Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Self-Guided vs. Guided Oahu Kayak Tours

kayak-paddling-technique-how-to

When it comes to kayaking, there are two main types of tours: self-guided and guided. Both have their pros and cons, and it ultimately comes down to what you want out of your experience. In this article, we will go over which option is best for you, and how they differ. Read on to learn more about what type of kayak tour is best suited for you and your group!

What Are Kayak Tours?

A kayak tour is a great way to get out on the water and explore. Most kayak tours include all of the gear you need, as well as a guide who can help you navigate the waters. This is a great activity for people of all ages and skill levels, and it’s a great way to see some amazing scenery.

Kayaking is also a great workout, so it’s a great way to get some exercise while you’re on vacation. Tours typically last around two hours, but they can be longer or shorter depending on the company you choose.

A Guided Kayak Tour

If you’re new to Oahu and kayaking in general, a guided tour is definitely the best option for you. A professional guide will be able to show you the best spots for kayaking and help you avoid any dangerous areas. Plus, they’ll be able to teach you the basics of kayaking so that you can enjoy your time on the water.

Guided tours are also a great option if you’re looking to explore a specific area of Oahu. Some tours focus on the North Shore, while others explore the south side of the island. No matter what your interests are, there’s sure to be a guided tour that’s perfect for you.

A guided tour with Sun and Salt adventures is one of the best you can find on Oahu. You can choose the shorter option if you have a big day planned, or a long 5-hour adventure if you are really looking to explore all that Oahu’s waters have to offer. Paddle along with lifeguard-certified tour guides who know a lot about the local area and can teach you a lot about ecosystems and the history of Oahu’s coastlines.

You also get to stop at some beautiful offshore islands and witness some of Hawaii’s unique protected seabird species. Overall, if you and your group are looking to learn and see Oahu to its full extent, a guided tour will be your best option.

A Private Kayak Tour

If you’re looking to enjoy the waters to yourself and have a more personal touch to your kayak adventure, consider a private tour! Private tours can be a great way to explore with some peace and quiet and still be shown around.

At Sun and Salt, we offer our Private Popoi’a Tour and Private Mokulua Tour, which can be found after clicking the booking button. Popoi’ia and Mokulua are small tropical islands designated as seabird sanctuaries. On our tours, you could paddle through a lush rainforest river, explore coves near 400-foot cliffs, or venture into huge sea caves!

A Self-Guided Tour

With a self-guided kayak tour, you can paddle at your own pace and stop whenever you want to take in the scenery or take a swim. There are many different kayak tours to choose from, depending on your level of experience and fitness. For example, if you’re a beginner, you might want to try a shorter tour that stays close to the shore. Or, if you’re looking for a challenge, you might want to try a longer tour that takes you out into the open water.

A self-guided tour is best suited for those who are familiar/confident with kayaking in the ocean, have a basic grasp of ocean safety, and are familiar with the area or confident in navigation skills. This allows you to have complete freedom over where you go, what you explore, and what pace you explore at.

If you and your group are looking to make your own adventure, a self-guided tour is easily one of the best ways to spend your day. With Sun and Salt, our experienced staff will give you a briefing on the area, basic safety tips, and some of the best areas to explore.

What Should I Bring On A Kayak Tour?

Whether you are being taken on a tour by a guide or you are going out to explore on your own, there are some essential items you should bring to make the day as comfortable as possible.

Some great items to bring are:

  • A waterproof bag for valuables and snacks
  • Snorkeling gear – you will find plenty of great areas to stop and explore. Just make sure you keep your kayak in a safe place
  • Sunscreen – don’t get burned out there. The sun is much more intense in Hawaii, and even more so when you spend a whole day on the water
  • A hat/visor and sunglasses. Sunny days create a lot of glare on the water so protecting your eyeballs is key
  • GoPro mount for your body or kayak to capture the day on video
  • Safety gear – all of your safety gear will be provided, but pay attention to the briefing so you know how to use it
  • A plan! Tell someone you know where you will be going and when you expect to return
  • A good night’s rest to make sure you can enjoy your day to the fullest

Enjoy Guided and Unguided Kayak Tours with Sun and Salt Adventures!

Looking to explore Oahu from the water? Sun and Salt adventures offer both guided and self-guided kayak tours, so you can choose the level of support that’s right for you. Our guided tours are perfect for those who want a little extra help navigating the island’s waterways, while our self-guided tours give you the freedom to explore at your own pace.

Whichever option you choose, you’re sure to enjoy stunning views of the island’s coastlines and wildlife. So what are you waiting for? Book your tour today!

  • Posted in: