Join us on one of the best Oahu kayak tours to the stunning basalt islet, Mokoliʻi. This guided ocean kayaking/hiking tour takes you to the reef-lined shore of Chinaman's Hat. You will be ocean kayaking and therefore we suggest this tour for intermediate or advanced individuals who are experienced in kayaking.
*All Chinaman’s hat kayak tours are operated by local guides or partner companies we trust.
“We were looking for a non-tourist bus experience, wanted to explore and be guided for a fun day. It was fantastic”…”Would highly recommend for teenage families, outdoorsy mature couples and anyone with a sense of adventure.”
“Wow – the view is amazing! So glad we did this – we really felt like we accomplished a lot that day”…”the hike/CLIMB was challenging, but very rewarding!”
“What a great time we had on the tour! We had a beautiful morning and got to hike to the top of Chinaman’s Hat! Fabulous view of the mountains. Our guide David was very nice, very helpful and lots of fun.”
On our local-style Oahu kayak tours, you’ll experience the adventure of kayaking on the ocean and get a great view of the Ko’olau Mountain Range and Kaneohe bay on the east side of Oahu.
Not only will you see the natural beauty of Oahu, but you’ll also recognize some epic scenes from Jurassic Park, clips from 50 First Dates, Godzilla, Battleship and more. This location is pretty famous and you’ll be getting a great view of it all from the ocean and from Chinaman’s Hat.
The guide will meet you at the tour location near Kualoa Regional Park. The exact meeting location will be provided in the confirmation and reminder emails. Expect the guide to arrive at or a little before the tour reservation time. Our guides often use their personal vehicles for tours, so expect a call or text when the guide arrives at the tour location if you don’t spot the guide right away.
You will be required to sign a liability waiver.
You’ll get a quick kayaking lesson, safety demo, description of the route and be helped into your kayaks.
The water is clear and surprisingly shallow, so you’ll be able to see that turquoise blue hue that Hawaii is known for. Normally there are small rolling waves or no waves at all due to the reef that extends for a good 100 feet or so from the shore. This makes it easy to launch your kayaks and not have to battle large waves to get out to Mokoli’i.
You land on the west side of the island in a nice little rocky inlet. Be sure to have your shoes ready because you’ll be setting off to explore the island next. There are two options for the hike:
Hike around the circumference of Chinaman’s Hat – This is the easiest route with the least elevation change. You will get a chance to check out the secluded mini cove and maybe some tide pools if the tide is out. It’s one of our favorite places to hang out. Although this route is easier, it’s still rocky and uneven, so wear good shoes and watch your step. You often see sea turtles off the coast of Chinaman’s hat, so keep an eye out for them while you take in the view.
Hike up Chinaman’s Hat – This is the most popular route, but also the most challenging. The goal is to get a better view and the trail up does a good job at getting you there quickly. It’s steep and at times slippery and plenty rocky. Be prepared to use both your hands and feet to climb and get dirty. You can stop ascending at any time if things seem too challenging and turn around to enjoy the view. If you are up to the challenge, you can hike/climb all the way to the top. The top portion of the islet is tough basalt rock, but be sure to always test your footing and hand holds because you have to do a bit of bouldering to get all the way to the top. When you are close to the top, we like taking the path that forks to the left and then climb up the wall on the right side. It’s a lot easier. We’ll get you more details on that in person.
Basically, whatever route you choose, you’ll have an amazing view of the windward coast from Mokoli’i.
You’ll have an amazing view of the windward coast from Mokoli’i.
All along the way, the guide will help ensure your safety, give you some more info about the area and share some local tips for your trip.
The best time to do this tour is in the morning. If you are an early riser, you can call to schedule a tour before our regular 9am tour start time depending on guide availability, so feel free to give us a call. On perfect days, the ocean is completely flat like glass and you can see the coral and fish below you while you are kayaking.
Ocean conditions can change quickly and kayaking can dangerous. That said, this is one of the safest Oahu kayak tours in the ocean under normal or ideal conditions. We advise children over 12 years old to do this tour, but younger children may join the tour, especially if conditions are nice. Since it’s the windward side of the island, it’s almost always breezy and sometimes very windy. During summer months (End of May – Beginning of Sept) conditions are calmer and more predictable and the area is much more accessible to beginner or in-experienced kayakers.
If there are storms or high winds we will notify you as soon as we know and can re-schedule the tour or offer a full refund.
Feel free to check out our Cancellation Policy for more info.
*All Chinaman’s hat kayak tours are operated by local guides or trusted partner companies