Oahu is a beautiful volcanic island containing magnificent shorelines as well as spectacular aquariums. This place is blessed with impressive sea creatures and breathtaking coral reefs! Obviously, diving and snorkeling are must-do activities in Oahu! However, there are several popular snorkeling spots and tours to choose from, which can be a little overwhelming. Therefore, if you go to Hawaii, you should have a look at the best snorkeling tours in Oahu so you can have the most enjoyable time!
1# Hanauma Bay Snorkeling Adventure Half-Day Tour
Hanauma Bay is located in the southeast of Oahu island. It is one of the most popular snorkeling places in Hawaii. This beautiful island was once a volcanic crater. Today, it became a protected marine life conservation.
Hanauma Bay is blessed with beautiful coral reefs and incredible sea creatures. Snorkeling in this bay is a real dream! You will discover about 400 species of outstanding colored fishes as well as a plethora of Green Sea Turtles and Parrotfish.
Hanauma Bay is also the favorite getaway of Hawaiian citizens for centuries now. The famous movies Blue Hawaii with Elvis Presley and Donovan’s Reef with John Wayne were filmed in this beautiful Bay.
However, when you get there, you’ll start your journey with a 15-minute video documentary about Hanauma Bay Park.
After the video, You will be snorkeling in one of the most beautiful Bay of Oahu.
Non-swimmer, beginners, and advanced snorkelers can participate in this trip. It is a friendly and fun tour for the whole family! An adventure not to miss out!
Average Rank: 4 out of 5
2# Oahu Shark Diving Cage
If you crave exciting activities to do while you are on vacation, then the shark diving adventure will exceed all your expectations!
Get ready to see all sorts of impressive sharks up close, such as Sandbars, Hammerheads, and Galapagos! Whether you decide to dive in the cage or stay on the deck, one thing is sure is that you will enjoy watching these incredible marine lives.
Your shark adventure starts at Haleiwa Boat Harbor, where you will sail for about 15 minutes to the dive spot. Once you arrive, you’ll enter into the cage with your snorkel gear on to observe all the beautiful sharks swimming around you for about 20 minutes.
There is no need to know how to swim as there are bars to hang on to. Even children can participate in this tour. This activity is truly for anyone who wants to get some exciting sensations!
Average Rank: 5 out of 5
3# Oahu Submarine Scooter Adventure
The Oahu Submarine Scooter tour is a fun and unusual way to explore the underwater world:) You will watch all sorts of beautiful schools of tropical fishes while riding your self-propelled, electric scooter with a bubble helmet on your head!
You don’t need to do anything except sit on the edge of your motorcycle and enjoy the dive! This tour starts at Honolulu’s Keyhole. From there, you will sail onboard a large catamaran to the dive destination.
On your way to Oahu’s coast, you will have the opportunity to see beautiful islands and Bays such as Koko Crater, Diamond Head, Maunalua, and the fabulous mountain range.
Once you arrive, the crew will show you how to use the equipment. Then you’ll go down in the water with a few other scooters and a guide for about 20 minutes. When you have finished the underwater tour, you can either relax on the boat or snorkel around the vessel.
You will be able to degust all the tasty snacks and refreshing drinks served on board while listening to great music and watching all the spectacular surroundings.
The Submarine Scooter adventure doesn’t require any license or diving experience. This tour is open to everyone! Children, divers, non-swimmers, or advanced snorkelers can enjoy the submarine tour.
Average Rank: 4 out of 5
4# Leeward Coast Dolphin and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise
Watching dolphins while Sailing along the Leeward Coast is a tour everyone should experience at least once in a Lifetime! While cruising on board a luxury catamaran, you will enjoy watching beautiful sea creatures such as Spinner dolphins, turtles, all sorts of coral reefs, and a school of lovely colored fishes. And you will even have the chance to see humpback whales if you do the tour in the winter.
Apart from sailing, you will also snorkel with an experimented guide in the bluest water of Oahu to explore the beauty of the underwater world for about 45 minutes. That’s not all!
Your tour continues aboard the spacious catamaran. You will be spoiled with a delicious buffet, offering all sorts of tasty food and unlimited non-alcoholic drinks.
This tour is for everyone! As long as you feel comfortable in the water, you are good to go! Non-swimmer and children can slip on a life jacket so they can float comfortably on the water. If snorkeling is not your wish, you can enjoy watching the dolphins and fish from the boat with a refreshing drink in your hand:)
Average Rank: 4.5 out of 5
5# Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran
Have you ever seen Canyon turtles up close? If not, then you will have the chance to do so by doing this fabulous tour that takes place on a 53-foot luxury motor catamaran. While on your way to the destination, you will degust a variety of tasty snacks and drinks with brilliant background music.
