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Experience the Magic of Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay is about 12 miles south of historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) in South Kona and is a great place to snorkel, scuba dive and kayak. The bay is filled with coral reefs and schools of tropical fish. There are times when you can see spinner dolphins and seasonal humpback whales swimming in the bay.

This beautiful bay was where Captain Cook first landed and introduced Western culture to the islands, so you can be sure you’ll be visiting one of the most significant historical sites in Hawaii.

Here are five ways to experience the magic of Kealakekua Bay.

1) Snorkel, Kayak and Scuba in Napo’opo’o Beach Park

Ever wonder what it’s like to snorkel in a historical site in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii? Stop wondering and start experiencing by heading over to the Napo’opo’o beach park. A massive section of Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, Napo’opo’o beach park offers snorkeling, kayaking, and scuba diving amid black lava rock shoreline and deep blue water.

If Kealakekua Bay snorkeling is one of the things on your to-do list, you should try the Napo’opo’o beach. It’s an ideal destination when the water is calm and the visibility is good. Like the other nearby beaches, this one is good for observing marine wildlife, like sea turtles. And sometimes you can catch them at the water’s edge.

The beach also offers a parking lot, restrooms, picnic tables, pavilion BBQ grills, and shade. It’s the ideal place to bring your family and friends or relax on your own.

2) Visit Hiki’au Heiau

When you’re at Kealakekua Bay, be sure to check out the Hiki’au Heiau nearby to complete your historical explorations. In the Napo’opo’o Beach Park, there is an ancient Hawaiian temple site behind the beach that is accessible by a trail.  Human sacrifices were made at this heiau in the time of King Kamehameha.

Captain Cook participated in ceremonies here during his first stay in Kealakekua Bay in January of 1779.  He was honored by priests as a high ranking individual.  When the locals met Captain Cook, they may have believed that he was the god Lono, due his arrival during the season of Makahiki.

3) Hike The Historic Ka’awaloa Trail

Starting at the trailhead at the intersection of Napo’opo’o Road and Ali’i Drive, take the path down to Kealakekua Bay.  The path takes two hours and half minutes round trip to complete – so there’s plenty of time for snorkeling or picnics.  It isn’t dog-friendly and can be challenging during the ascent due to the steepness of the trail and the lack of shade.  However, it could make for an enjoyable day during your vacation if you start early and have a good fitness level.

4) Take a Guided Kayak Tour to Captain Cook Monument

It’s hard to imagine a more romantic experience than going on a Kealakekua snorkeling adventure with your love as you explore one of the most beautiful spots on earth. Kealakekua Bay Hawaii is a marine sanctuary is located just south of Captain Cook Monument. Aside from hiking toward Captain Cook Monument, you can take a guided kayak tour. The bay itself is stunning – a turquoise lagoon surrounded by cliffs and dense green foliage.

There are only three companies that are allowed to land their kayaks at Kealakekua Bay.  These companies provide guided tours.  Other kayaks are allowed in the bay, but they are not allowed to land or tie off their kayaks.  Travelers should know their limitations before paddling across the bay due to high winds and high surf.

5) Snorkeling in Captain Cook Monument

Another great activity to try in Kealakekua Bay is snorkeling. A favorite location for snorkeling on the Big Island which is characterized by clear and calm waters and allows swimmers to catch a glimpse of dolphins, manta rays and tropical fish.

The bay is home to a wide variety of fish and other marine life.  Snorkeling allows you to get up close and personal with them. A great way to enjoy the bay is with a tour boat company.  Tour boats provide you an effortless way to explore Kealakekua Bay and often provide an indepth look at the history of the bay and the Captain Cook Monument.

Experience the Magic with Dolphin Discoveries

Ready to hop on a new adventure? Kealakekua Bay is the ideal destination to experience the beauty of nature. Dolphin Discoveries would love to help you make unforgettable memories with the picturesque sights and rich history of Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii.

Be sure to book Kealakekua bay snorkeling activities and tours soon if you want a spot on these exciting trips – they fill up fast!