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Kealakekua Bay
Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay

Kaawaloa Road, Kealakekua Bay, 96750

The Basics

Kealakekua Bay is one of the most popular day trips from Kailua-Kona. Most visitors arrive by tour for snorkeling, kayaking, dolphin watching, or learning about the site’s historical significance over a Hawaiian-style meal. The protected waters are often ideal for swimming, often alongside dolphins, tropical fish, and a range of other marine life. Don’t overlook the Captain Cook Monument, a white obelisk commemorating Captain James Cook, who was killed in a skirmish with Native Hawaiians in February 1779.

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Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
$95.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great half day tour!
Great tour guide. Sandwiches were good for lunch. Plenty of snorkel time (over an hour). Lucked out and saw a whale breach, manta ray and spinner dolphins.
Brian_W, Jan 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Big Island of Hawaii

star-5
Great experience
NancyBottorff, Dec 2021
Guided Outrigger Canoe Tour in Kealakekua Bay
Snorkeling in the clear water of Kealakekua Bay was an outstanding experience. Jamal our guide and the crew at Ehu and Kai were knowledgeable, friendly and fun. We had a great time and even saw Spinner Dolphins in the bay at the end of our trip. We had a small group which made it even more enjoyable. Highly recommended!
star-5
Great way to spend the evening
Teresa_B, Nov 2021
Historical Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay
We did this for Thanksgiving and the food was great. The crew is excellent. Even the safety meeting was entertaining. We’ll be back.
star-5
Best cruise we took!!!!...
Vinitha_P, Nov 2021
Historical Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay
Best cruise we took!!!! Good entertainment, excellent food, excellent service. Very clean. A must do cruise!
star-5
The BEST Snorkeling Trip Imaginable!
Cecilia_D, Nov 2021
Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook Monument Snorkel - Small-Group Experience
Coral Reef Adventures is the BEST. Their care and concern for each and every passenger is remarkable! The ship is super clean, the adventures many, the history and stories fun and interesting, and the crew (Brent and Shelly) super helpful and nice. Highly recommend!
star-5
Kayak Snorkel trip to Captain Cook Mmt
Jennifer_H, Sep 2021
Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)
Our Hawaiian guides Rabbit and Evo were great! They gave us a good historical perspective of the Captain Cook arrival and the Hawaiian culture that was and how it changed. That was all before the fun kayak and snorkel tour we took. The safety info and guide communication were great and we felt like we were in good hands. We would definitely recommend Aloha Kayak.
star-5
A must!!
Christian_F, Sep 2021
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
Great experience, very good crew, recommended 100%. Good for kids and families. The ocean is clean is very well maintain for the locals.
star-5
Awesome time - always safe!
John_M, Aug 2021
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
Captain Tim is the man. He is all about safety first which make the whole trip more enjoyable. He has great history of the island and ocean along with he is one funny dude. says it like it is and he's right. We saw many, many fish, dolphins, and more beauty than I can do justice. Worth your dime and the time!
star-5
Wonderful Experience
Joel_L, Jul 2021
Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)
Great Trip! We had an awesome time on the kayak and snorkel tour. Our guides, Andrew and Travis were very professional and personable. They were also very knowledgeable and gave us great information about the history of Captain Cook's monument, as well as the various fish that we saw while we snorkeled. They took great care of everyone in the group, young and old, and made sure that we were aware of all safety requirements at all times. We highly recommend this trip!!!
star-5
Snorkeling was fantastic!
KAY_C, Jan 2022
Kealakekua Bay: Captain Cook Reef Snorkel - Zodiac Navy SEAL Boat, 14 Guest Max!
Thanks David and Amber for the excursion yesterday. Guides were prompt, professional, and informative. Riding in the zodiac dingy was a lot of fun. The snorkeling was fascinating. Would have liked to snorkel more than the allotted 45 minutes; but it was still a great outing. We had non swimmers on our boat. Amber and David took great care to assist them in their snorkel experience. Along the way we saw dolphins and a humpback whale. Great value for $99 dollars.
star-5
Fantastic snorkel
Christine_K, Jan 2022
Kealakekua Bay: Captain Cook Reef Snorkel - Zodiac Navy SEAL Boat, 14 Guest Max!
Captain David was fantastic! He and Amber were very nice, knowledgeable and were excellent hosts! We not only snorkeled, but we got to see dolphins, humpback whale and a turtle. The spot we snorkeled was amazing. Worth every penny, and I would highly recommend going out with these two! The Zodiac boat added a little adventure as well! Thank you, from COnnecticut
star-5
Don’t hesitate, book it.
Kevin_M, Dec 2021
Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour - 4 hour Kona Zodiac Adventure
Captain shaggy & Aryn were amazing. Awesome trip, we saw tons of fish, had snacks, and a ton of fun. The guides were awesome. On our way back we saw dolphins, hammer head shark, and whales in the deep ocean. The whale even came right under our boat which was very special and it will be an adventure I’ll always remember. Definitely recommend this.
star-5
Great family experience!
Rodolfo_R, Jul 2021
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
Amazing experience all around! We took this snorkeling trip as a family with two young kids and they loved every minute of it. Captain was personable, informative and very involved in making sure everyone on board had a good time. He was relaxed but took great pride in the experience. Safety is a priority, not only when operating the boat but also while we snorkeled.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Kealakekua Bay is a must-visit for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

  • A small park near the beach offers a picnic pavilion, restrooms, and a water fountain.

  • Don’t forget to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.

  • No lifeguards are on duty in the bay, so swim at your own risk.

  • Most snorkeling tours include all necessary snorkel gear.

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How to Get There

Kealakekua Bay sits on the Big Island’s western Kona Coast, within the protected Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park. If you don’t have a rental car to drive there yourself, the easiest way to visit is through an organized tour from Kailua-Kona.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

Since much of the appeal of Kealakekua Bay lies in its turquoise waters, plan to visit on a warm, sunny day. For the best chance to spot spinner dolphins near the shore, opt for an evening cruise along the Kona Coast.

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Kayaking to Kealakekua Bay

Due to the growing popularity of Kealakekua Bay (and the risk that popularity poses to the underwater ecosystem), kayakers wishing to land boats along the shoreline have to get a permit ahead of time. Most guided kayak tours and kayak rentals already include the necessary permits, but it’s a good idea to check.

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