Oahu, Hawaii is a special island with so much to offer. The beauty of Oahu is that it is so diverse that there is a tour activity for everyone. Some adventurous tourists might be into shark cage diving or zip-lining while others might enjoy a historic tour of Pearl Harbor. In the evening sunset catamaran cruise from Waikiki is a favorite among every type of tourist. In this blog post, I’ve gathered the 20 most popular tours on Oahu and reviewed each of them to help you choose a tour you will enjoy.
QUICK PICKS: TOP 4 TOURS ON OAHU
Don’t have time to read my entire article about the best tours on Oahu? No worries! I’ve shortlisted my four favorite Oahu tours here to make things easy for you.
21 BEST TOURS ON OAHU COMPARISON TABLE
Here is a helpful table listing all of the best tours on Oahu, Hawaii.
BEST RENTAL CAR COMPANY IN HAWAII
20 BEST-VALUE TOURS ON OAHU, HAWAII
I hope you find an Oahu tour on this list that gets you excited for your vacation!
TURTLE CANYON SNORKEL CRUISE BY CATAMARAN
The best snorkeling tour on Oahu is the Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran. Not only do you get the chance to swim with these friendly giants and tons of tropical fish, but you’ll also get a catamaran cruise from Waikiki. You are picked up from your Waikiki hotel and taken to the harbor for a short boat ride to a few secret snorkeling spots. Lunch is included and the food is really good too, you’ll love the kalua pork! Something that people love about this tour is the staff! They really make sure you are entertained and you will have the best trip to Oahu.
Book your tour: Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY ON OAHU
WAIKIKI: OAHU 120-MILE FULL-DAY TOUR WITH DOLE PLANTATION
Waikiki: Oahu 120-Mile Full-Day Tour with Dole Plantation (Best-selling tour): The popular Circle Island tour takes you on a scenic 120-mile trip around the beautiful island of Oahu.
- Enjoy a scenic drive along the slopes of Diamond Head
- Visit Hanauma Bay, a Hawaiian Marine Preserve
- Halona Blowhole, Sandy Beach, and Makapu’u Point
- Visit Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe (admission included)
- A scenic drive into the Ko’olau mountains
- See the world-famous North Shore beaches of Sunset, Banzai Pipeline
- Waimea Bay
- Stop at the Dole Plantation to try their pineapple soft-serve whip!
Book your tour: Waikiki: Oahu 120-mile Full-day Tour With Dole Plantation
- Beautiful island
- Scenic drive
- Stunning views
NORTH SHARK SHARK CAGE DIVE ADVENTURE
North Shark Shark Cage Dive Adventure: Hopefully, you’re ready for this because this may be the most exciting tour you have ever gone on! Oahu Shark Dive is one of the best value tours to choose from for your first shark dive experience. You will travel approximately 3 miles off the coast to an area that is inhabited by a large shark population and you will be jumping in a shark cage behind the vessel to face-to-face these amazing 5′ to 15′ long sharks.
For 20 minutes under the water, you’ll be surrounded by around a dozen sharks or even more. Pickup and drop-off service and equipment are included. The crew is laid-back, funny, and does a great job of making you feel safe and comfortable as they brief you properly before jumping in the water. I definitely recommend this Oahu tour to anyone as it will be a highlight of your Hawaiian vacation.
Book your tour: North Shark Shark Cage Dive Adventure
Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki (Top Seller)
Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki: All aboard the Haleiwa Queen, enjoy the clear view of the Pacific Ocean floor as you cruise over live tropical reefs and one of Hawaii’s shipwrecks. This is by far the cheapest boat tour on Oahu but also one of the most interesting. The glass-bottom floor of the boat allows you to see sea life as it swims by and also gets a great view of one of the many shipwrecks on the coast of Oahu. A great afternoon adventure for the whole family and a very unique experience.
Book your tour: Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki
PEARL HARBOR: ARIZONA MEMORIAL, & PUNCHBOWL NATIONAL CEMETERY
Tour: Pearl Harbor: Arizona Memorial, & Punchbowl National Cemetery: This budget-friendly tour is quite popular in Oahu for all types of travelers. Round-trip transportation, extra charges, and a narrative by the guide are provided. This 5-hour historic tour is a combination tour in which you will be enlightened with Pearl Harbor’s comprehensive history –see the sunken USS Arizona, get a chance to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, and stop by the landmarks of Honolulu metropolitan and enjoy the scenic views around.
Everyone hates waiting in a long queue but on this tour, you’ll be able to skip lines for a hassle-free excursion. If there is something you are curious about, there’s a live tour guide so feel free to ask all you want! This is one of the tours on Oahu that you simply cannot miss.!
