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snorkel trip to Captain Cook Monument

What to Expect on a Captain Cook Snorkel Tour

One of the best spots to go on a snorkel trip is Captain Cook Monument, experience marine and coral life on the Hawaiian islands is tucked away along the Kona coast near the small town of Captain Cook in Kealakekua Bay. If you’re a fan of big corals and not big crowds, this Captain Cook Monument snorkel trip takes place on a relaxed afternoon and promises sights of hundreds of varieties of tropical fish and other sea life!

Kona’s Coast is packed with a multitude of incredible bays and reefs to explore the lush, tropical marine life. Sea creatures of all shapes and sizes have been spotted all along the west side; some visiting on a seasonal basis, while others have chosen to live in Hawaii year-round. The beauty of a snorkel trip to Captain Cook Monument is that it combines everything you could ask from a snorkeling experience. There is a coral reef which exists on the shallow, outer rim of the bay; it is densely populated by a wide array of colorful fish. The center of the bay is deeper and is known to host pods of spinner dolphins. This means that on your trip out to the reef and back you may come into close contact with these native dolphins!

Here’s a quick guide on what you can expect while on a Captain Cook Hawaii snorkeling tour with Dolphin Discoveries.

How Long Does a Snorkel Trip to Captain Cook Monument Take?

Wake up, enjoy a slow morning, avoid the crowds, and go on a three-hour adventure in the afternoon. Pace your day and enjoy the sights to finish it off with a beautiful Captain Cook Snorkeling Tour.

Is the Captain Cook Monument Snorkel Trip Beginner-Friendly?

The Captain Cook snorkel tour is best suited for those who have never experienced a snorkeling adventure. If you’re nervous about your swimming skills as a new snorkeler, then this trip is perfect as it isn’t as strenuous as a longer tour. Families with little ones find this trip a perfect first time as a safe, fun, and educational time underwater.

What Can You See While on the Snorkel Tour?

You can see as much sea life as you would on one of the longer tours – including hundreds of tropical fish, dolphins and seasonal whales. You can even possibly see the odd “Honu,” which is Hawaii’s well-known green sea turtle. The sea turtles often spend time near the caves, and you can usually see the dolphins playing in the distance on a clear day.

The seabed is lush with various coral species, one of the most diverse in the archipelago. The bay waters are pristine, with over 100 feet of visibility below, ensuring a crystal-clear 360-degree view around you.

While hiking, you may also see wild goats and mongooses that live around the bay.

Why Is There a Captain Cook Monument?

In 1874, the British erected an obelisk in Captain Cook’s honor. He was a famous British naval captain and explorer who made his landing on the islands in 1778.

If you wish to visit the monument, it’s best to check it out earlier in the day to avoid the heat. It helps to bear in mind that carrying heavy gear on a hike that could take up to an hour may be less ideal for those who want to take in a relaxing afternoon.

Kealakekua Bay translates to “the pathway of the God,” and it’s known as a traditional, sacred site where Lono-i-ka-makahiki, a powerful fertility god, lived. When locals first met Captain Cook, they thought him to be the ancient god as his arrival coincided with the season of Makahiki.

What Snorkel Supplies Should Explorers Bring to Captain Cook Monument?

When preparing for a Captain Cook snorkel tour, you should keep both snorkeling and hiking supplies in mind. Please note that you will be supplied with a life vest and snorkel gear. Also, note that prescription masks are also available for those with eyesight difficulties.

Snorkeling Supplies

Your snorkeling checklist should include reef safe sunscreen, a swimsuit, towel, change of clothes, flip flops and an underwater camera. Reef safe sunscreen is required by law in the State of Hawaii. Certain chemicals in typical sunscreens can cause harm to the DNA of coral reefs, including bleaching and other abnormalities.

You may want to opt to take sea sickness medication the night before you go on the tour if you are prone to experiencing sea sickness. You can bring your own snorkeling gear if preferred.

We have many articles on our Kona snorkel tour blog that delve into the specifics of what you can expect to bring on a snorkel trip to Captain Cook Monument.

Hiking Supplies

Your hiking checklist should contain supplies that will keep you safe and comfortable, such as running shoes, water, a wide-brimmed hat and a regular camera.

Other common questions about what to expect while snorkeling at Captain Cook, such as finding the meeting spot and completing your e-waiver before arrival.

Escape to Paradise: Snorkel the Best Reef in Kona

While the Captain Cook Monument is hailed as one of the greatest places in Hawaii to go on a snorkel trip, it is just one of the many amazing reefs along the Kona Coast. Kealakekua Bay is surely  fun for the whole family; however, if you want to extend your trip, many of the same companies who are offering snorkel cruises to Captain Cook may offer experiences that venture to more than just that Monument.

If you want to explore all that South Kona has to offer, check out some of the longer Kona snorkeling cruises like those that we offer here at Dolphin Discoveries! Not only will we give you ample time in the water to explore Captain Cook, but we will extend the trip to the Place of Refuge.

Dolphin Discoveries hosts exciting Big Island snorkeling and boating tour adventures in which include snorkel trips to Captain Cook, and are for everyone. Please contact us or call 808-322-8000 with any questions or concerns.