Where to See Turtles in Kauai



Turtles are a sea creature that is synonymous with Hawaiian islands. The protected species thrive in the tropical waters that surround locations like Kauai and lay their eggs in the sand along the coastline’s beaches, meaning that spotting a sea turtle is high on many visitors’ bucket lists when they come to visit.

There are three varieties of Hawaiian sea turtles that you might spot in Kauai; the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, the Hawksbill turtle and the Leatherback turtle. All of these species are protected and any interference with them could result in a fine, so whilst you are welcome to seek out sea turtles in Kauai, be sure to keep your distance and never attempt to touch or move one of them.

In this short guide, we list some of the top recommendations for where to see sea turtles in Kauai, along with advice on the best time of year to maximize your chances of spotting the creatures.

Turtle on the Beach

Where is the Best Place to see Turtles in Kauai?

Obviously, the best places to see turtles in Kauai is on the beach or out in the water. There are some areas of the island where sea turtle populations are much higher, and it is these beaches and coves where you’ll have the most luck spotting groups of the animals on the sand or swimming past them on snorkeling excursions.

Below are the best spots for seeing turtles in Kauai on the north and south shores of the island.

  • South Shore
  • Brennecke’s Beach
  • Lawai Beach
  • Poipu Beach
  • Koloa Landing
  • Mahaulepu Beach
  • Whalers Cove
  • North Shore
  • Tunnels Beach
  • Ke’e Beach
  • Anini Beach

What is the Best Time to See Sea Turtles in Hawaii?

Although you have a reasonably good chance of seeing sea turtles in Kauai whatever month of the year you visit, there are certain times when the creatures are more active or congregate in larger groups that make them easier to spot.

Nesting season for sea turtles happens between May and September each year, so the chances of seeing turtles on the beaches are much higher. Many conservation efforts are trying to maximize the number of offspring that survive this nesting period each year, so whilst there may be more turtles on the shores of Kauai, there may also be stricter measures to stop tourists from getting too close.

You’re much more likely to interact with turtles whilst in the water, where they swim all year round. Turtles prefer calmer water conditions, so the summer months in Kauai are the best time of year to spot them when the weather is warm and the ocean is relatively flat. The species tend to hunt for food more between midday and later afternoon, so if you’re planning a trip to spot Kauai sea turtles, later in the day is the best time.

Sea Turtle Swimming

Summary

Seeing sea turtles in Kauai is a truly magical experience that many visitors put on their bucket list when they visit the island. As long as you stay mindful of the rules around interacting with the species, planning a trip to some of the best beaches in the summer means you’re pretty likely to spot a turtle or two and get the chance to appreciate this incredible sea creature.

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