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Big Island, Hawaii

Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Big Island, Hawaii Outdoor Activities

Big Island: Eco-Friendly Twilight Manta Ray Adventure

1. Big Island: Eco-Friendly Twilight Manta Ray Adventure

Experience an exciting 75-minute nighttime snorkeling expedition. Get up close and personal with stunning manta rays as they gracefully soar through the water. Your underwater adventure will take place in clear warm waters near protected reefs abundant with marine life.   After the sun sets, head off into the nighttime waters to see a fascinating "manta ray ballet" along the Kona coast near the mouth of Keauhou Bay. This point of departure is one of the island’s most successful and consistent manta ray viewing locations. Your snorkeling guide will outfit you with all the necessary gear needed to embark on your experience including snorkel gear, wetsuits, and flotation devices. After a quick safety briefing, plunge into the dark waters and be captivated by these graceful creatures as they feast on plankton. Grip onto the flotation swim ring with high-illumination blue water lights that attract the plankton on which the mantas feed. Soon afterward, rays will glide through the water almost at arm's length opening their enormous mouths to feast. After your remarkable underwater adventure, return to your boat and warm up with a nighttime snack of hot chocolate and cookies

Big Island: 3 Hour Waikoloa Snorkeling & Sailing Adventure

2. Big Island: 3 Hour Waikoloa Snorkeling & Sailing Adventure

The iconic Spirit of Aloha provides the ultimate in sailing comfort and snorkeling fun. Choose from morning or afternoon excursions, where you are likely to see dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life unique to the warm waters of Hawaii. Explore parts of the Big Island Kona coast on the Waikoloa and Kohala-Kona coastline aboard a 54-foot sailing catamaran. Dolphins, green sea turtles and seasonal whales are some of the creatures that can be seen. Board from Anaehoomalu Bay to snorkel, sail, enjoy and relax. The custom-designed sunset-orange and maile lei sail is a stunning contrast to the azure Pacific as it sails along the blue Pacific ocean. Itineraries include morning and afternoon snorkel sails, and sunset cruises. The beautiful 53-foot (16-m), custom-built catamaran offers a smooth, comfortable, and relaxing ride. There is onboard bar, plenty of shade, 2 restrooms, ample seating both indoors and outside, fresh-water shower rinse, and a sound system. Lifeguard-certified, in-water guides are there for your service and comfort. During whale season December through April, majestic humpbacks are likely to be spotted. Snacks and beverages served aboard.

Hawaii: Afternoon Snorkeling Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

3. Hawaii: Afternoon Snorkeling Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

Set sail along the beautiful Kona coast on a 3-hour snorkeling trip. At historic Kealakekua Bay, you’ll see the Captain Cook Monument. Snorkel in pristine waters along the reef in the marine sanctuary. With your marine camera, take photos of the colorful fish, pods of spinner dolphins, and the landscaped ledges of ancient lava flows. Enjoy site briefings and snorkeling tips from the crew members. Life jackets, floatation noodles, viewfinder boards, masks, fins, and snorkels are all provided. The crew will help you enter and exit the water if needed and will provide fish identification cards. They will even take you on a guided snorkeling tour.

Big Island: Kona 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson

4. Big Island: Kona 2-Hour Small Group Surf Lesson

There is a saying in Hawaii that "you never forget your first wave," and this surf lesson in Kahaluu Bay brings that saying to life, providing quality surf instruction to people of all ages and skill levels. The 2-hour surf lessons are designed to teach people how to surf safely and effectively from the best surfing and snorkeling beach in Kona, Hawaii. Upon arrival at the surf shop, you will be outfitted with reef booties and rashguards. Then, before entering the water, learn how to paddle and pop up on land, as well as important surfing etiquette and how to wipe out properly. Once you are comfortable, it’s off to the water to practice your skills on the long rolling waves of Kahaluu Bay. Your surf instructor will help you catch the waves, letting you know where you need to be, when to paddle, and when to pop up. They will even give you a little push to ensure that you catch every wave you paddle for. For more advanced surfers, instructors offer advice on how to turn and catch larger waves. Instructors work in small groups, with no more that 3 participants per teacher to ensure maximum attention and a highly personalized experience.

Holualoa: Polynesian Culture ATV Tour

5. Holualoa: Polynesian Culture ATV Tour

Discover Hawaii's Big Island on an ATV tour. Learn about the cultures of Fiji, Samoa, Hawaii, and Tonga, drive through a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree grove, and taste coconut water. Upon arrival at the meeting point and getting geared up, listen to a quick safety briefing before setting off on your adventure. If you do not feel comfortable driving an ATV or are under 16, enjoy a ride as a passenger in a 6-seater UTV driven by the tour guide.  Kick-off your tour with a drive through an award-winning coffee farm and transition into a grove of Rainbow Eucalyptus trees before entering the jungle. Drive your fully automatic ATV on trails to reach Hawaii, Fiji, and Tonga. At each stop, play games to learn about each island's culture. Finally, make your way to the last island of Samoa. Learn about traditional culture, watch a coconut demonstration and taste the coconut water. Afterward, travel back down the mountain and admire beautiful views of Kailua-Kona and the Kona coast.

Hilo: Sea Turtle Lagoon and Black Sand Beach Snorkel

6. Hilo: Sea Turtle Lagoon and Black Sand Beach Snorkel

This is your opportunity to swim in a lagoon full of abundant sea life. Join your hosts on a fully guided and narrated beach snorkel tour along the pristine Hilo coastline. Make 2 snorkeling stops and also enjoy island snacks and juices. The volcanic beaches are renowned for their abundant sea turtle population, and the brackish water bays and lagoons are home to a wealth of sea life including octopus, eagle and manta rays, eels, corals, and tropical reef fish. Your experienced snorkel guide will teach you about the beautiful and lush surroundings, how the beaches and volcanic islands are made, and about the abundant marine world which lies below. Newcomers to snorkeling and children are welcome. Your trained guide will teach you the basics and be with you every step of the way to make sure you feel safe and comfortable. Children will be introduced to nature in a spectacular way.

Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience and BBQ

7. Big Island: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience and BBQ

You will need to arrive at 7:30 AM for your 8 AM departure and cruise through protected marine sanctuaries. Cruise ten miles down the Kona Coast to the snorkel destination, a protected marine sanctuary. Relax, you will have over two hours of water time to enjoy the marine life, underwater topography, and coral reef. Cruise in comfort! The boat’s main lower deck features a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, tables, a premium bar, three restrooms, and freshwater showers. You won’t go hungry. Enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. While you're taking in the fun, the crew prepares lunch. After snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. This boat hosts one of the only blenders on the Kona Coast. Your mask, fins, snorkel, and prescription masks will be provided to you. For beginners, a friendly “Snorkel 101 Class” is available from the lifeguard-trained crew. A host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and even “Sea View Boards” for those who don’t want to get their face wet. They even include the use of stand-up paddleboards and an array of other flotation devices at no additional cost. Kids of all ages love the 20’ waterslide and high dive platform. If you want to kick back and do nothing, check out the floating “relaxation station”, the crew will swim you out refreshments. Wetsuits are available for rent on board.

Big Island: Captain Cook Sightseeing & Snorkel Expedition

8. Big Island: Captain Cook Sightseeing & Snorkel Expedition

Discover the natural beauty and history of Kealakekua Bay on this eco-friendly snorkeling adventure. This stunning 315-acre marine sanctuary boasts protected waters, making it the best place in Hawaii for snorkelers of all levels of experience. Jump in the turquoise waters and marvel at the tropical fish, colorful coral, and marine life. Keep your eyes peeled—you might even catch a glimpse of playful Hawaiian spinner dolphins. After a full hour of snorkeling, let your friendly captain and crew transport you and your small group to the historic Captain Cook's Monument. Hear about the dramatic history of this location as you gaze toward the cove where the white stone monument stands.  On your way back, enjoy snacks and beverages while you ride up the coast learning about local legends and history.   Maneuver into the sea caves at the base of Hualalai, hugging the coast and detailing the culturally significant and geologically fascinating features along the way. Watch for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and even herds of thousands of goats. Afterwards, you’ll head back to the dock, having seen some of the most stunning natural beauty that Hawaii has to offer.

Big Island: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Sail from Waikoloa

9. Big Island: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Sail from Waikoloa

Explore the Waikoloa and Kohala Kona coastline aboard a 54-foot sailing catamaran. Catch the moment the sun slips below the horizon while you enjoy the cruise with a loved one. You may even see the green flash.  Board from Anaehoomalu Bay to snorkel, sail, and relax. The custom-designed sunset-orange and maile lei sail is a stunning contrast to the azure Pacific as it sails along the blue Pacific ocean. Bask in the romance and relaxation of a stunning Kona-Kohala sunset cruise.  While you are on board, benefit from snacks and beverages served to you. Enjoy unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, two free bar drink tickets per adult, or purchase extra alcoholic beverages to feel at ease all night.

Mauna Kea: Stargazing Experience with Free Photos

10. Mauna Kea: Stargazing Experience with Free Photos

Explore a secluded stargazing spot on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Stargazing on this summit has never been allowed for any individual or tour group; all other tours do their stargazing on the side of a busy road near the highway, but this tour allows you access to a remote spot located miles from any highway.  Head to the meeting point and grab a parka jacket. Hear about this unique spot from your guide, as they use a green laser to point out constellations, planets, space objects, and hopefully some fast-moving shooting stars. Your guide will also take some photos of the best objects in the night sky with an astro-modified camera/lens for you to check out later. Next comes everyone's favorite part; have some fun posing for astro-photos with the stars in the background. 2-3 photos taken during the experience will be sent to you after the trip. Look back on these photos, touched up with Lightroom photo-editing at no extra cost.

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What people are saying about Big Island, Hawaii

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable regarding formation of volcanic activity, astronomy, the history of the island and the beliefs of the Indigenous population. The Rainbow Falls, caverns and stargazing were all beautiful and particularly interesting given the information provided prior. Highly recommend!

Great please to see turtles. We saw plenty before snorkeling. Went to 2 locations. The first was my favorite, on a black sand beach. The second was a bit colder temp for the water and very shallow. We saw turtles at both locations

It was an incredible experience for my wife and I. We loved how informative and how special the locations were to the Hawaiian people. It was an adventure we will never forget!

if you do one activity while visiting- do this! The crew, boat, snorkel gear, location and experience were outstanding! Incredible day!

It was really great! Mateo was amazing! I really loved the whole experience, would recommend 100%