Nestled in the beautiful neighborhood of Portlock on the southeast coast of Oahu, Hawaii is a huge cliff jump. Known as Spitting Cave, the location is one of the coolest spots to chill at even if you don’t like cliff-jumping. I went there over ten times and never jumped. Spitting Cave is also a very popular sunset spot and a grab place to end the day.
A GUIDE TO SPITTING CAVE ON OAHU
In this blog post, I will share a few quick pointers about what to expect, how to get there, safely cliff jumping, ideal conditions, whale watching, and sunset conditions.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT SPITTING CAVE
The cliffs are similar to China Walls, which is just around the corner. However, everything at Spitting Cave is on a large grander scale. A small inlet feeds into a cave in the cliffs below and as the pressure builds inside the cave with each ebb and flows the water bursts out with huge force. On days with rough conditions in the ocean, the blasts from the cave are phenomenal. If you like this spot, you should check my guide to cliff jumping on Oahu.
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!
HOW TO GET TO SPITTING CAVE ON OAHU
The exact location is a little bit of a maze to get to. It’s on google maps, which makes life easy. When you arrive at the location on google maps. You will see a small little alley in between two houses leading out towards the ocean. I guarantee you will be blown away by the view once you reach the end of my valley. It’s one of my favorite spots on Oahu!
CLIFF JUMPING AT SPITTING CAVE
The cliffs drop down about 70 feet into the water although some ledges make it possible to jump in from lower. The landing zone is wide enough but still quite narrow. On a clear day, you can easily see the rock and reef edges. However, often the big swell is rough and you need to land smack bang in the middle.
Once you hit the water, getting out is the next difficulty. Scrambling up the rocks is often difficult in big waves and a few scrapes are par for the course at this spot. Climbing back up the rock wall is possible with good climbing skills and the use of a few installed ropes.
I often went down to Spitting Cave and watched a few locals who were on the dive team from the University of Hawaii. These guys were competitive divers and would gracefully launch into multiple flips before producing no-splash landings. Often they would purposefully wait for the surge of water from the Spitting Cave to blast out so they could land on it.
I’ve seen these guys who are expert-level but also recreational thrill-seekers making the jump. I think before I go any further it’s important to know the spot. I would never head to a spot like this without someone who knows the conditions, where to land, and the safety precautions. The water is often quite turbid so you cannot see where rocks are beneath the surface.
Waimea Bay also has a jump rock perfect for an adrenaline rush that isn’t quite as crazy as Spitting Cave if you are looking to jump without the risks of Spitting Cave.
WHALE WATCHING FROM SPITTING CAVE
During the later months of the year, this is the prime spot on the island for whale watching. In fact, I’ve been to Spitting Cave a few times when the survey teams are doing the whale counts for research purposes. They set up all day on the cliffs and count the sightings. Not a bad job!
Every single year, from December to April, it’s a great time to be on the lookout for Humpback Whales in the oceans of Oahu. The whales are migrating from Alaska to Hawaii to give birth to their calves and can be spotted along the coastline throughout the winter months. Many tourists will pay for a whale-watching tour although all the locals know you can easily spot them from many coastal lookouts such as Spitting Cave.
It’s not just a whale hotspot. Turtles and seals also hang around the area but because of the waves and lack of easy entry, it’s not really a snorkeling hotspot, although it is possible.
SUNSET FROM SPITTING CAVE
Just like China Walls around the corner, this is a great place to post up on the rocks with a drink or a snack and watch the sunset. It sets slightly around the corner but only dips away at the last minute. The sound of the ocean, big drops, and colors in the sky make this a beautiful and peaceful sunset spot.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to Spitting Cave on Oahu. If you want to tackle one of the toughest hikes on Oahu, head just around the corner from this spot to take on the 1,048 stairs of the Koko Head Crater Hike.
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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
What are my favorite pieces of gear for the beach?
There are three pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go on a beach adventure. These are three items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my beach essentials.
- PackTowl Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
- Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack: The beach can be a great place to ruin your precious gear so having this ultralight dry sack for cameras, phones and valuables mean you have a safe place to store everything.
- GoPro Hero 10: The best and easiest way to capture your underwater and snorkeling adventures.