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Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

London
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Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

Myself and my partner will be in Maui for only 3 days at the beginning of september. Then we have 4 days in O'ahu.

I would really appreciate some advice on

1, Where we can see turtles nesting?

2. Where is good for snorkelling. I am not a very strong swimmer have read conflicting information about where is safe - obviously conditions vary. I Have been looking at some of the sail / snorkel tours and Hanauma bay beach on O'ahu. Any suggestions?

3. Is car rental a necessity? would like to do the Hana trip but would be happy to this on an organised tour if that is the only reason to hire a car?????

4. Has any one done a helicopter tour over the volcano national park on the big island? Can this be organised out there or should I try to book it before I go?

Any other advice welcome - we enjoy the geography and wildlife more than the beaches.

Thanks

Julie

California
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1. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

How many nights do you have? This is a very short stay, and general opinion, common advice, would be to stay on one island. Personally, I would not go to Maui if I only had three days. I love it, it is amazingly wonderful ... but three day is seriously too short. Please keep in mind that you will lose at least a 1/2 day of your trip in a hop between islands.

2. This would depend if you are more comfortable snorkeling in the middle of the bay or off the beach. On Maui, you can take a catamaran sail and snorkel in the middle of a bay or a ways off shore. Other places, you can snorkel just off the beach.

3. On Maui, yes, you need a car -- you need to get around. But even folks with cars sometimes prefer to take a van tour to Hana, because they can gawk instead of watch the road and they enjoy the narration. But tours don't offer flexibility to stop whenever you please.

4. Volcano National Park in on the Big Island of Hawaii, so you would need to fly there -- and then take the helicopter tour. Know that this process will take an entire day. If you do it, do it from Oahu, as there are more flights to the Big Island from Honolulu.

Personally, I think you are packing in too much.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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2. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

You really just want to see the green sea turtles right? They nest at night and generally you won't know where the nest's are. They make the nest, lay their eggs and their off!! Nesting occurs generally speaking between June and Sept.

To see green sea turtles in their natural habitat, go on about any snorkeling cruise. They will take you out to a place called "turtle town". You can also see turtles at almost any beach, around the lava, eating!!

Look at the Top Questions on the right hand side of this page. The one, where do I snorkel? will give you a starting point according to season and ability. After snorkeling on Maui, Hanauma Bay will pale in comparison.

Renting a car is advisable if you really want to see a lot of the island. It's pretty small and easy to navigate. If you don't want to rent, you can go on an organized tour to the area's you are interested in.

London
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3. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

Thanks for your sugestions.

We know it is a very short trip - we have a few days in San Francisco before we get to Hawaii. Looking at how much there is to see we are planning a second trip next year!

We have 3 nights on Maui, will do a snorkel tour and a trip to Hana in that time.

Then we have 4 nights on O'ahu, will do the volcano national park helicopter tour from there.

We have seen green sea turtles and olive ridley turtles nesting before elsewhere, would be really great to see them again but it would be extra special if we could glimpse a hawskbill??????

Chicagoland
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4. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

Please don't cut up your trip like this. You are pushing it to stay on two different islands in one week. You are pushing it too far to also spend a whole day to see a little of Volcano National Park -- and not even be there at night.

If geography and wildlife are your big interests, how about spending your week on Big Island? It has the best coral and sealife in Hawaii. It has more micro-climates than I can count. You could spend a night in the town of Volcano and really explore VNP. Yes, it will be HOT in September, but if these are your interests, Big Island will be the most rewarding.

Or...spend your week on either Kauai or Maui. (Stay north in September.) If you choose Maui you could plan one overnight in Hana to more fully explore that most tropical part of the island. Maui has 2nd best snorkeling; Oahu so-so and Kauai least good. Maui's beaches will be less crowded than those on Oahu.

If you stay Oahu all of a week, you could split your stay between Waikiki and Turtle Bay. Or, stay in one place on Oahu and do that daytrip, if you must.

You will need a rental car everywhere in Hawaii except right in Honolulu.

You know...people do come back to Hawaii! LOL You probably will, too.

Edited: 10 July 2010, 20:21
Kapaa, Hawaii
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5. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

Hawksbill's are extremely rare in Hawaii. If one even lay's a nest, you wouldn't be able to get anywhere near it. They are guarded by volunteer's day and night. I have only seen one hawksbill turtle in the five years I snorkeled Maui.

Menlo Park...
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6. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

I think you would find a map helpful in your planning. The volcano is on the island of Hawaii, east of Maui. Oahu, where HNL is, is west of Maui and thus further from the park.

I generally see at least one turtle any time I snorkel around the shore of south or west Maui, but they are all green turtles, the ones you want to take home and give a good scrubbing, if only it were legal, and if only you could catch one. Hawksbill turtles are, I believe, mostly in the caribbean. We have a secret turtle spot on Maui where we see at least 2 dozen, sometimes 3 dozen at once, and it's not Turtle Town. But if I told you where it is, it wouldn't be a secret. It's just good to know that Maui has at least these two major populations, one of which escapes all the hassle of boatloads of people watching them.

East Coast
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7. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

I did see Hawksbill's in the Makena area 1 time out of 8 times. They usually nest on nights of full mons and quite rare in Hawaii. The Gov. is serious on protecting them. I think there are volunteers watching on possible egg laying nights and nests guarded until hatchlings reach the sea.

8. Re: Turtles, snorkelling, car rental

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