13 years and older
Age
4 Hours
Duration
Kaneohe, Oahu
Location
11:00AM, 12:00PM, 2:00PM, 3:00PM, 8:00AM, 9:00AM
Tour Times

The Best Kayaking & Snorkeling Combo

Chart your own kayaking adventure and explore some of the most surreal and hidden reefs Oahu has to offer. Enjoy kayaking and snorkeling at your own pace through the calm, clear waters of Kaneohe Bay while stopping to say hello to turtles and tropical fish. Kaneohe Bay’s barrier reef creates perfect kayaking and snorkeling conditions. You will be amazed at the combination of mountain views and underwater ecology that this experience has to offer.

Tour Highlights:

  • Ocean kayaking and snorkeling experience.
  • Kaneohe bay’s calm water makes this a great option for beginners and families.
  • Stop at and explore some of over 10 unique reef formations by kayak.
  • Spectacular views of the Ko’olau mountain range.
  • Kayak to the Waikane Pier and see the “Hukilau Cafe” featured in the movie 50 First Dates.
  • On-shore instruction to ensure a safe and fun experience.
  • 15L Dry bags are provided for items you want to keep dry.
  • Life jackets, seatbacks, paddles, and a kayak leash are provided.

Schedule:

  • Availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Closed Sunday)
  • Tour Time: 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM
  • Duration: 4 Hours

Recommendations:

  • Apply sunscreen and wear a swimsuit.
  • If you bring snacks and water, be sure to pack out the trash.
  • Please leave valuables at home or use a drybag we provide with the self-guided experience.
  • Foam pads and straps are provided to help transport the kayaks.
  • Be prepared with a vehicle to transport the kayak for about 1 mile.

Restrictions/Requirements:

  • Minimum Age is 13 years and older. We highly recommend that all participants be proficient at swimming.
  • Maximum weight is 260 lbs per person. Our tandem kayak weight capacity is 425lbs.
  • Preferred if guest knows how to swim or have water experience and feel comfortable in the water.
  • No tour guide provided. You will need a vehicle to transport the equipment for about 1 mile. We provide foam pads and straps that fit most vehicles.
  • Guests will need to sign a waiver.

Location: Active Oahu Tours, Storefront
Address: 134B Hamakua Dr. Kailua HI, 96734
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/CPBdWVU6BNhUCxVX8

Check-in: Please arrive 15 minutes prior to tour time.
Our friendly team will be there to guide you through strapping the kayak on your vehicle and provide you with all the necessary equipment. All you need is a 4-door car to transport it.

Special Notes:
The pickup location is 20 minutes away from the Heeia Kea Boat Harbor.

Activity Company: Active Oahu Tours

Activity Overview
On your Kaneohe Bay Coral Reef Self-guided Kayaking Adventure, we’ll get you everything you need to discover the hidden gem of Oahu’s Windward side both above the water, with views of the mountains and offshore island Mokolii (Chinamans’ Hat), and below the water, with an abundance of live coral reef home to sea turtles and fish.

This experience is all about snorkeling the reefs of Kaneohe Bay. If you just love paddling and scenic views but don’t want to be swimming around.

What to Expect on your Kaneohe Bay Coral Reef Self-Guided Kayak and Snorkel Adventure
This Kaneohe Bay kayaking trip only takes about 3 hours. Of course, you can spend much longer out there if you were prepared, but we found that 3 hours was the sweet spot for the experience from the seamless kayak and gear delivery to exploring the bay with your kayaks and snorkel gear.

You will be launching the kayaks into Kaneohe Bay steps from where you meet us. You’ll meet us over at the Waihole Nursery and Garden Center parking lot and we’ll have your kayaks and gear all set and ready to go. We’ll send you all the meeting location details in your confirmation email, so no need to write this all down. We’ve got you covered!

Be sure you paddle all the way out of the bay you launch from to get to the reef. The launch location is very shallow and near a stream mouth, so the sandy bottom of the bay is very silty with no visibility. Once you are beyond the shallows, the water clears up and you will be on your way to Kaneohe Bay’s coral reefs!

