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snorkeling on Kona Coast

By far and away, Kona Coast is the greatest place to snorkel when on the Big Island of Hawaii. You could also argue that it is one of the most exciting places to snorkel in the world. From hundreds of different colorful reef fish to pods of spinner dolphins, the underwater world is truly your oyster!


If you are looking to set out on a snorkeling adventure on the Big Island, keep reading and we’ll let you in on our secrets for planning the best day!


The Best Time of Year for Snorkeling on the Big Island Kona Coast


Hawaii is wonderful for many reasons. From active volcanoes and gorgeous mountainous views to the complex world under the water’s surface, there is something for everyone. Our favorite activity for those who live and visit Kona is to go snorkeling! With so many lush reefs lining the coast and tucked into the beautiful bays, there is no shortage to what you may be able to see. While Hawaii is sunny and warm virtually year-round, there are some seasonal marine creatures that like to visit the islands; the most popular of which is the humpback whale. 


These whales will make a weeks long trip down from Alaska to Kona where they stay in order to mate or birth new whale calves. Whale season tends to occur from November to March and is quite the site to see! While snorkeling tours won’t drop you in the water next to these giant mammals, you may hear their song when your head is just below the ocean’s surface.


Where to Go When Snorkeling the Big Island, Kona Side


The Big Island is the largest within the Hawaiian chain. This means that there is so much to explore both on and around the mountainous isle. When planning your snorkeling adventure it is important to look beyond the top recommended places on Tripadvisor and instead take into account crucial factors like your experience level with snorkeling, where you are staying on the Big Island, and what time of year it is in conjunction with what you would like to see while snorkeling.


All of these factors play into deciphering what the best snorkel experience would look like to you. Our recommendations when it comes to the Kona Coast specifically, are conveniently what we offer on our Dolphin Discoveries Kona Coast Snorkel Tour. This tour includes stops at the popular, active reef at Captain Cooks Monument as well as the sacred Place of Refuge. Booking a snorkeling tour for these two destinations will truly grant an experience unlike any other which you can read more about in our blog post here!


Do Boats Offer Snorkeling Tours on the Kona Coast?


As mentioned, the best way to see some of the most popular snorkeling destinations on the Kona Coast are best accessed via a snorkeling trip aboard an accredited boat. When booking make sure that you read through which reefs you are going to be stopping by and what the scope of the tour is. For example, our dolphin watch tour aboard Dolphin Discoveries differs from the morning snorkel as it combines a dolphin watch aboard the vessel with time in the water away from the spinner dolphin pods.


No matter what, you are guaranteed a great day out on the water if you make sure to plan your day out and embark on a trip that best fits your expectations!