered native. The green Honu reaches 200 pounds or more as an adult and mates every two to five year. The hawksbill or “Honu’ea” can be found around the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii. Interestingly, the leatherback meat is poisonous to humans. As the world’s largest turtle, the leatherback grows up to eight feet long and weighs 2,000 pounds. Seen in Hawaii’s deep offshore waters, they feed on jellyfish and do not ordinarily nest on Hawaii’s beaches. The Leatherback is the only sea turtle that does not have a hard shell. Laws to protect these marine species appear to be effective.  There is an increase in their former diminishing statistics. Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at turtletour808@gmail.com. Loa’a wale lā!