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Finding The Best Place To See Turtles on Big Island

Best Place To See Turtles on Big Island

Undoubtedly, the most common question we are asked is where the best place to see turtles on Big Island is! The Big Island of Hawaii is renowned for its stunning landscapes and diverse marine life, and encountering sea turtles (natively known as Honu) is a sought-after experience for visitors. To navigate the best places to see these gentle creatures, it’s essential to explore the island’s coastal gems, understand the local habits of turtles, as well as be versed in the best safety practices when coming into close contact with these magical creatures. From popular beaches to hidden coves, finding the best place to see turtles on the Big Island involves a blend of local insights, exploration, and a touch of luck.

Asking Around for the Best Place to See Turtles on Big Island

When seeking the best place to see turtles on the Big Island, locals will often prove to be the most sources of information. Asking around at local hot spots– especially in downtown Kona, cafes, or even at your accommodation, if staying at a condo on the coast, can yield tips on lesser-known spots where turtles frequent the shores. Residents, familiar with the ebb and flow of sea turtle activity on the island, may guide you to secluded beaches or rocky landings that are favored by these majestic creatures. This approach ensures a more authentic and exciting perspective, enhancing the likelihood of a memorable encounter with Big Island’s resident turtles.


However, outside of asking for local’s opinions on the best place to see turtles on Big Island, we highly recommend those staying at a hotel or resort to ask the concierge or local guide employed by your accommodation. They will not only know where to spot turtles but may better equip you with means or recommendations on how to get there.

Our Favorite: Seeing Turtles on the Big Island Aboard a Snorkel Tour

One of the most thrilling and best ways to see turtles on the Big Island is by joining one of Kona’s snorkel tours. These guided excursions often take guests to prime sea turtle habitats, ensuring a front-row seat to watching the Honu sunbathe and glide through the pristine waters of Kona’s coast. From the colorful coral reefs of Kealakekua Bay to the pristine waters off the hidden gems of the South Shore, snorkel tours provide not only the chance to observe turtles but also to explore the island’s vibrant underwater ecosystems. Guided by a knowledgeable captain and crew, snorkel tours on the Big Island offer a safe and immersive experience, making them a favorite among those seeking a more organized and educational encounter with Big Island’s turtles. 


Not to mention that your guides will be able to better equip you with the best practices and knowledge so that you keep yourself as well as the native species safe. The #1 rule: keep 10 feet distance between you and the Honu at all times (both on land and in the water)

Best Practices for Seeing Turtles on the Big Island

Whether you choose to explore independently, using the word of mouth guide from locals or your concierge; or opt for a snorkel expedition of the Kona Coast, practicing responsible wildlife viewing is essential when looking for the best places to see turtles on the Big Island. Maintain a respectful distance (the conservative distance is 10 feet or more), NEVER touch or disturb the turtles– either on land or in the water, and adhere to local guidelines for wildlife interaction. 


Snorkelers should always be mindful of their impact on coral reefs and marine life, minimizing disturbances to the natural habitats where turtles thrive. By adopting best practices, visitors contribute to the preservation of these incredible creatures and ensure that future generations can continue to marvel at the beauty of Big Island’s resident turtles.