Book your tour: Pearl Harbor: Arizona Memorial, & Punchbowl National Cemetery
- Round-trip transportation
- 5-hour historic
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS (WITHOUT A CAGE)
Two-hour shark dive on Oahu: Have you ever thought about swimming with sharks? This tour company takes people out and lets them swim with sharks without a cage! It might seem extreme but it is very controlled and quite safe. For example, they haven’t had any injuries or incidents in 20 years of operation. Sandbar sharks circle around you as you snorkel out in the open ocean. This is something your friends back home won’t believe and it is one of the unique activities in Oahu.
Book your tour: Two-hour shark dive on Oahu
ECO-FRIENDLY DOLPHIN AND SNORKEL HALF-DAY CRUISE
Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise: Set sail along the turquoise waters of Hawaii’s coast heading towards Ko Olina coast. Keep your eyes peeled for the playful Spinner Dolphins who live in these waters. During the snorkeling session, jump in for a snorkel adventure of a lifetime! I did this tour with my family when they came for vacation and it was an incredible experience you’ll never forget.
Book your tour: Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise
- Turquoise waters
- Playful Spinner Dolphins
OAHU GRAND CIRCLE ISLAND DAY TOUR
Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour: Discover the beautiful island of Oahu in a day! This 8.5-hour trip includes stops at Oahu’s most famous landmarks, such as Diamond Head, Halona Blowhole, Hanauma Bay, and Nu’uanu Pali. You’ll cruise around the island on an air-conditioned bus, so it’s relaxing and comfortable.
Get a dose of Japanese history, as you visit the ancient Byodo-In Temple. What I love about this trip is that it also includes quick stops to the amazing beaches of the North Shore like Waimea Bay, which is popular for surfers and divers. This is one of the best Oahu tours for family bonding!
Book your tour: Oahu Grand Circle Island Day Tour
OAHU SCENIC HELICOPTER FLIGHT
Oahu Full-Circle Island 60 minute Helicopter Tour: I think a scenic helicopter flight is my favorite activity to do on Oahu by far! A helicopter tour over this amazing island will be the number one memory you take home with you from your vacation. The circle island Helicopter tour will have you fly above all of the famous locations on Oahu, it’s simply a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I recently sent my parents on this amazing helicopter Oahu tour.
Book your tour: Oahu Full-Circle Island 60 minute Helicopter Tour
Book your tour: 25-minute Waikiki Helicopter Tour
- Scenic helicopter flight
- Amazing island
- Fly above all of the famous locations
WAIKIKI SUNSET COCKTAIL CRUISE
Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Catamaran Cruise: Dying to take your loved one on a romantic cruise whilst in Oahu? Or do you just want to experience a fun and relaxing evening with absolutely no itinerary? Onboard a sailing Catamaran drinking tropical Hawaiian cocktails and relaxing while enjoying the legendary sunset and the magnificent Hawaiian coast.
This is perfect for travelers who just want to chill with sunsets and cocktails!
Book your tour: Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Catamaran Cruise
KA MOANA LUAU AT SEA LIFE PARK
Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park: This 4.5-hour evening show can give you everything you can ever fancy! From the moment you set foot, you’ll be treated like royals as you will be greeted with Luau- a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is accompanied by entertainment, Mai Tai cocktails, and a beautiful lei (garland).
You’ll experience a delectable Hawaiian feast including fresh seafood and tropical fruits by the sea with a beautiful view of the sunset. You’ll love the locals showcasing their talents in dancing and fire twirling. You can choose from three dining packages to suit your preference.
Book your tour: Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park
KAYAKING TOUR OF KAILUA BAY WITH LUNCH
Kayaking Tour of Kailua Bay with Lunch: 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 on the safety measures before you begin on your own or select a guided tour with a small group tour with a professional guide.
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 that they provide you with dry bags, shower amenities, and lockers for your stuff. One of the top-rated tours on Oahu!
GYROPLANE FLIGHT OVER OAHU’S NORTH SHORE
Imagine soaring above the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, feeling the warm Hawaiian sun on your face and the wind rushing through your hair. From high above, you can see the lush green mountains and rugged coastline of Oahu’s North Shore, as well as some of the world-famous surf breaks like Pipeline and Sunset Beach. This is the exhilarating experience of gyroplane flight, a unique and thrilling way to explore the beauty of Hawaii’s third-largest island. I did this flight and it was one of the coolest, and most unique things to do on Oahu.
