Kealakekua Bay: Our most recommended tours and activities

Big Island: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

1. Big Island: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, & Coffee Farm Day-Trip

The morning is filled with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. The views stop you in your tracks at the Waipio Valley lookout, where a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs drops into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window before visiting Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view and plenty of photo opportunities. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including steam vents, the Halema’uma’u, and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along the crater rim trail.  From here, relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, a great place to spot marine life from the black-sand shore. On the leisurely drive back around sunset, you’ll see views of South Point, the southernmost point of the United States, and Kealakekua Bay.  Finally, enjoy a visit to Kona Coffee Farm. Stroll through the orchards with your guide and learn about the harvesting and milling process while sampling a warm cup of Kona-grown coffee.

Big Island: Captain Cook Sightseeing & Snorkel Expedition

2. 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 Twilight Volcano and Stargazing Tour

3. 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.

From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

4. From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

Step aboard and step back in time. Hop aboard a sunset dinner cruise in Kona for an enchanting Hawaiian history lesson from the experts. This family adventure departs from the Kailua Pier and is narrated by a local historian tour guide, who will reveal secrets, tell stories, and share legends related to the numerous landmarks along the 12 miles of magnificent Kona coastline. Unwind while you admire Captain Cook’s Monument at Historical Kealakekua Bay (only accessible by boat or hiking) with a complimentary cocktail from a fully stocked, premium bar. Begin your delicious dinner starting with an appetizer of Mauna Loa Big Island Macadamia Nuts (Vegan/GF). Enjoy a Starter: Mauna Loa Big Island Macadamia nuts (Vegan/GF) and salad of local baby spinach, Rincon farms strawberries, Big Island feta cheese, and Candied Macadamia nuts with served with a house-made Waimea Strawberry Vinaigrette (GF). For your main course: Kona Coffee braised short rib with creamy mashed potatoes featuring a Kona Coffee Red Eye Demi-Glace; Island Baked Coconut dinner rolls served with butter (vegetarian) and island-baked coconut dinner rolls served with butter (vegetarian). Your dessert is a chocolate torte with strawberry coulis (vegetarian/GF). Keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and seasonal humpback whales throughout the evening. Enjoy live music from some of the Big Island's best entertainers performing slack-key Hawaiian Style music. Catch the sunset on the water and make sure to look for the famous Green Flash, a fleeting glimmer of intense emerald light that appears on the horizon just after sunset. Other highlights include the Ahu’ena Heiau, the Holua Slide, and the famous Kuamo’o Battlefield, just to name a few.

From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

5. 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.

From Keauhou Bay: Snorkel Cruise to Captain Cook's Monument

6. From Keauhou Bay: Snorkel Cruise to Captain Cook's Monument

Embark on an unforgettable day at sea from Keauhou Bay to Captain Cook's Monument on a guided Yacht trip. Enjoy scenic views of the Kona coast as you sail and indulge in tasty light snacks and tropical fruit juice. Meet your guide at the Keauhou Bay Pier. Hop aboard, relax and enjoy the ride. Cruise past rock formations, stop at beautiful coves, and soak in the views. Set sail along the beautiful Kona coast on a trip from Keauhou Bay, marvel at the ancient Kealakekua Bay, and see the Captain Cook Monument. Splash into the clear waters to swim, snorkel, or sunbathe onboard. Spot the colorful fish underneath the water, and take photos with your marine camera of the dolphins and other marine life. Enjoy site briefings and snorkeling tips from the crew members. Life jackets, floatation noodles, viewfinder boards, masks, fins, and snorkels are provided. Energize yourself with fruits and tropical juice. 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 Tour Bundle: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

