While you’re snorkeling on Kauai, you may be surprised by more than colorful fish. One of the island’s magical treasures – honu (also known as the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle) – makes the tropical waters of Kauai its home.
These awesome creatures are one of 6 species of sea turtles found in the U.S. They are cold-blooded, meaning they get their body heat from the environment rather than making their own. Their bodies have adapted to ocean life with flippers that make them graceful swimmers, capable of swimming long distances at speeds as fast as 35 miles per hour.
The north shore’s Makua (“Tunnels”) Beach and the Queen’s Bath in Princeville are popular locations for spotting honu. Whether you’re snorkeling, swimming or relaxing on the beach – you’ll see them rise to the surface every few minutes to breathe. Just about the time you’ll notice them, they’ll dive down below the surface. Feel free to dive down with them, but please respect them by giving them 10-15 feet of space – enough room to surface and breathe.
All marine turtles occurring in U.S. waters are listed and protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. This means, when you’re visited by a sea turtle, enjoy the view, but do not touch. It’s against the law to bother them in any way. If you see a stranded sea turtle along Kauai’s shoreline, call the Kauai Dept. of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) – Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) at (808) 274-3344.
When you’re visiting Kauai and staying at the Hanalei Colony Resort, ask the Front Desk about the best beaches for spotting one of Kauai’s wonderful treasures – the Hawaiian Sea Turtle, better known on Kauai as our beloved honu. Take a look at our Kauai resort accommodations.