There is no better way to experience the island of Oahu than paddling along the coast in the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a great place for beginners with a number of very calm beaches providing a great place for a kayaking adventure. There are a number of popular spots for kayak tours on Oahu such as Chinaman’s Hat or paddling out to the Na Mokoluas (two islets) just off Lanikai Beach.
In this blog post, I will share with you all of the top spots for Kayaking on Oahu Island. I will also detail the most popular kayak tours and provide you with the links about where to book them. It’s best to book the tours in advance as most activities book out weeks in advance here on Oahu. I’ll also let you know where you can rent a kayak from if you want to have a kayak adventure without a guide.
BEST OAHU KAYAK TOURS COMPARISON TABLE
|Kailua Twin Islands Guided Kayak Tour||$180||5 hrs|
|Kaneohe Kayak Rental||$60||4 hrs|
|Authentic Hawaiian Sailing Adventure in Kailua||$150||3 hrs|
|Kailua Kayak Rental||$50||3 hrs|
|North Shore Adventure Tour – Paddle & Hike||$129||7 hrs|
BEST KAYAK TOURS ON OAHU, HAWAII
KAYAK TOUR IN LANIKAI TO NA MOKULUA (TWO ISLANDS)
This small-group kayak tour lasts for 5 hours with round-trip transportation and lunch. From Waikiki, you will ride a van to Kailua Bay for half an hour. Once you arrive there, you will be provided with complete gear before the briefing. You can either choose a self-guided tour in which you will be briefed with the safety measures before you begin on your own or select a guided tour with a small group tour with a professional guide. Both options give you the enchanting feeling and give you a chance to meet new friends while exploring Kailua Bay’s pristine and turquoise waters while watching sea turtles feeding on the rich corals of the bay. You’ll be paddling from Kailua Beach to Mokulua Islands, Flat Island, and Lanikai Beach where you will have your picnic lunch. You can opt to kayak-surf, snorkel around, or simply just go for a swim. The best thing about this tour is they provide you with dry bags, shower amenities, and lockers for your stuff. One of the top-rated tours on Oahu!
Click Here to check the rates and availability of this tour on the booking website
KAYAK TO CHINAMAN’S HAT IN KANEOHE
The Chinaman’s Hat is a small island near Kualoa Ranch. It is accessible by kayak or a short swim. Once you arrive at the island a mini hike to the top will give you amazing views of the shore and the Kualoa Mountains. There is a great kayak rental at Kaneohe that sets up the kayaks on the beach for you so you can paddle out Chinamans Hat. This rental company is a not-for-profit, with proceeds helping to fund Kama’aina Kids and He’eia State Park!
Book your kayaking rental: Kaneohe Kayak Rental
My full blog post: Kayak adventure to Chinaman’s Hat
AUTHENTIC HAWAIIAN SAILING ADVENTURE TO MOKULUAS IN KAILUA
Sail in Kailua heading to Na Mokulua (two small islets) where you’ll explore and relax while looking back across to Lanikai and Kailua on Oahu. Discover the sea life such as parrotfish and sea turtles while paddling in the crystal clear and calm waters on this side of the island. Once you arrive at the island, hike over to the famous Queen’s Bath to take a plunge into the natural salt-water pool.
Book your Sailing tour: Authentic Hawaiian Sailing Adventure in Kailua
KAYAK RENTAL AT KAILUA BEACH
Kailua Kayak Rental: Kailua Kayak Rental Pre-Book
If you want to explore Kailua and Lanikai by kayak and feel confident enough to head out by yourself, no need to join a tour. You can simply pre-book your kayak rental in advance and it will be ready for you at the beach when you arrive. These waters are quite calm in the Lanikai and Kailua area so it’s a great place to go out for a paddle. If you are up for an adventure, you can paddle out to the islands. The great part about the rental is that it is on the beach waiting for you and they will pack it up when you return. It’s a no-hassle way to arrive, kayak, and go home without any hassles to deal with.
NORTH SHORE ADVENTURE TOUR: HIKE AND PADDLE
North Shore Kayak & Adventure Tour: North Shore Adventure Tour – Paddle & Hike
The ultimate North Shore Adventure Tour includes Sample local coffee, kayak or SUP (your choice) on the North Shore, visit famous beaches, swim under a waterfall, and more! You’ll stop off at some of the best sights & scenic viewpoints of Oahu and have the chance to try local flavors and favorite dishes. This is a very immersive tour full of action and local tips and food spots. Perfect for guests who want a taste of the island!
