Kailua-Kona Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Kailua-Kona Nature & adventure

Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

1. Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

Snorkeling with manta rays is a must-do while in Hawaii! Enjoy this amazing opportunity to see manta rays up close. Feed and interact with other ocean creatures on this cruise trip. After a safety briefing, gear up with the snorkeling equipment and wet suits provided. Relax and enjoy the cruise with drinks and snacks on board. Bring your underwater camera for photos and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Big Island: Night Swim with Manta Ray with Hot Chocolate

2. Big Island: Night Swim with Manta Ray with Hot Chocolate

Experience a nighttime snorkeling expedition on a cruise from Big Island. 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

From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

3. From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

Join a morning snorkeling and dolphin-watching cruise with paddleboards and kids' activities from Kailua-Kona and explore the underwater world off the coast of Hawaii. Enjoy a light breakfast, a barbecue lunch, and a full-service premium cash bar throughout your trip. Start with an early-morning departure and cruise ten miles down the spectacular Kona coastline to reach your snorkeling destination for the day, a protected marine sanctuary. As you travel, enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. Then, sit back and enjoy the boat's comfortable amenities, including a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, 3 restrooms, and freshwater showers. Once you arrive at your snorkeling spot, get kitted out with your mask, fins, and snorkel. Prescription masks are also available. If you're new to snorkeling, take advantage of a short introduction to snorkeling offered by the lifeguard-trained crew. You'll also have access to a host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and more. Or, make use of the stand-up paddleboards available on board at no additional cost. A waterslide and high-dive platform also provide endless entertainment for the kids. Or, if you just feel like kicking back and doing nothing, check out the floating "relaxation station". Your crew will even swim your refreshments out to you at your station. And while you're exploring, having fun, or just unwinding, the crew will be preparing lunch. Once you're done snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. Your Kona snorkeling cruise comes to an end with a return transfer back to the harbor in Kailua-Kona.

Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

4. Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

Hawaii is the only state in the United States where humpback whales mate, calve and nurse their young. Humpbacks may find Hawaii suitable because of the warm waters, the underwater visibility, the variety of ocean depths and the lack of natural predators. Mothers can be seen breaching alongside their calves and males can be seen competing with one another for females in fierce head-to-head battles. Join a 2.5-hour cruise as you follow these magnificent sea creatures and listen to their singing using the underwater hydrophones. Snacks and beverages will be available during your cruise providing a unique and memorable experience for the whole family.

Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

5. Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

Prepare for a thrilling day exploring 3 unique snorkeling locations in South Kona with time to take a break from swimming for lunch with breathtaking views. Begin your snorkeling adventure by heading to the turquoise waters and vibrant reef of the 315-acre marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay, with your crew members highlighting interesting sights along the way. Once there, experience a vibrant reef filled with coral and schools of tropical fish. On occasion, even catch glimpses of spinner dolphins swimming nearby. After snorkeling, savor a gourmet deli lunch in the shade of the canopy with the monument to Captain Cook as a backdrop and the cliffs of the bay soaring above you. Next, jet off to a new location with visually spectacular snorkeling opportunities and cultural significance, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, the “Place of Refuge.” Beautiful Honaunau Bay is fronted by large, smooth, and lava rock flats and fascinating gardens of coral.  For your third snorkeling stop, let your expert captain transport you a location that even island locals have yet to see. At this remote location, snorkel at a remote black sand beach, marvel at a stone arch, or maybe admire a spectacular lava rock formation created thousands of years ago. Explore sea caves and lava tubes in a safe, exciting, and maneuverable vessel designed to get you up close and personal with the coast. Rest assured that the local operator is proudly part of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association and seeks to create a culture protecting and promoting healthy oceans through many sustainability efforts.

From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

6. From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

Take the ride of a lifetime beneath the waves in this adventure aboard a comfortable submarine. Explore a 25-acre magical world of marine life and colorful coral reefs. Get up close and personal with some of Hawaii's most exotic inhabitants. Descend more than 100 feet and see the sights from a fish-eye view. Board the famous submarine via a special ladder and get ready for a journey to the center of Hawaiian sea life. Marvel at the flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Enjoy free public parking in downtown Kona or at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel for a discounted rate for 4 hours. The excursion is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, weather permitting. Actual underwater time is 45 minutes.

