This is a question I’ve received twice in my email from people who are staying on the Ko’Olina Lagoons (either at the Marriot or Disney Resort). I’m realizing that since my posts about seeing Hawaiian green sea turtles at Ko’Olina that word has gotten out and people are driving to the lagoons just to see turtles. That’s great.
Which Ko’Olina Lagoon has the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles?
I have heard of green sea turtles being in all the lagoons. In my experience, though, I have seen and photographed turtles at lagoon number #2. Guess what the name of that lagoon is? You guessed it: Honu (sea turtle in Hawaiian). I have seen sea turtles on two occasions in Honu Lagoon at Ko’Olina. I’ve added some images below of my turtles and also of the lagoon area itself along with the names of the lagoons.
Where to See the Turtles at Honu Lagoon (Lagoon 2) at Ko’Olina
As you’re facing the lagoon from the beach side, you will see the retaining wall on the let and an opening just to the right of that. Along the wall in water that ranges from 2 feet to 15 feet as it gets deeper, there are rocks that produce algae and sea vegetation that sea turtles will get curious about because they are usually looking to feed.
My kids actually went to the lagoons once and stayed right lagoon #4 (the one nearest the public beach parking for $10) and were actually in the water with a monk seal! My daughter was lounging along on bright orange floaty and up popped the seal’s head to look around. After her initial panic she thought it was pretty cool.
Bonus Tip: There is actually another lagoon on the other side of Lagoon 1. It is totally natural. It is not sand or protected at all. Do not swim in this area and if you do travel beyond lagoon 1 then you are off hotel property. Wear beach shoes and be careful not to fall and slip. However, I have seen Hawaiian green sea turtles bobbing in the water there as well as monk seals resting on the shores.
There are a lot better places to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles on Oahu. I’ve seen many of them at Hanauma Bay (beyond the break in the good coral). Most snorkelers are tourists at Hanauma Bay and they are content with staying really shallow and seeing all the fish. If you want AWESOME snorkeling, though, you have to go out a little ways. It’s so awesome out there and the water is so much clearer and the fish more abundant.
The next place to snorkel on my list is Kailua Beach. We went kayaking there and I saw awesome, clear water, great coral and about 5 green sea turtles. Gotta’ hit that up next.
Malama Na Honu-“Protect the Turtles”
Honu Hawanawana-“Turtle Whisperer”