Then you’ll go snorkeling with a guide to see the impressive Canyon turtles and many other beautiful sea creatures. This trip lasts approximately about 2 to 3 hours, and the Midday tour offers a delicious sandwich buffet.
Children, as well as non-swimmers and swimmers, are welcome to participate in this tour!
Average Rank: 5 out of 5
Snorkeling in Oahu
Oahu is home to beautiful coral reefs as well as an incredible underwater world. A lot of visitors come from all over the world to discover stunning marine life, such as dolphins, sharks, whales, and all sorts of exceptional fishes.
Oahu is a real paradise for water sports lovers. Snorkeling, diving, boating, and surfing are extremely popular in Hawaii. But let’s focus on snorkeling because it is the main subject of this article:)
The depth of the water plays an important role when snorkeling. If you snorkel in deep water, chances are you won’t nearly see any sea creatures. If you want to have great visibility in the water, you would want to snorkel in between 4 and 25 feet depth!
Weather and Water Conditions in Oahu
The climate in Hawaii is delightful throughout the year. It is unusual to see the bad weather in this beautiful paradise, no matter the location. Between June to September the temperatures increase and it is quite warm and humid at this period of the year. The winter in Hawaii is pleasant, and you can expect to have a cooler climate between December to February.
January (73.5) – February (74.8) – March (77.3) – April (77.2) – May(79.2) – June (80.4) – July (82.2) – August (81.6) – September (80.4) – October (79.7) – November (77.2) – December (75.3)
Water temperatures in Hawaii don’t vary much during the year. From May to September, the water gets a bit warmer. So you can enjoy all sorts of water sports all year round!
Januar (76.5) – February (75.9) – March (75.7) – April (76.9) – May (77.9) June (78.7) – July (78.9) – August (79.5) – September (80.4) – October (79.8) – November (78.5) – December (77)
What to Wear In Oahu
As the weather is pleasant throughout the year, you would want to pack some t-shirts, shorts, beach covers, sandals, or flip-flops.
Don’t forget to bring swimsuits, hats, polarized sunglasses, beach towels, and bio sunscreen.
Although the evenings are quite warm, they can get cooler sometimes. Also, bear in mind that restaurants use the air conditioner and it can become pretty cold inside. So it is better to take a light jacket or a sweater with you.
When Is The Best Time For Oahu Tours?
There is no best month to snorkeling in Oahu. You can enjoy all sorts of water sports all year long as the weather is most of the time very pleasant. The sea is calmer in the summer than in the winter, giving you more options. There are advantages to go snorkeling both in the winter and early spring. You will be able to see impressive whales during this time of the year. Some islands are more agitated than others, so you should always check the condition of the sea of the chosen places.
1. If you participate in an organized tour, snorkel gear will be provided to you. But if you snorkel on your own you will either have to invest or rent a good snorkel set to have a pleasant snorkel excursion. If you are a beginner, I highly recommend you choose a mask with tempered lenses and a silicone skirt. Also, try to choose a dry snorkel with a valve on the top that prevents water from getting into the tube. With this type of snorkel, you won’t swallow water.
2. If you are new to snorkeling, it will be best to try first your snorkel kit in a swimming pool or shallow water. And when you feel comfortable with it, then you are ready to go!
3. A floating device will be of great help if you are not a good swimmer. It will allow you to float on the water, and enjoy better your snorkeling trip. However, every organized tour provides a floating device for your comfort and security.
4. If you don’t participate in an organized tour, you should always go snorkeling with a group or with someone, but never alone, especially in the ocean.
5. No matter if you go on a tour or you go snorkeling independently. The water is calmer in the morning than in the afternoon, which makes the trip more enjoyable.
Oahu welcomes around 5 million visitors each year, making this island the most popular in Hawaii! There are so many beautiful places for snorkeling there that it makes it difficult to choose the spot that suits you best.
Therefore going on an organized tour that knows all the secret gems in Hawaii is very important! The tours that are listed in this article are the best rated and the most popular, so choose the one that you like and book it!
Have you already participated in one of these tours? If so, share your experience in the comment below.
Daniella has been passionate about travel, the sea, and nature for many years. As a child, she frequently traveled throughout the Mediterranean and continued with her journeys throughout her adult life.
Her experiences have created the desire within her to share her love for traveling with other passionate and adventurers who want to discover beautiful horizons and new cultures.