Book your flight by visiting their site: Skyland Air
OAHU WHALE WATCHING EXCURSION
Oahu Whale Watching Excursion: See whales, guaranteed, or come again for free! Every December through April, thousands of Humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii. Come along and see these beautiful mammals at their best on our exciting eco-friendly whale watching excursion.
The 2-hour experience of seeing whales will for sure take your breath away. Definitely a must-do excursion on Oahu!
Book your tour: Oahu Whale Watching Excursion
SCUBA-DIVE TO SEA TIGER WRECK
Scuba Dive to Sea Tiger Wreck: 100 feet below the surface lies The Sea Tiger, which is a former Chinese trading vessel originally named Yun Fong Seong No. 303. The ship was confiscated in the 1990s for carrying more than 90 illegal immigrants to Hawaii. It was purchased by Voyager Submarines, cleaned up, and sunk in 1999.
Interested in learning how to scuba dive while on Oahu: Waikiki Discovery Scuba Diving for Beginners
Already certified to scuba dive and want to book a scuba tour to a wreck or a reef: Scuba diving full-day tour on Oahu
Book your tour: Scuba Dive to Sea Tiger Wreck
SUNSET DINNER CRUISE WITH LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Sunset Dinner Cruise with Live Hawaiian Entertainment: If world-class entertainment and food weren’t enough on the beautiful beaches of Oahu, then why not take to the waters with the Oahu Sunset Dinner Cruise. This cruise will let you see the beauty of the colorful sunset in Oahu with a view of the island at night as the artificial lights glow and cover the place.
While onboard, you will enjoy the delicious buffet and some chitchats with other passengers. What the passengers will love is the round trip transportation they arrange for each and every one.
Book your tour: Sunset Dinner Cruise with Live Hawaiian Entertainment
- Sunset Dinner Cruise
- Colorful sunset
- Artificial lights glow
WAIMEA WATERFALL & CIRCLE ISLAND ADVENTURE TOUR
Waimea Waterfall & Circle Island Adventure Tour: A tight-packed schedule, this 11-hour guided tour offers to anyone who wants to fill one’s appetite for the beauty of the island. The ultimate Circle Island Adventure covers many places and personally if you are interested to join this just make sure you have enough energy as you’ll be visiting 12 popular attractions but you can totally enjoy the scenic views of the places.
You don’t have to worry if the places are unfamiliar to you because this tour includes a guide book “Pocket Guide to Nature on Oahu”. Since this is a twelve-hour tour which includes almost all the necessities you need like lunch and some refreshments, it would also be nice to bring snacks. Be sure to get your camera ready as there are plenty of picturesque attractions along the way. A highly recommended tour on the island!
Book your tour: Waimea Waterfall & Circle Island Adventure Tour
- The beauty of the island
- Scenic views
- Popular attractions
BEST OF HAWAII PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR FROM WAIKIKI
Best of Hawaii Photography Tour from Waikiki: If you are a traveler looking for photography and cultural experiences, you will be very happy if you book the best Hawaii photography tour from Waikiki. This five-and-a-half photography tour will take you to the best scenic spots on Oahu island from Waikiki to the Kailua or Waimanalo for lunch.
It is perfect for anyone who wants to spend more time capturing stunning sites with a camera. Not to mention they also have a professional photographer to guide and help you during the excursion.
Book your tour: Best of Hawaii Photography Tour from Waikiki
OAHU SIGHTS AND BITES ISLAND TOUR
Oahu Sights and Bites Island Tour: Experience the beauty of Oahu while sampling the local food and feel the aloha vibe as you join this five-hour tour in Oahu. In this tour, you’ll explore Oahu’s most beloved tourist attractions, iconic sites, and breathtaking scenery. There is a complimentary pick-up and drop-off from selected hotels in Waikiki and bottled water for each guest.
It is advisable to bring cash as you might want to spend your own money for your delicious lunch at a shrimp truck. The first destination is the Diamond Head Lookout where you’ll admire sweeping views and continue along the coast of Hanauma Bay Viewpoint and end your tour at Dole Pineapple Plantation.
Book your tour: Oahu Sights and Bites Island Tour
GROUP SURFING LESSON ON WAIKIKI BEACH
Group Surfing Lesson on Waikiki Beach: Do you or your mates want to try surfing in Waikiki? Surfer Girl Academy got your back. For $99, you can enjoy surfing with your mates for two-and-a-half hours. The instructors are super nice, patient, and very professional – they even take pictures for you. This surfing lesson limits up to four participants which are fantastic as you can really learn from your surfing instructor. It’s a great way to enjoy a day out on the water and this is also suitable for kids 12+ up and adults.