From Kona and Waikoloa: Intimate Volcano Discovery Tour

7. From Kona and Waikoloa: Intimate Volcano Discovery Tour

Begin your adventure with a scenic drive over the stark and beautiful saddle road to set the stage for the day overlooking mesmerizing views including a stop to view the famous Rainbow Falls. If the Twilight option is selected, you will stay in the Park past sunset to view the eruption's glow. From there your first stop will be the Hawaii Volcanoes, National Park. Discover all the “must-see” spots within the Park including the dramatically changed Halemaumau Crater. After immersing yourself in the magnanimous history and culture of Volcanoes National Park and enjoying your picnic lunch, you will be driven to Hawaii Forest and Trail's private lava tube, Kauhi Cavern. Explore this unique cave with ceilings as high as 35 feet, expansive rooms, bright golden walls, and an “upside-down” forest of roots hanging from the cave ceiling. Upon returning to the surface from the lava tube exploration, enjoy a light afternoon snack with your fellow travelers and guide while reflecting on your in-depth volcano experience.

Big Island: Kilauea Volcano Hiking Tour

8. Big Island: Kilauea Volcano Hiking Tour

Experience an ohana tour with friends and family in style. Get exclusive access to an active volcano in the infamous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Wander through lava tubes off the beaten track and stay until after dark for magnificent views of molten lava spewing from the Halemaumau Crater. Your tour includes 2-3 miles of hiking through the Big Island's lush and varied scenery, a knowledgeable guide who will teach you about the flora and fauna unique to Big Island, and round trip transportation from Kona or Waikaloa. Enjoy snacks, beverages, a Deli-style lunch prepared by Christine's Deli, and dinner, which are all included in your 10-12 hour day trip. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime view of the glowing lava at one of the last remaining active volcanoes in Hawaii. Have your camera ready to capture the orange glow of lava against the night sky.

Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

9. Big Island Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

Enjoy a guided adventure starting with a stop at a Kona Coffee Farm. Walk through a lava tube and orchards with your guide to learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee. Continue through the scenic view of the Kealakekua Bay and South Point, the southernmost point of the United States. Relax at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach to spot marine life, like Hawaii’s green sea turtles, from the shore. Next, head to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Drive on the Chain of Craters Road. Learn about volcanic eruptions and current and past lava flow sites. Visit the Kilauea Iki Lookout, Lava Tube, steam vents, Halema’uma’u Crater, and the crater rim trail. After enjoying dinner at a nearby cafe, return to the park to view the lava glow at night and stargaze. Depending on weather conditions, observe stars, planets, galaxies, and more.

Kailua Kona: Humpback Whale Watching Adventure Cruise

10. Kailua Kona: Humpback Whale Watching Adventure Cruise

See majestic humpback whales and listen to them sing on this whale watching cruise from Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Over 8,000 humpback whales journey over 3,500 miles to Hawaii every year. Between December and April, these incredible creatures gather to breed and raise their young. This 2.5-hour whale-watching experience in Kona offers you an incredible opportunity to view humpback whales up close in their natural habitats. Hear the whales sing with unique underwater hydrophones. Keep your eyes open for other marine creatures like spinner dolphins, pilot and sperm whales, manta rays, sea turtles, and more. Whale sightings are guaranteed or you can join the cruise again for free.

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Frequently asked questions about Kailua-Kona

What top attractions are a must-see in Kailua-Kona?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona?

The best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona are:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Kailua-Kona

Want to discover all there is to do in Kailua-Kona? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kailua-Kona

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 58 reviews

Simon and his crew were amazing! Was kind of scared to do this, but they were helpful, funny, kind & amazing! They made all my nerves chill & helped me have a blast! 100/100 would recommend! The manta rays were so cool & huge! One touched me on its way under the light! For anyone who thinks they might not like this or are iffy about doing it, do NOT hesitate! This is so far by far, the most amazing activity on our trip! Wish we could do it again during this trip!

We had an amazing time on this trip. Every part of it was really cool. Our guide, Rob, was the best. We learned so much about the island’s history, culture, current issues, and interesting facts. The whole trip was very comfortable with just the right amount of bathroom stops, snacks, water, yummy food. We never felt rushed. And we saw the most epic views of Kīlauea’s bubbling lava with millions of stars and the Milky Way. It was remarkable.

Amazing!!! This was a fabulous experience! The MantaRays were so amazing! They swam right by us, touching us a few times. It really was an incredible experience. Everyone was so professional, kind, knowledgeable and helpful! Wonderful crew!

The whole trip was amazing!!! The staff the trip everything was so much fun… can’t tell anybody enough how much fun it was !!

This was one of the most magical things I have ever done. The rays were suuuuuper close. It was truly awesome.