Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter

Ko Olina Snorkeling with Green Sea Turtles and a Dolphin Encounter

Ko Olina is a beachfront resort on the quiet Western shores of Oahu. Disney’s Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa, recently opened in Ko Olina so we headed to Ko Olina to check out the popular Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter. With 3 Hawaii Snorkeling Locations including a Turtle Cleaning Station and a Dolphin Encounter, I couldn’t wait to see what the Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter with Ko Olina Ocean Adventures held in store for us!

Be sure to scroll down and check out the Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter video! The Dolphin Encounter begins at the 2 minute mark!

The Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter offers pickup from Waikiki so we relaxed on the 40 minute drive to the marina. After we checked in we ate a muffin and waited to board the boat. We departed the Ko Olina Marina for our Hawaii Snorkeling Adventure!

Our boat was the Ko Olina Explorer, a 44 foot Rigid Inflatable Boat, that sent us up the Leeward coastline at a nice speed. We had 20 passengers on board plus 1 Captain and 1 Crew Member.  It was great having a small group.

Our Captain gave us a safety briefing. He also went over ways to respect the ocean and the marine life.

Safety Briefing Ko Olina Snorkeling

Our first stop was Turtle Town, a natural Turtle Cleaning Station. We saw about 10 green sea turtles. It was mesmerizing to watch the green sea turtles swimming. I loved watching the mom green sea turtle with her baby sea turtle.  It was adorable watching the baby swim from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the water.

Snorkeling with Sea Turtles in Hawaii

Ko Olina Oahu Green Sea Turtles

Snorkel with Green Sea Turtles

Not only did we see Green Sea Turtles at this Hawaii Snorkeling location but we also saw a lot of fish!

Hawaii Snorkeling


The second stop was for the Dolphin Encounter. We found a pod of dolphins and then one by one we dropped off of the side of the boat like “pencil ninjas” trying to be as still as possible. The first time we dropped off we did not have any luck seeing dolphins so everyone got back in the boat. We found another group of dolphins and as soon as I dropped in the water I saw dolphins swimming around me! It was the most exhilarating feeling!

Hawaii Spinner Dolphins

Let me clarify we were not “swimming with dolphins” we were staying completely still on the top of the water and they swam by and checked US out. Here is a group floating and watching the dolphins swim around them – you can see a dolphin swimming in the background of the photo.

We thought the dolphins left so they called us to get back on the boat. Back on board we could see a lot of dolphins swimming around the boat so we quickly put our snorkel and mask back on and dropped pencil ninja style back in. This time dolphins were swimming all around me – including a few baby dolphins. I can’t even describe it. It was surreal to see these beautiful creatures swimming together through the water.

Before we got in the water the Captain suggested not to stress about taking photos and video and just enjoy the moment. Of course as a travel blogger I felt the need to document the experience but I was also trying to balance taking in and enjoying the encounter. Be sure to check out the video and stay tuned to the 2 minute mark for the Dolphin Encounter. Unfortunately the Dolphin Encounter video does not begin to do justice to the rush you get being so close to these amazing creatures. Click below to check out the video!

When we all got back on the boat you could tell everyone’s adrenaline was pumping as they talked about the Dolphin Encounter.

The third stop was a beautiful reef with a variety of stunning fish. The crew even dove down and brought some marine life on board for us to hold.

On the way back to Ko Olina Marina we passed by The Black Pearl from The Pirates of The Carribean.

When we returned to Ko Olina Marina they had a delicious lunch waiting for us. We had a choice of a pork, chicken or veggie sandwich. As we ate lunch I met a couple from Texas. They told me the one activity they always do on their annual Hawaii Vacation is the Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter with Ko Olina Ocean Adventures.

I have been on a lot of Hawaii Snorkeling Tours and the Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter is truly one of the best. I loved the size of the boat, the friendly crew, the laid back ambiance and the fact that I was able to experience the beauty of the ocean in a way I never have. Even if you are not staying at Disney’s Aulani or the Ko Olina Resorts I highly recommend making the 40 minute journey from Waikiki to experience this Hawaii Snorkeling Adventure. On the Ko Olina Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter you will make memories that last a lifetime!

What is your favorite place to snorkel?

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About Elizabeth

Elizabeth has been blogging about the best Hawaii Activities for over 7 years. She loves sharing the Aloha Spirit.
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