Kayaking out the closest reef from the shore only takes about 15-20 minutes depending on conditions. The best snorkeling is along the edge of the underwater coral islands. From there, you have the choice to swim with the provided snorkel gear and floating kayak leash or keep padding around the reef. The other reefs are not too far north and south of you.

If you are a fan of movies like 50 First Dates, You’ll recognize the location where they filmed the “Hukilau Cafe” and Waikane Pier scenes off to the left about 15 minutes kayaking north of the launch location (please don’t land on the shore over there, it’s private property). The Koolau mountains surrounding you scream Jurrasic Park. It’s not hard to imagine a giant brachiosaurus lumbering through the jungle gnawing on some monkeypod tree leaves.

Basically, whatever kayaking route you choose, you’ll have an amazing view of the windward coast and if you follow our instructions, you’ll get a glimpse of the best snorkeling reef Oahu has to offer.

You can often see sea turtles out here on the reef, but it’s not guaranteed. We don’t want to set your expectations too high, but from our experience, there is a large population of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles that live around the perimeter of the reef and we actually had to reduce the amount of sea turtle photos we included on this activity listing. On a more humorous note, we encountered a civil complaint from a visitor to a local beach who was appalled at the volume of what they thought was dog droppings on the beach. Turns out, there are actually so many sea turtles in the reefs of Kaneohe Bay that the turtles were the actual culprit.

We conveniently provide a floating kayak leash so you can tow your kayaks behind you as you snorkel as opposed to dropping to a kayak anchor which can easily damage the reef; even when used by experienced professionals. Adventure responsibly. The reef is beautiful, but don’t touch it. You will hurt it and it will hurt you. Coral reefs are sharp and highly abrasive to your skin. Cuts received from contact with coral often get infected because coral is alive, so keep your distance.

You can often see sea turtles out here on the reef, but it’s not guaranteed. We don’t want to set your expectations too high, but from our experience, there is a large population of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles that live around the perimeter of the reef and we actually had to reduce the amount of sea turtle photos we included on this activity listing. On a more humorous note, we encountered a civil complaint from a visitor to a local beach who was appalled at the volume of what they thought was dog droppings on the beach. Turns out, there are actually so many sea turtles in the reefs of Kaneohe Bay that the turtles were the actual culprit.

We conveniently provide a floating kayak leash so you can tow your kayaks behind you as you snorkel as opposed to dropping to a kayak anchor which can easily damage the reef; even when used by experienced professionals. Adventure responsibly. The reef is beautiful, but don’t touch it. You will hurt it and it will hurt you. Coral reefs are sharp and highly abrasive to your skin. Cuts received from contact with coral often get infected because coral is alive, so keep your distance.

About Kaneohe Bay
Kaneohe bay is a remnant of a massive volcano caldera that collapsed, leaving epic cliffsides that form the Koolau Mountain Range and a protected bay surrounded by Hawaii’s only barrier reef. This barrier reef helped create a refuge for underwater islands of coral to form. You will have the chance to kayak out to these coral reefs and if you are feeling adventurous, put on some snorkel gear and hop into the water. Please look, don’t touch. The reef is a combination of millions of microscopic living things and has taken thousands of years to grow this large and beautiful. It just takes a few flipper strokes to undo hundreds of years of growth. If you aren’t into getting in and out of your kayak on the ocean, the coral reef is clearly viewable from the comfort of your kayak. You even often spot turtles cruising near your kayak.

Ocean Conditions and Advice
Ocean conditions can change quickly and kayaking can dangerous. That said, Kaneohe bay is one of the safest kayaking locations. We advise children over 12 years old to do this tour, but younger children may join the tour, especially if the conditions are nice. Since it’s on the windward side of the island, it’s almost always breezy in the afternoons. During the summer months (End of May – beginning of Sept) conditions are calmer and more predictable and the area is much more accessible.

If there are storms or high winds we will notify you as soon as we know and can re-schedule your kayaking trip.

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