If your idea of a vacation includes more than soaking up some vitamin sea, you’ll be delighted to find that Oahu is home to more than just beautiful beaches. With rugged terrain that ranges from the ocean to the mountains, this tropical paradise is also an outdoor playground. Include some of these Ko Olina adventures during your exciting getaway to Oahu. Explore places to go in Oahu, HI for thrill-seekers below!
If exploring an uninhabited island has an appeal, you’ll have your chance while vacationing on Oahu. Situated off Oahu’s east coast lies an uninhabited island by the name of Chinaman’s Hat. This small island can be accessed by kayak, stand up paddleboard, or swimming for those who are confident swimmers in the ocean. Rent kayaks and venture out on a DIY paddling adventure to the island. Once you arrive, a short hike to the top will reward you with panoramic views. Pick up all the gear you’ll need for this adventure at Active Oahu Tours and Activities.
While Oahu can certainly be explored by foot, some things are best seen from above. Especially for those who want to capture amazing island photos, a helicopter tour provides views of the island from a unique vantage point. Fly over waterfalls, craters, Waikiki, and some of the world’s best beaches on an Oahu helicopter tour. Moana Loa Helicopter Tours offers a doors-off option, so there will be nothing standing in between you and the panoramic island scenery!
If you’ve ever dreamed of crossing skydiving off your bucket list, Oahu just might be the perfect place to do so. With emerald green mountains and the azure sea stretched out below, a breathtaking experience takes on a whole new meaning. Pacific Skydiving offers a tandem jump with your instructor, so all you have to do is open your arms and enjoy the ride. Jump from 8,000-10,000 feet of altitude and free fall for about 20 seconds before the scenic canopy flight begins. For an even more extreme Ko Olina adventure, enquire about the high-altitude halo jump.
Oahu offers a whole other world of adventure beneath the surface of the sea, and there are numerous options for exploring the ocean’s depths. Whether you want to embark on something as relaxing as a DIY snorkeling excursion or something more adventurous such as diving with sharks, you’ll find all of these options available for the explorer on Oahu. Hanauma Bay is perhaps the most popular snorkeling spot on Oahu and is a good option for those who would prefer a DIY excursion. This nature preserve is teeming with fish, and due to its popularity as a snorkel destination, the fish here aren’t bothered by human visitors. After easily entering into the calm, shallow water from the sandy shoreline, it’s just a short distance before the sandy bottom gives way to coral reef. Stay close to the shoreline or explore further into the bay, where tropical fish surround.
For those who would prefer a more guided excursion, Oahu is home to many boat charter companies that offer offshore snorkeling and scuba adventures. Dolphin Excursions offers snorkeling excursions from their 34-foot rigid inflatable boat, where you will enjoy an adventure of a lifetime snorkeling alongside tropical fish, dolphins, and honu (sea turtles). During the months of January through March, you also may spot a humpback whale along the way!
One Ocean Diving even offers the thrilling opportunity to snorkel with sharks! There is no caged involved when you book with One Ocean Diving, where snorkelers get up close and personal with species such as sand sharks and Galapagos sharks. The professional guides are also marine biologists, collecting data throughout the excursion.
For even greater freedom in exploring Oahu’s underwater world, consider a Scuba diving excursion. While there are many companies that offer Scuba adventures, Oahu Diving is a particularly good option for beginners. With Oahu Diving, there’s no need to go through extensive courses before getting your chance to explore the underwater world. Rather than the swimming pool, your classroom will be the ocean itself, surrounded by tropical fish, octopus, rays, and turtles. Knowledgeable guides will ensure you understand how to use the equipment and will be with you every step of the way. For experienced divers, the options are more varied, with reef and wall dives and an 80- to 120-foot wreck dive. Whether you opt to snorkel or scuba dive, there is so much to be explored in Oahu’s underwater world!
Base your stay in one of our Oahu vacation rentals to enjoy convenient access to the best Oahu tourist attractions! Our rentals provide a comfortable, upscale place to rest and enjoy resort-like amenities while you gear up for the next day’s adventure.