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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
$105.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Amazing experience!
Such an amazing snorkeling experience! The captain and crew were funny, knowledgeable, and entertaining which made the experience that much better. Boat was very nice… Breathtaking views to include dolphins and sea turtles.
Misty_O, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Big Island of Hawaii

star-5
Best Hawaiian Snorkel Adventure period
Sarah_W, Apr 2022
Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphins in Kealakekua Bay, Big Island (5 Hr)
Awesome guide! So knowledgeable and experienced! A true Hawaiian experience guided by the King of Kealakekua Bay!!
star-5
Nice clean boat, great crew, awesome location.
Lawrence_L, Apr 2022
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
We enjoyed the snorkeling trip. The captain Simon and the crew did a very great job. The boat itself is well maintained; the bathroom was clean, seats look very new. It even had a hot shower which was quite nice because it was on the cool side and overcast on our trip. We had about 1.5 hr to snorkel at captain cook, which was plenty of time. We saw a great variety of creatures, headlined by a huge moray eel.
star-5
Manta rays next!
John_C, Mar 2022
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
Outstanding crew and captain. Clean and well run! Entertaining. A bit crowded at highly popular site.
star-5
Wonderful experience & beautiful sunset
Simon_R, Aug 2022
Historical Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay
Great experience! The BodyGlove team were fantastic - informal, quick and fun service on the boat; we were very well looked after. Delicious food and drink. Really informative guide (Dennis) who gave us lots of historical knowledge . Would totally recommend this activity !
star-5
Had a wonderful time and...
Sara_B, Aug 2022
CAPTAIN COOK SNORKELING CRUISES 8:45am SNORKEL & DOLPHIN TOUR - Kealakekua Bay
Had a wonderful time and it was perfect for kids! The operators were very helpful and knowledgeable I would Recommend this as well and book again next time we are in the area.
star-5
Fun getaway
Zoraida_R, Aug 2022
Historical Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay
The staff was awesome! Our server Madison was on top of our drinks and made sure we were happy throughout our trip. Everyone was very friendly and the historian was very informative which was great!
star-5
Perfect way to snorkel by Captain Cook Monument!
Anonymous, Mar 2022
Guided Outrigger Canoe Tour in Kealakekua Bay
We had a great experience taking in the canoe ride over to the Captain Cook Monument and learning about the history of Kealakekua Bay. Our guide was very friendly and was checking on the people kayaking and snorkeling to make sure they were ok and having a good time too. Snorkeling in the bay was fantastic!
star-5
The water was amazing,...
Jessica_B, Mar 2022
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
The water was amazing, clear and clean! We saw a pod of Dolphins right near where we were snorkeling.
star-5
Awesome Snorkeling, Fantastic Guides
Angelina_M, Aug 2022
Kona Snorkeling - Beat the Crowd to Kealakekua Bay
Erin and Maria were fantastic guides - we would definitely take another snorkel tour with them. Very knowledgeable about the wildlife. Showed us culturally significant lava formations and told history of island. Zodiac is bumpy - recommend sitting in the rear near the captain if you’d like to avoid the worst of the jerking around. Food / drinks provided was great; equipment for snorkeling was great. Definitely recommend!
star-5
Relaxing And Fun Activity
Catherine_T, Aug 2022
Guided Outrigger Canoe Tour in Kealakekua Bay
Tour guide was very helpful and professional. Always aware and making sure people was safe while snorkeling. Definitely would recommend to friends and family
star-4
Wild ride to the best snorkeling spot
Angel_S, Aug 2022
Kealakekua Bay: Captain Cook Reef Snorkel - Navy SEAL Boat, 14 Guest Max!
The tour was amazing. We didn’t expect to see so many fish and be in such clear waters. We also stopped to look at some lava tubes. Being on a smaller group made it more fun and personalized.
star-5
A Good Time was Had by Alll
LeeAnne_C, Mar 2022
Kealakekua Bay: Captain Cook Reef Snorkel - Navy SEAL Boat, 14 Guest Max!
Great time despite choppy seas. Deanna and Scooter were awesome! I have done this tour before in the morning, but it was crowded and busy in Kealakekua Bay. The afternoon tour made for a less crowded and more enjoyable experience. Thanks!
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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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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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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Kealakekua Bay?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Big Island of Hawaii?
A:
As well as visiting the Kealakekua Bay, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: