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Intentionally swimming with sharks is not everyone’s idea of a great week but it’s been on my bucket list for a long time. I never did this activity when I was based on Oahu as it can be a bit expensive, but times have changed and now I had the entire trip comped as a collaboration with GetYourGuide. I first did the shark cage experience and then two days later, went beyond the bars for a free-diving experience with Galapagos and Sandbar Sharks with One Ocean Diving.

I’ll be writing a detailed article on each experience and also a comparison article so that you can choose which tour might be best for you. I expected the free-diving tour to far surpass the cage experience but honestly, they were both awesome in their own ways.

The cage experience took us out to a moored cage three miles from shore. The sharks come to the surface when they hear the engines from the boat due to years of experience receiving scraps from fishing boats. We then entered the cage and had tens of sharks circling us for twenty minutes. The bars on the cage were not very protective at all and toes, hands and fingers were all within a quick bite of the sharks. The docile creatures aren’t interested in having a human-sized lunch and cruised past at close-range giving us a great chance to be in such close proximity to such a ‘feared’ creature.

The free-diving experience with One Ocean was much different. We headed out about three miles of shore, put on our snorkels and fins and then submerged into the water. At first we held onto a rope next to the boat while we watched the sharks circling deep below us. However, then we began to free-dive amongst the sharks, which was a truly incredible experience. The sharks seemed unperturbed by their human visitors and at times I forgot about their sharp teeth and dangerous reputation.

There were a lot of myths busted on these tours and either trip will be an amazing experience. For those who enjoy free-diving I would go with One Ocean but for a close-up look of the sharks where you can simply hold on to the bars, the cage experience gave a much more personal and up-close experience.

Those were the highlights of the week although a few beach days, snorkels, sunsets dabbled throughout the week helped keep my spirits high despite a bit of a knee injury I am healing back to health. So no trails or hikes this week but fun times nonetheless.