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Swim with schools of colorful fish on this snorkeling tour of Kealakekua Bay, and splash in refreshing, crystal clear water off Kona’s southern coast. As you cruise the scenic, volcanic shoreline, keep an eye out for spinner dolphins that playfully leap from the air, and admire the sea caves and lava formations that jut out into the sea. There’s also the option to extend the trip with a visit to Honaunau Bay, and group sizes are capped at 14 people to ensure a personalized trip. 

Highlights

  • 3-, 4- or 5-hour snorkel cruise on the south Kona coast, Hawaii
  • Marvel at the incredible diversity of marine life in Kealakekua Bay
  • See the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay, the Hawaii site where he first landed and later perished
  • Look for Hawaiian spinner dolphins, Pacific bottlenose dolphins, green sea turtles, pilot whales and migrating humpback whales
  • Check out the sea caves and lava tubes from your boat as it cruises along the Kona coast
  • Snorkel in gorgeous Honaunau Bay and explore a bonus third locale (if optional upgrades selected)
  • Small-group tour limited to 14 people ensures a personalized experience with your expert guide

What You Can Expect

Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour With Optional Honaunau Bay

See a variety of tropical fish in this beautiful and safe bay.

This Big Island snorkeling tour begins at Keauhou Bay about 15 minutes south of Kona. After checking in you’ll be fitted with snorkeling gear and listen in on a safety briefing, before venturing out towards Kealakekua Bay in a rigid, inflatable hull raft. The waters here at this marine reserve are known for their exceptional clarity, and are sheltered enough for first-time snorkelers to feel comfortable entering the water. 

This is the spot where Captain Cook first landed on the Big Island of Hawaii — and ultimately met his untimely end in a skirmish with local Hawaiians. While a monument stands in honor of Cook and commemorates his time in the islands, the bay is best known today for its tropical fish and abundance of colorful coral.

While cruising between shore and Kealakekua Bay, scan the horizon for bottlenose dolphins that sometimes splash on the surface, or search for pods of spinner dolphins that leap and jump in the air. In winter, there’s a good chance you’ll spot humpback whales either breaching or spouting offshore, and it’s also possible to find pilot whales that live in these waters year-round.

Depending upon the snorkeling tour you choose, you’ll also visit Honaunau Bay and sea caves along the coastline, which can only be accessed by smaller rafts that are narrow and easy to maneuver. All tours include water, snacks and an informative captain and guide. Just just bring a hat, towel, swimsuit and a healthy sense of adventure. Details of different tour options are in the Itinerary.

Itinerary

Customer Reviews

James D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Loved every second of the trip. Lots of friendly chat from the guides and great diving locations. Beautiful reefs and amazing fish. Lucky to say I also got to swim with a turtle that came up from the reef for about 15 minutes! Big bucket list moment ticked off! Good, basic lunch, but that's all that's needed when swimming and traveling on a high speed boat!

Richard R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Fabulous! Very knowledgeable crew, great sites, and bonus got to see bottlenose and spinner dolphins. Highly recommend this tour.

Adela A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

I loved it! The tour guide was awesome, I was scared, so he was patient and made sure I felt comfortable Captain Steve. The fish were so beautiful and tropical. I just wish I saw a turtle!

DUMITRU C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

We loved being on a speed boat! Captain Kendra and Mike were great: professional and very funny. We were able to see both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa from the same spot while on boat. We loved the three snorkeling spots and all the caves, lava tubes, arches, cliffs , Captain Cook monument. Food was very good too.

Martin K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

My husband and daughter had a wonderful time. Very informative and very helpful. Thank you. Have used Viator several times already..

bea

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This tour was amazing!

Rennie C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Highly recommend this tour that I took on 16th June. The guides Bill and Michael were very easy going and humourous and told us a lot about the surrounding area. Despite me not heeding their instructions on where to snorkel and ending up being washed up on the sharp coral rocks they were still able to come to my aid and help me get my wounds and scratches dressed. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the highlight was seeing the spinner dolphins in the bay doing their stuff spinning in the air. Don't forget to take your sunscreen though.

Shannon S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Wonderful experience!! Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau Bay were excellent snorkel locations. We saw a wide array of fish, sea turtles, and dolphins during our tour. Captain Dave and Kevin were fantastic! Very engaging, informative, and we had a blast!!

Donna W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Had an absolute ball on this tour. Our guide JC and Kevin were phenomenal. First time snorkeling and loved every moment of it and the tour or the caves and boat ride were wonderful.

Katelyn S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Wonderful experience. I took the short tour. Glad I did. It was just enough time, especially given it wasn't too sunny I wouldn't have lasted much longer without being too cold. The bay was beautiful. All sorts of colorful fish and we even saw an octopus! Kendra the guide was excellent. Very informative and funny. Totally worth the money - highly recommend.

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