Round-trip transportation for guests staying in Waikiki and surfing equipment are included in the price. Guests will also be given a gift which is a bonus. If you are looking for an activity that doesn’t disappoint, look no further and book your surfing lesson with Surfer Girl Academy.
Book your tour: Group Surfing Lesson in Waikiki Beach
NORTH SHORE & WATERFALL SWIM ADVENTURE
North Shore & Waterfall Swim Adventure: Can’t get enough of Oahu? This tour is perfect to get to know and falling deeply in love with this wonderful island. For me, this place is ideal for those who simply love everything about nature. A scenic shore view, a glimpse of Mokuauia Islet, a lunch plate with Hawaiian shave ice, and the sight of green sea turtles are among the few things that you will experience in this tour.
The highlight for sure is the opportunity to bathe under a pristine waterfall in the forest after a short walk. Everything is included on this Oahu tour from pick-up from Waikiki and the drop-off, fees, and lunch were so convenient.
Book your tour: North Shore & Waterfall Swim Adventure
MORNING SNORKEL & SAIL ALONG WAIKIKI BEACH
Morning Snorkel & Sail along Waikiki Beach: If you want to snorkel for a couple of hours before doing other activities whilst in Waikiki, this morning snorkeling excursion is just right for you! This snorkeling and sailing tour lasts for two hours only with a limit of five joiners. You will sail and snorkel along Waikiki beach in the morning. Pickup is included from all hotels in Waikiki.
During this water excursion, participants will be able to see Hawaiian Green Sea turtles and beautiful marine life but if you don’t see turtles you can do it again free of charge. The boat excursion departs at Kewalo Basin Harbor. Bar snacks, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, and two swimming equipment (fins and life vest) are included.
Book your tour: Morning Snorkel & Sail along Waikiki Beach
- Beautiful marine life
- Swimming equipment
- Amazing location
OAHU: HONOLULU LIKE A LOCAL – CUSTOMIZED CITY WALKING TOUR
Honolulu Like a Local – Customized City Walking Tour: There’s nothing great than exploring the island like a local and this customizable, private tour in Oahu is just what you need. You will get a lot from what you paid here with a tour guide who knows the place like the back of their hand.
Since it’s customizable, you can traverse at your own pace and get to spend as much time as you want at all the different places. Discover all of the hidden gems within Honolulu and be surprised at what you find when you are with a local. You can be sure you will eat at the best local joint aswell!
Book your tour: Oahu: Honolulu Like A Local – Customized City Walking Tour
ZIPLINE TOUR ON OAHU’S NORTH SHORE
Zipline Tour on Oahu’s North Shore gives you a jungle experience that you can’t imagine. Safety gear like helmets, gloves, and harnesses are provided. This is another must-do activity in Oahu. I loved this adventure and have attached my GoPro video of my Zipline experience on Oahu below. This is sure fun and exciting as you will be ziplining seven times plus you will get to ride an ATV.
Book your tour: Zipline Tour On Oahu’s North Shore
I hope one of those epic Oahu tours seemed like a good fit for you and your family and it is one of the highlights of your vacation to Oahu!
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 with a private lagoon.
- Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach.
- Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD.
- Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location.
- Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like you are living in a theme park.
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
- A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII
- The best Waterfalls: AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
- Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU
- Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU
- The best Waterfall Hikes: TOP WATERFALL HIKES ON OAHU
- Best Tours: 20 BEST TOURS ON OAHU
- The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON OAHU
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THE FOUR MOST POPULAR OAHU TOURS
- Doors-Off Oahu Helicopter Flight Tour: My number one recommendation is to do a heli-flight (doors off) and be blown away when you see Oahu from the air.
- North Shore Shark Cage Tour: The biggest adrenaline rush you can have in Hawaii is beneath the surface with sharks!
- Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Tour: One of the best experiences I had on Oahu was swimming with the beautiful spinner dolphins on this exact tour.
- Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran: The number 1 MOST POPULAR snorkel tour on Oahu. GUARANTEED Turtles!
What are my favorite pieces of travel gear?
There are four pieces of gear that I simply never travel without. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my travel essentials.
- Packing Cube Set: Once you cube you’ll never go back. Organize your clothes within your luggage with these smart mesh containers. It will revolutionize your packing.
- Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
- Travel Wallet: Keep your passport, wallet, and vaccine card safe as well as any forms and important documents you need to store.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: I’ve used this for three years. It filters your water with one press and you can drink directly from it. Never buy a plastic water bottle again!