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“Kayaking and Snorkeling this bay is a must” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay
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Snorkel, Kayak and Dolphin Experience in the Big Island’s Kealakekua Bay
Level Contributor
80 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Kayaking and Snorkeling this bay is a must”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2011

You'll be disappointed if you don't rent a kayak and go out to snorkel in this bay. When my husband and I were there in November, we were lucky enough to snorkel with hundreds of wild spinner dolphins. My husband said it was the highlight of his trip to the Big Island. Snorkeling by the monument is some of the best.

Visited November 2011
Thank DurangoMaryAnne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Almost Perfection”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2011

We almost decided against this side trip with so many options available for trekking and beaches in the general area, it would have been a true tragedy if we had! We rented a Kayak and snorkel gear from a lovely family right at the beach and they were extremely helpful in pointing out where we should traverse the bay and what spots to lay up in besdies merely hitting the Captain Cook Monument.
We hit the spots they suggested and were absolutely surrounded by a pod of 15 - 20 spinner dolphins! you could slip right into the water and swim with them which is, needless to say, an amazing, almost ethereal, experience. at another spot we discovered sea turtles and visited with them as well.
The Captain Cook Monument did indded have beautiful snorkeling with a delightful diversity of fish but was a bit overcrowed for our taste with the tour boats and such. So we headed back out to visit with the dolphins. Enjoy!

Visited November 2011
1 Thank abraxus4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keewatin Ontario
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great Swimming at the Napoo'opo'o Beach part of Kealakekua Bay.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2011

When you arrive it doesn't look too great for swimming as there is a sort of seawall of lava rocks you have to go through to get into the water, but once you get down closer to the beach there are paths through the rocks where they launch the outrigger canoes and the water is crystal clear. Reaaly nice for swimming and boogie boarding. Only once it too rough to go in water. There are no lifeguards at this beach. Ammeneties include picnic area, washroom/changeroom, shower. Limited parking. There is Hiki-au Heiau close to beach. Apparently a hurricane washed all sand off this beach a couple of decades back and not many people swim here but we really liked it. There were no rocks and sharp stuff in water. Some people were snorkelling along shoreline.

Visited January 2011
Thank K S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, AB, Canada
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Gorgeous - kayak destination, dozens of spinner dolphins.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2011

Just returned from Kealakekua Bay and have a few pointers.

Firstly, there are kayaks for rent right at the bay. If you're nervous about strapping a kayak on your rental, they will be available right at the pier (cheaper than the ring road outfitters too). It seems every guide book makes a point that rentals are unavailable at the bay, but this is not true! Save yourself the hassle and just wait until you get down there.

Second, this is a kayak first experience. If you want to snorkel, see the Captain Cook monument, or see the spinner dolphins, you need a kayak (or SUP I suppose). There's not a lot to see here without paddling out for a few minutes.

We went about 10AM and saw dozens and dozens of frolicking dolphins in the bay. A truly outstanding experience. They were very friendly and put on a show. They come right up to the kayaks or SUPs, slap their tails, flip out of the water, and swim right beneath you! I could have spent all day here (see pics!)

The best snorkeling is across the bay near the Captain Cook monument. The monument itself is nice enough, a white obelisk with some information. Just to the right (east) of the monument is awesome snorkeling. Bit of a coral reef and lots of colorful fish. That being said, I do think the snorkeling at nearby Kahaluu Beach Park is better in terms of density of fish, thou not so much of coral.

The real draw here is the dolphins if you're lucky enough to see them!

1 Thank MykeMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Seeing the dolphins was breathtaking!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2011

We rented a kayak from Kona Boys up the street and they gave us directions how to get to the bay and tips on putting the kayak in. About halfway across the bay we saw a pod of dolphins. We paddled a bit closer and just let the dolphins swim around us. The water was so clear you could see them swimming under the kayak and at their closest point, they surfaced about ten feet from us. It was so quiet in the bay aside from the breathing of the dolphins...maybe 15 of them? They make this funny snorting sucking sound when they breathe. It was an amazing experience. Completely unforgettable. After the dolphins swam off we snorkeled over by Cook's Monument. It was the best snorkeling we've ever seen (although we've only been in Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Aruba, and St Kitts) with so many different kinds of fish and such clear water. The tour groups started arriving around 9:30am so we headed out at the point. Definitely go to the bay! Definitely go early in the morning before the tour groups get there!

Visited October 2011
Thank likethedirection
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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