Book your tour: North Shore Adventure Tour – Paddle & Hike
I hope this list of the top kayak tours on Oahu was helpful and you were able to book one that you liked! I’ve kayaked in all of these spots and had a blast so I’m sure you will too!
MY FOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES ON OAHU
If you are looking for some more adventures on top of the cliff jumping while on Oahu, there are lots of other adventurous things to do that will also get your adrenaline pumping. Here are four of my favorites.
- Oahu scenic helicopter flight: My number one recommendation is to do a heli-flight (doors off). You will be absolutely blown away when you see Oahu from the sky! Click to book your tour: Doors-Off Helicopter Flight Tour
- North Shore Shark Cage Adventure: The biggest adrenaline rush you can have in Hawaii is beneath the surface with sharks! Click to book your tour: North Shore Shark Cage Experience
- Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise: One of the best experiences I had on Oahu was swimming with the beautiful spinner dolphins. A once in a lifetime experience. Click to book your tour: Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Tour
- Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran: One of my favorite memories of Hawaii is floating in the water with a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. On this tour that is exactly what you will do! Click to book your tour: Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran
Where to stay on Oahu
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach. Luxury rooms overlooking the beach, a private lagoon and a free fireworks and dance performance show. Hilton is easily the most recognizable hotel on the Island.
Why I recommend this hotel: It has its own private lagoon. While lots of people love the beach it is perfect for families. Kids can kayak, swim and snorkel with no worries. There are no currents, waves or sea creatures to worry about. The hotel is right on Waikiki Beach so don’t worry the beach is right there also.
Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach. The bar and nightclub at the Sheraton is a great place to relax after a long day of island adventures.
Why I recommend this hotel: The Sheraton is always exceptional no matter the location but imagine you are leaning over the edge of an infinity pool, the ocean is below you and you turn to your left and watch Diamond Head crater in the distance. That’s where you will be at the end of each day, having a Mai Tai cocktail in your infinity pool. Later on, in the evening Rumfire is a great bar venue, which is actually part of the Sheraton. It is open to the public and is one of the best high-end venues on Oahu. It has a small dance floor but is mostly standing and seating areas for drinks, chats and good times.
Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Hotels in Waikiki can be expensive. Deciding where to stay on Oahu can be difficult if you don’t have much cash. Luckily, there is an accommodation option on the edge of Waikiki that is excellent value.
Why do I recommend this hostel/hotel: This is the perfect hotel if you want location but are willing to sacrifice a pool and some luxury items to save up to $200 per night. All of the hotels in this area are minimum $300 per night and often much more. Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD. If you are like me, I never swim in the hotel pool anyway. Didn’t you come halfway across the world to swim in the beach!
Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location. Walking distance to Waikiki beach and a central location to base yourself for a week of adventures.
Why I recommend this hostel: Unfortunately Waikiki and Honolulu, in general, are not cheap. You can grab a dorm room for under $35 a night within walking distance to Waikiki surf beach. This location really is great. You are near a lot of attractions and can take public transport to a lot of great east coast beaches and hikes. It is the number one hostel in Waikiki and I’m sure you will meet other adventurers to go on hikes with!
Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like a theme park at times with just how many pools and activities are available. If you can afford it, this is the #1 place to stay for families on Oahu.
Why I recommend this hotel: Disney Aulani Resort combines luxury accommodation with family fun. A huge lazy river/tire tube lagoon is probably the highlight of the resort although the water slides and private beach aren’t too far behind. The kids club and massage center are just among a few of the many activities included in your stay. Attend ukelele lessons, free fire-pit story-telling at night and more and more! Your kids will never be bored and the quality of entertainment and facilities is just beyond amazing.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK AND WHY
A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU: WHICH REGION IS BEST FOR YOU?
Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII: UPDATED 2018
The best Waterfalls: 11 AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU, HAWAII
Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU, HAWAII
The Best Hikes on Oahu: 10 BEST HIKES ON OAHU, HAWAII
My favorite experience on Oahu: AMAZING DOORS OFF HELICOPTER TOUR OF OAHU, HAWAII
The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 THINGS TO DO ON OAHU – THE BUCKET LIST