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Best Spots to Enjoy Big Island’s Snorkeling Tours

Swimming alongside giant manta rays as they twirl below you and feed on plankton is one of the most remarkable experiences when it comes to Big Island snorkeling tours. In fact, there’s never a boring moment once you put on your gear and start swimming.

However, there’s hardly enough time to explore all the island’s snorkeling sites. So, we’ve listed three Big Island snorkeling spots for a wonderful experience on the island.

Big Island Snorkel

Big Island Snorkeling Spots for An Amazing Experience

Here are 3 great Big Island snorkeling spots for a remarkable experience:

Kahaluʻu Beach Park, Kailua Kona

If you’re new to snorkeling, Kahaluʻu Bay is one of the best places to start.  The beach is one of the few with lifeguards on duty. The bay is a typical beach park near Kona which is about 20 minutes’ drive south of the airport. The beach’s short distance to Kona makes it a perfect spot to consider for snorkeling tours.

Going to Kahaluʻu from Kona and spending an hour snorkeling will only take two hours of your time. Located off of Ali’i Drive in Kailua-Kona, Kahaluʻu bay has picnic tables, restrooms, showers as well as two big pavilions at the beach park. Perhaps these are some of the reasons why the bay is rated as one of the most preferred places to snorkel on the Big Island.

More so, Kahaluʻu is famous for its sea turtles. It’s easy to spot some of them feeding on seaweed and even sunning on the warm rocks. At low tides, you’ll observe lots of tide pools that you can explore, and they are all filled with tropical fishes. Since this beach also attracts many surfers, you should stay on the south side of it during your Big Island snorkeling tours.

Kealakekua Bay  

The Kealakekua bay is located about 17 miles away from Kona. The bay is home to many colorful glamorous fish which include sea turtles and dolphins. Kealakekua is also an underwater marine sanctuary which makes it one of the best places for Big Island snorkeling tours.

Here stands a 27-foot tall monument memorializing the death of Capt. Cook on this location on February 14th, 1779. The middle of the Kealakekua bay is deep and it’s easy to spot a pod of spinner dolphins swimming around there.  

While the bay has plenty of good spots for snorkeling, the best is actually on the opposite side of the bay near the Captain Cook Monument. There are three different ways to get to the snorkeling spot on the other side of the bay; renting a kayak, hiking, or by boat.

Honaunau Bay (The city of refuge)

Honaunau Bay is located just 22 miles south of Kona. The well-known snorkeling site at the bay is known as Pae’a, otherwise known as “Two Step”. Typically referred to as the city of refuge, The Travel Channel rated Honaunau Bay as one of United States’ Best Beaches in 2004. More so, the beach is snorkel-friendly because of the layout of the bay which is almost calm in addition to the impeccable visibility of the water most time of the year.

After Captain Cook, this spot is usually rated as the second best on the Big Island for snorkeling. The average depth of the water is just about 20 ft. and the waters are often clear.  More so, it’s easy to spot pods of dolphins playing close to shore in this area. One of the easiest spots to enter the water is the “Two Step” or Pae’a. It’s easy to spot because you’ll see lots of people entering the water at this spot.

However, the right and left side of the bay aren’t the same due to the difference in their depth. Nevertheless, you should consider swimming on both to get a complete experience of the bay.

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