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kona snorkel tour

The Big Island of Hawaii is filled with so many different incredible natural phenomena to explore. From towering volcanoes and lava flows to sea caves in the depths of the ocean just off shore– it can be hard to plan a trip to fit everything in.

However, there is nothing that can compare to the wonderful world beneath the ocean surface. Kona Coast is known for the vast array of sea life that lives both in the shallow reefs as well as out into the deeper waters of the open ocean. Here is our guide to the top 3 snorkel experiences that we recommend booking for your trip to the Big Island.

Experience the Magic of a Manta Ray Night Snorkel Tour

Swiftly becoming the most popular snorkeling tour on the Big Island of Hawaii, a nighttime manta ray snorkel is the adventure of a lifetime. This is a tour that you can only book with an accredited company and is one of the only experiences that requires previous experience using a snorkel and mask. You will be in the water for around an hour, where you will hold onto an illuminated flotation device which attracts phytoplankton to the top of the water where your group is floating.

This experience is best held with a small group, allowing for more space while in the water as well as an overall calmer and more intimate encounter with these gentle giants. 

Discover Captain Cook Monument on a Kona Snorkel Tour

One of the most sought after snorkeling destinations in all of Hawaii is Captain Cook Monument. Also known as Kealakekua Bay, the reefs located in the shallows are filled with hundreds of tropical fish and marine species.

The reefs in the shallow areas of the bay are easily accessible to beginner snorkelers on guided tour boats. Sheltered from the choppier waters of the open ocean, Captain Cook Monument allows for a relaxing float; emphasizing what can be discovered beneath the surface.

Uncover the Cultural History of the Place of Refuge, Kona Snorkel

Not only is the Place of Refuge, also known as Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau, home to a fantastical underwater world, but is one of the most culturally sacred landmarks on the entirety of the Big Island, Hawaii.

Many snorkel tours will prioritize the adventure to Captain Cook Monument over the Place of Refuge; even though they are both located within Kealakekua Bay. This may be because the historical site has some restrictions for the different groups and boats allowed to enter the bay. This is not an issue when you book with a trusted local company. When you book a snorkel tour of Kona Coast, like ours at Dolphin Discoveries, you will get to explore both of these destinations. It is the best way to maximize your time in and on the waters of Kona Coast.