Insider's Guide to Big Island of Hawaii

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Tour code: 5137_W0033
In terms of history, scenery, and marine life, there isn’t anywhere on the Big Island of Hawaii that compares to Kealakekua Bay. This protected cove on the island’s west shore is where Captain Cook met his end, and today a memorial stands at the bay to honor the famous explorer. On this guided Big Island kayaking tour, hear the history of Captain Cook as well as surrounding temples, and, after paddling past rugged sea cliffs and caves, you'll snorkel and swim in the clear waters of this Marine Life Conservation District. 

Highlights

  • Kayak and snorkeling tour in Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island
  • An unforgettable Hawaiian adventure!
  • Kayak through the bay to Captain Cook Monument with your local guide
  • Spot Hawaiian spinner dolphins and humpback whales
  • Snorkel in the clear blue water
  • 5-hour tour includes lunch; 3.5-hour tour includes snacks

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

I was blown away by how close the spinner dolphins got to my kayak on this tour! And it was awesome seeing colorful coral, sea anemones, turtles and eels while snorkeling near Captain Cook Monument.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Snorkel, Kayak and Dolphin Experience in the Big Island’s Kealakekua Bay

Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay

For this spectacular Big Island kayaking adventure, choose from either a 3.5-hour or 6-hour snorkeling tour, where you’ll explore the shoreline and experience the beauty of Kealakekua Bay. The trip begins at Napoopoo Landing, where you’ll meet your guide and learn kayaking safety, before setting out towards the Captain Cook Monument and Kealakekua Bay. 

As you paddle the clear, protected waters, keep an eye out for Hawaiian spinner dolphins as they splash and leap by the shore. In winter, it’s common to see humpback whales as they spout and breach in the distance. Throughout the paddle, your local guide will explain the features you see along the coast, from towering sea cliffs or Pali o Kapu o Keoua to Napo’opo’o Beach and the ancient remnants of Kawa’aloa village. 

When you eventually arrive at the Captain Cook monument, you’ll pull your kayak up on the shore and prepare for the scenic hike, and spend two hours snorkeling the waters of Kealakekua Bay. You’ll enjoy lunch by the monument, soaking in the views. If you opt for the shorter, 3.5-hour paddle, the snorkeling time is only one hour and lunch is swapped for a snack.

On both the 3.5- and 6-hour options, the tour ends with a guided paddle back to Napoopoo Landing. 

Customer Reviews

louann t

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

This trip was fantastic. My husband and I were absolute beginners and Jamal helped us every step of the way. After you get to James Cook island, the Snorkling is some of the best we've ever experienced.

This is an absolute must for anyone on the big island!

Kelly United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

This was our favorite booked trip while visiting Hawaii. Aloha Kayak Rentals is the only Hawaiian-owned kayak company in Kona. Iwa, the owner, gave an extraordinary history of the bay before we put in. Jamal, our guide, was very friendly, experienced, knowledgeable, and had a great respect for the bay and the environment. If you're only able to book one trip while in Hawaii, this is the one! I believe they do Manta trips too!

Cynthia R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

We took this tour yesterday. If you are interested in history, enjoy the outdoors and a beautiful setting, this is the tour for you! The owner is quite a character. You will learn a great deal of Hawaiian history, kayak from one end of a gorgeous bay to the other. You will disembark your boats to enjoy snorkeling with colorful, beautiful fishes, including turtles. One of my regrets, is having forgotten to bring an underwater camera! The water scenery was amazing, but also the area you beach at really felt sacred and was probably the most beautiful spot we encountered in Hawaii. This tour is one of the only that allows visitors land privileges. I would highly recommend!

Bonnie J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This was such an amazing experience!!!!! Aloha Kayak's guides were superb and not only did we have a blast enjoying the activities, but it was also great to hear about the history and the locals' perspectives on the rapidly changing landscape of Hawaii. It was truly eye-opening, and if I ever visit again, I'll certainly go snorkeling with this crew again!

Colin C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Aloha was very good. They assigned a guide to our 4some. Very personable and informative about the history, ecology, native perspective, British perspective, wildlife etc. We were very pleased.
Lunch was delicious. Great day!!

Noreen H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was my husband's favorite tour on our vacation. Michela sp? and Zach were outstanding guides. The snorkeling was outstanding. Thank you!

Jennifer T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable of the island and the lore surrounding Captain Cook. He was careful to help the older members of our groups on rocks and slippery slopes, and ensured everyone knew what they were doing with the kayak. We got to snorkel at two different places near the monument, and lunch was good. Nothing more for which you could ask!

Robert W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Great experience with a great guide that knew the history. Using a two man Kayak went to Captain Cook monument. On the way was stopped twice by dolphins swimming around us. When arriving at the Monument did some of the best snorkeling we have seen anywhere in any of the Hawaiian Islands.

After lunch got more history of the area. And again on the way back was encountered by the dolphins again.

This was one of the best tours we have ever taken.

jona b

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

The tour was great and had an authentic, non-tourist flair to it, like a Hawaiian friend was taking me kayaking. Loved it.

empowell55

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

Even though we didn't see any dolphins...apparently every other day they were out there...we still had an amazing time. Snorkeling spot by the Cook Monument was one of the best spots on the island and only accessible by boat, kayak or very difficult hike...makes this tour worth it!

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