Sea turtles are one of those animals that most Ohioans do not get to see often or at all. Obviously being from Ohio, we would have to travel long distances to see live sea turtles out in the wild. I’ve been lucky enough to have been at the right place a couple different times to see sea turtles.
The first time I was in Florida on the Atlantic side and happened to see the last couple of leatherback sea turtles making their way out to the ocean for the first time. What an incredible view. However, while in Hawaii, we heard about a hidden cave off the beaten path where sea turtles like to go hide out to rest.
This is probably one of the coolest hidden spots on the island. It took a while to find the trailhead, which we could only find through word of mouth. The path itself wasn’t too difficult to navigate; however, I would recommend that you have a good pair of shoes on (yes, I was wearing flipflops again). The trail is rather steep but it only takes several minutes to get to the bottom.
Once you get to the bottom, you have to descend into the water. The trail ends and as you can see in the photo above, you must make your way to the cave. This part was harder than it looked, the rocks were slippy and if you’re traveling with any gear like I was, I would recommend having a pair of water shoes. The rocks are very slippery and the water moves you enough so that you lose your balance easily. Yes, this happened to me, thankfully, many years of sports allowed me to be agile enough to turn and rotate my body and as I felt the water engulf my body, I thrust my hand up as high as it could go to save my gear from getting wet. Talk about an “OH SHIT” moment!
I got myself together and finally made it to the entrance of the cave, thankful I still had my camera to take some photos and video.
The trick to catching a glimpse of these amazing sea creatures was to get to the cave before the sunset because once you get inside the cave you cannot see anything (be sure to take some type of flashlight). Making your way through the cave, you don’t have to walk far before you come out to the other side.
The sea turtles come in through this entrance and make their way up to the beach where they sleep. The pool of water here is roughly chest deep and if you’re lucky enough and have an underwater camera you’d be able to get some underwater footage of them.
During our visit to the cave, we were fortunate to see about half a dozen turtles in the cave. A couple were in the water and a handful were sleeping on the sand. This island has offered up so many adventures and so many different sites to see but it is the little tucked away gems like this that make it a magical place to visit.
If you want to read about more hiking adventures while I was in Kauai, check out my posts about the Kalalau Trail and Queen’s Bath!