The allure of the Ko Olina's whales, wild dolphins and vibrant pelagic sea creatures are helping drive a wave in popularity in the waters e near the JW Marriott Ihilani, Ko Olina Beach Club, and the Disney Aulani.
The west coast of Oahu is a world-class snorkeling, and dolphin and whale watching destination (with over 20 species), and the only place in US where travelers can swim with wild dolphin species such as the spotted, spinner, and bottlenose dolphin in their natural habitat. Excellent local snorkeling sites provide access to a brilliant underwater world with creatures such as sea turtles, rays, wrasses, parrotfish, triggerfish, butterflyfish, and damselfishes - many of which are endemic to Hawaii. Spring, summer and fall are best for spotting underwater wildlife, while humpback whales are Hawaii's favorite winter visitor.
Small group excursions (4-10 passengers) near Ko Olina offer in-depth whale watching, swimming with wild dolphins and snorkeling adventures for the entire family. Encounters (both onboard and in the water) led by a marine biologist crew add a depth of knowledge and passion that larger, more mainstream tours can't touch.
Departing 10 miles north of Ko Olina resorts and the Disney Aulani, from the middle of the Waianae Coast - this rural location affords opportunities to explore areas at either point of the coastline from the south (Ko Olina) end, to Ka'ena Point. We much prefer the north end, where the scenic "old Hawaii" is found. The south side near the resorts is industrial - best snorkeling is right outside a power plant at Electric Beach - while the preferred northern (Makua) area is a scenic State park and Ka'ena Point is a federally protected Natural Area Reserve.
Rare opportunities to swim with dolphins - never fed or trained, protected green sea turtles and endemic fish along Oahu's tropical reefs on the west (wild!) side - in their natural habitats. Take in the natural beauty of the Waianae Coast complete with nearshore frolicking whales (Ka'ena Point has the highest population of winter-season humpback whales on Oahu). Offshore waters sport 17 species of toothed whales, and 6 species of baleen whales, take it from the experts!
Wild Side Specialty Tours offers daily, year-round dolphin excursions, whale watching, and sea turtle encounters. They also host tours for people to view eclipses, seasonal meteor showers, and stargazing from the water - usually including sunset cruises.
They have two boats - both of which board only 1/2 or less of the vessels capacity. Two catamarans, the 2007 34' yacht Alaka'i (six passenger limit, built for 12), the 42' catamaran Island Spirit (self-limited to 10 passengers, USCG certified to hold 40).
Wild Side owners Tori and Armin Cullins say their goal is to maximize each days experience for both their passengers and ocean wildlife encountered - remaining both wildlife, habitat and community friendly.
Owners and crew participate in conservation and resource management of local marine habitats, as well as cooperate with the Wild Dolphin Foundation, studying behavior, ecology, natural history and abundance and distribution of whales, dolphins, turtles, coral reefs and other marine life in Hawaii.
Oahu Snorkeling | Dolphin Tour |Turtle Snorkeling | Whale Watching | Sunset Cruise | Let's go Oahu!