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snorkeling on the Big Island Hawaii

If you are looking to plan the ultimate trip to Hawaii for the family, snorkeling the Big Island with kids is probably already listed on your tropical bucket list. Hawaii is home to hundreds of native tropical marine creatures, most of whom frequent the reefs of Kona’s Coast.

While, arguably, you and your family can just buy a mask and snorkel and jump into the water, you could be missing out on many more incredible sites doing that versus booking a quality snorkel tour; or reading about our suggestions for the best snorkel destinations on the Big Island! Not to mention that when planning on snorkeling the Big Island with kids, safety is likely at the top of the list, so keep reading to see our top suggestions on how to find the best snorkel tour for the whole family!

Should I Book a Snorkel Tour on the Big Island With My Kids?

Yes! A guided tour is the absolute best way to get the most out of your time at any one of the Kona Coast’s gorgeous reefs and is the safest way to go about snorkeling the Big Island with kids! Not only will you get the chance to explore multiple different popular (and hidden) underwater destinations, but you and your family will be in the trusted hands of the island’s marine experts, who captain the boats.

On a snorkel tour around Kona with kids you will most likely explore a multitude of the island’s best spots– featured in the most popular tours at Dolphin Discoveries. Aside from the reefs, these Big Island morning snorkel tours will explore the underwater sea caves and lava tubes; something you would not be able to do on your own! A guided tour for snorkeling the Big Island with kids makes sure to pack in a lot of experiences and time in the water to make the most out of the trip.

Our Guide to Snorkeling the Big Island With Kids: Best Spots

1. Kealakekua Bay, Also Known As Captain Cook

If you are planning a snorkel adventure while visiting the Big Island, you’ll notice that the same reefs or bays will keep coming up in your search. Captain Cook Monument, also known as Kealakekua Bay, is one of these popular destinations. The bay itself is accessible through driving and jumping in the water; however, it is quite big and you may find yourself swimming around for a while before finding the reef areas with the best activities.

Kealakekua Bay is arguably the most popular snorkel spot near Kona on the Big Island. The Captain Cook monument is also the perfect place for snorkeling the Big Island with kids. Not only is the bay known to house pods of native Hawaiian spinner dolphins in its depths, but the reef along the shallows of the inlet house a wide variety of the most popular sea life.

Because of Captain Cook’s popularity for adults and children alike, the best way to explore the area is via one of those trusted local snorkel tour boats we mentioned. This not only will ensure that you get to venture to the best parts of the reef, but you may get a chance to see the local dolphin populations that frequent Kealakekua Bay as well! If you want to learn more about what a Captain Cook snorkel tour is like– check out our other articles on our Big Island snorkel tour blog.

2. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park also known as The Place of Refuge

Most well known for its cultural impact, the Place of Refuge is also home to one of the greatest reefs on the Big Island and is great for snorkeling with kids. Largely inaccessible unless you go with an accredited tour company, this should still be at the top of your list for places to snorkel for a variety of reasons. The landmarks left by ancient Hawaiians serve as a reverent backdrop to a stunning crystal bay. Calm days yield excellent visibility making it a visually stunning and vibrant coral reef to explore.

What’s greater, booking with a local tour company combines the benefits of you and your family learning more about the history of the national park as well as the underwater world and creatures that you will come into contact with while on this snorkel excursion. If you want to learn more about what a snorkel tour of the Place of Refuge entails and how it goes beyond just great snorkeling on the Big Island for kids– be sure to check out our other article on the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island.

3. Where the Big Island Snorkeling Experts Deem Safe for Kids

No one knows the island, and where the best snorkeling for kids is along the coast, better than the experts aboard an accredited local snorkel boat!

That is why our recommendation when it comes to snorkeling on the Big Island is to first, book a snorkel tour with an accredited company. If you choose to hop on a boat, looking for the snorkeling excursion that leaves at a time fitting within your schedule is just as important as finding a trip that goes to the spots you enjoy and allows for the amount of time in the water that you are most comfortable with. If you are newer to snorkeling, you should look into a shorter trip, and if you are an expert, you may want to try one of the night snorkels where you may encounter manta rays.

Snorkeling the Big Island With Kids Allows Discovery of Fascinating Marine Life

No matter what type of snorkeling experience on the Big Island you choose to embark on with your kids, you are sure to have a good time. Read our tips on how to make the most out of the experience and bear in mind some of the pros and cons of each option when it comes to planning your day on and in the water.

With hundreds of tropical marine creatures, there is no shortage of magic that you will encounter under the sea!