4 hrs
Minimum Age
Big Island

Kealakekua Bay Snorkel


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Our Captain Cook Monument Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling tour is a fun, 3.5–4.5-hour adventure. It begins with an up-close-and-personal introduction to our natural underwater aquarium. It includes a coastal tour and snorkeling at the reef of Captain Cook Monument in gorgeous Kealakekua Bay. Captain Cook’s snorkeling features some of the most exotic sea life in the ocean.

Swim through the warm clear waters among schools of golden yellow tangs. Hover a few feet above the well-preserved rainbow-colored reef. It’s a perfect way to spend a day on your vacation to Kona, Hawaii, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Our day starts early in the morning when we gear up and get ready to slip into the warm waters off the Kona Coast. We move along the coast to the secluded and pristine Kealakekua Bay for some snorkeling fun. Kealakekua Bay is a marine sanctuary and home to the Captain Cook Monument. It is also widely considered to be one of the top snorkeling destinations in the world.

When you put your face in the water, you’ll be amazed at all the beautiful and colorful life that lives just beneath the surface. Get your camera ready to film bright schools of fish, octopus, eels, as well as see the different varieties of coral found in Hawaii. The marine life includes angelfish, lizard fish, schools of butterflyfish, and many other species.

Who Should Go On This Tour

The Kealakekua Bay snorkeling trip is a great adventure for couples, families, friends, and groups that want to get the most out of their Kona, Hawaii vacation. No snorkeling experience is necessary and children (ages 3+) are welcome, but basic swimming skills are required.  Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

We set out on an exhilarating cruise along the Kona coast, keeping a watchful eye to observe the Hawaiian spinner dolphins in their natural habitat as they head to protective coves and bays to rest after a long night of hunting. We will then cruise out into the blue to search for other pelagic animals like bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales, spotted dolphins – you just never know what the ocean will deliver – maybe even a whale shark!

Finally, we will continue down the coast to Kealakekua Bay, a marine sanctuary and home of the Captain Cook Monument. You will be snorkeling in one of the top-rated places in the world where you can expect to see numerous types of fish, beautiful coral, and many other underwater creatures.

On the way home, we will check out the sea caves made by old lava flows. Snacks and drinks are provided during this trip.

A few small details: 

  • Sunscreen must be reef safe.  It is illegal to use toxic sunscreen in the bay.
  • This is not a suitable activity for expectant mothers or those with back or neck issues.
  • Gratuity is not included in the price of the tour but tips are greatly appreciated.



Kealakekua Bay Snorkel
Per Person

Reservations canceled with at least 48 hours’ notice will be refunded in full. Reservations canceled with less than 48 hours’ notice will be charged the full price. We will refund customers if we have to cancel the trip due to weather, ocean conditions, or mechanical issues.

Tour Includes
Snorkel tips & basic instruction upon arrival. Snacks & non-alcoholic beverages on the boat. Basic swimming skills are required.

Do you provide snorkeling gear, wetsuits, and floatation devices?
Yes! We provide good quality snorkeling gear including masks, snorkels, and fins for our day snorkel trips. Wetsuits are provided for all trips, and we strongly encourage you to use them on our night snorkel trips for buoyancy and warmth! Floatation devices are offered for all of our guests – we provide either a pool noodle or float belt (these are great if swimming is a challenge for you, you’re a first-time snorkeler, or you just want to relax).

What should I bring with me on the boat?
For day trips: hat, sun-protective clothing, reef-safe sunscreen, towel, camera
For evening trips: jacket, towel, camera
A small dry bag is recommended as we have limited dry storage onboard and seaspray is normal
Kindly leave any extra items in your car or in our storage locker on the dock. Key storage is provided as well, so those don’t get lost!

Do I need any swimming or snorkeling experience?
No experience is necessary, but basic swimming skills are required. We provide snorkeling gear, floatation devices (wetsuits, float belts, and pool noodles all help you float) and basic instruction for snorkeling, including some tips for having the best experience possible. You may be surprised by how buoyant you are in salt water compared to freshwater pools or lakes.

Where do I check-in?
We depart from the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor. The easiest way to get there is to follow the Google Maps link in your confirmation email or type Kona Snorkel Trips into Google Maps and follow the directions. If you know where the harbor is just turn in and follow the road until you come two the store building with a red roof with a gas station. Park and meet us at the covered picnic tables. If you arrive at check-in and our boat is not there or no one is present to check you in we are either bringing the boat around or coming back from our previous trip. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to check your confirmation email for the correct date.
The address for GPS or smartphone maps is: 74-381 Kealakehe Pkwy, Kailua, HI 96740 or you can put Kona Snorkel Trips in Google Maps

What do we see on the morning or afternoon snorkel trip?
On our daytime snorkel trips, we are guaranteed to see an abundance of live coral reef rich with thousands of marine creatures big and small and hundreds of varieties of fish, including many endemic species. Often times we are fortunate enough to see the local spinner dolphins from the boat and occasionally they come into our snorkel spots to check out our snorkeling guests!

Should I bring swimwear and a rashguard?
Absolutely! With the exception of our season whale-watching tours, you’re gonna get wet. Arrive at check-in wearing your swimwear, ready to go! We highly recommend a rashguard with sun protection instead of sunscreen. If you do bring sunscreen – kindly make sure it’s reef safe.

Do you provide prescription masks?
We do have a limited selection of prescription masks available. If you plan to snorkel more than just once, it may be worth your while to purchase a mask with your correct prescription.

Can I bring my own gear?
Yes! We want you to be comfortable and have an enjoyable experience. We welcome you to bring your own snorkel gear or use ours – whatever is more comfortable for you.

Do you provide food and drinks?
On our morning snorkel trips, we provide light snacks (chips, cookies, granola bars)

Do you serve alcohol?
No, our license doesn’t allow us to serve alcohol. For your safety and the best experience for all guests, please don’t consume alcohol prior to your snorkel trip. You’re welcome to bring your own and enjoy beverages once you’re done snorkeling and out of the water. Cheers!

Does the boat have shade?
Yes, we have plenty of shade on board.

Does the boat have a restroom?
At check-in there is an opportunity to use the facilities on land, however, we do not have a restroom on board.

How many people will be on the boat?
In most cases, the maximum number of people on board is 16 guests plus 3 crew members. Our coast guard allowed capacity is more, allowing up to 18 guests for a private charter.

What kind of boat will we be on?
Our boat, Orca, is a 27’ rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) with twin Yamaha 200 outboard motors, allowing us to move quickly down the coastline.

Kealakekua Bay Snorkel