7. Big Island Tour Bundle: Self-Drive Sightseeing Road Trip

Welcome to Shaka Guide's audio tour app, your gateway to the remarkable wonders of the Big Island of Hawaii. Get ready to embark on a captivating adventure through diverse landscapes, active volcanoes, lush rainforests, and stunning coastlines. As you begin your tour of the Big Island with the Shaka Guide app, prepare to be amazed by the island's natural beauty, unique geological formations, and rich cultural heritage. The app will provide informative and engaging audio commentary, sharing insights into the island's volcanic activity, endemic wildlife, ancient legends, and local traditions. Your journey starts along the Kona Coast, known for its pristine beaches and vibrant marine life. The app will guide you to scenic overlooks, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the turquoise waters and explore picturesque beach towns such as Kailua-Kona and Kealakekua Bay. Continue your exploration of the island as you venture to the majestic Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The app will lead you through the park's scenic drives and trails, providing information about the island's volcanic history, geological wonders, and the awe-inspiring Kilauea volcano. Discover the lush beauty of the Hamakua Coast, where the app will guide you through scenic drives and waterfalls. Marvel at the towering Akaka Falls, stroll through the tropical gardens of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, and learn about the island's agricultural history in the charming town of Hilo. Explore the mystical Waipio Valley, known for its dramatic cliffs, black sand beach, and rich cultural significance. The app will share stories and legends associated with this sacred place as you navigate the steep road into the valley or opt for a scenic lookout. Visit the stunning beaches of the Big Island, from the golden sands of Hapuna Beach to the green sea turtle haven of Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. The app will guide you to the best spots for relaxation, snorkeling, and witnessing the island's diverse marine life. As you venture to the Kohala Coast, the app will lead you to historic sites such as Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, where you can learn about the island's ancient Hawaiian history and visit sacred temples. Throughout your journey, the Shaka Guide app will recommend local eateries, hidden gems, and cultural experiences that will enrich your visit to the Big Island. Whether it's sampling local Hawaiian cuisine, attending a traditional hula performance, or visiting a coffee plantation, the app will provide valuable insights to enhance your trip. With the Shaka Guide app as your knowledgeable companion, your tour of the Big Island will be enriched with fascinating stories, natural insights, and practical information. So, grab your phone, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through the captivating landscapes and rich culture of the Big Island of Hawaii.

Big Island: South Kona Snorkeling and Coastline Exploration

8. 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.

Big Island: Kealakekua Bay, Captain Cook & Marine Life Tour

9. Big Island: Kealakekua Bay, Captain Cook & Marine Life Tour

Experience a true Hawaiian adventure and observe Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins as they travel along the coast. Snorkel in Kealakekua Bay and marvel at the range of corals and marine life.  Your modern, 24-passenger catamaran allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy the view of Kona’s coast while enjoying on board snacks and beverages. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the memory of this unique excursion.

Big Island: Morning Snorkel Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

10. Big Island: Morning Snorkel Sail to Captain Cook's Monument

The Hoku Nui sets sail from Keauhou Bay at 8:30 am. Keep a watchful eye out for Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, Hawaiian Humpback Whales (seasonal Dec-April), and other marine life while you sail down the beautiful Kona Coast. As you enjoy your tropical style breakfast, entering Historic Kealakekua Bay, you will observe the World Famous Captain Cook Monument (sail time approx. 45 min.) Your snorkeling adventure will begin in the pristine waters and the vibrant reef of the Marine Sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay. Your captain will select the best snorkeling sites in Kealakekua Bay, as the friendly and professional crew members provide site briefings and historical facts. The crew members will provide snorkel tips and basic instructions to guests of all ages and experience levels. Life jackets, floatation noodles, and viewfinder boards as well as masks, fins, and snorkels are provided aboard the Hoku Nui. The crew members 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 and have lunch ready when you have snorkeled up an appetite. Snorkel time is approximately one hour at each location. Make sure to bring an underwater camera to capture the colorful schools of fish, pods of spinner dolphins that are also commonly spotted in the bay, and the landscaped ledges of ancient lava flows. You will then have a moment for another breath taking view of the bay while you enjoy a sumptuous lunch with beverages. Exiting the bay, you set sail for “Red Hill” (weather permitting). The Red Hill area is home to unique underwater lava formations such as archways and lava tubes, and more snorkeling with schools of vibrant sea life. As your snorkel adventure comes to an end, you will set sail back to Keauhou Bay arriving by 1 pm (approx.), with majestic memories of your Sea Paradise trip that will last a lifetime.

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What people are saying about Kealakekua Bay

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 691 reviews

This trip was amazing!!! I saw a manta ray, 3 whales, an entire mega-pod of dolphins, flying fish, and coral fish. And the crew was incredible; they went above and beyond to ensure an excellent experience. I have never snorkeled before, but they were very patient, gave me a ton of guidance, and make the entire experience wonderful. I highly recommend this trip!

This was the best tour I did on my Hawaii trip. Jaclyn was an excellent guide. She was very knowledgeable and passionate about Hawaii. It was great circling around the island on this tour.

It’s a great trip and really worth it! We visited many unique sightseeing points that really showed the beauty of Mother Nature.

This was a fantastic excursion! The boat is whistle clean and the crew are amazing hosts! Bonus slack line show was cool!

Aaron the tour guide was spectacular and full of great knowledge.