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“best snorkeling in the islands”
Review of Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay
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Snorkel, Kayak and Dolphin Experience in the Big Island’s Kealakekua Bay
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“best snorkeling in the islands”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

bit of a hike to get to it but worth it. the currents are calm and the water is very clear. saw fish there I haven't seen anywhere else.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank phillyflyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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590 reviews from our community

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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Amazing snorkeling experience”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This place is by far the best snorkeling spot in the island. The crystal clear water is full of marine life and corals. The best way to get close to Captain Cook monument area was to go with the licensed tour boat. We decided to go with the fair wind cruise and was please with our experience. Another way to get to this spot is to hike in a hot and dry climate on the very steep hill for over 2 miles each way. You will need to bring a lot of drinking water and be in a good physical shape for this option.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Catsinee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, NZ
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Captain Cook & Coral Gardens”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Kealakekua is spectacular! You kayak across the bay (c.20 mins), have a look at the Cook Monument - where he met his unfortunate end over a misunderstanding - and jump off your kayak to snorkel: there is an abundance of coral and fish even in the shallowest areas! Its calm, and the water warm... and after an hour's snorkelling we noticed a pod of dolphins just out in the bay so we kayaked out to them: we ended up being around the pod for nearly half an hour!

NB: There are complications about getting there. You can hike there (1 hr, a hot walk) and swim, or kayak BUT we hired a kayak from some heavies at the wharf for USD$50 cash ( e.g. there is only the one option: hire from them or don't park there), assuming this was OK - when we got to the Cook monument across the bay, someone told us we needed a permit to land and there was a hefty fine. So we snorkelled off our kayak (which is fine, its calm in the bay - someone just hold onto the rope). When we got back to the wharf the police were there shutting down the operation, so we just left the kayak and hit the road quick smart! Apparently you can hire kayaks from a place up on the main road, the highway, but if you don't have roofracks on your rental car I'm not too sure how that is supposed to work!
Further investigation required to ensure a perfect visit with no hiccups!

Visited December 2012
3 Thank TangerineCaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morgan Hill, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Just do it.....”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

My husband and I decided to do the catamaran trip out - I will review that on a separate review. Now back to the Bay - some of the most beautiful water you will ever see, lots of beautiful coral, plenty of fish and even a couple of moray eels. The great thing about being on the catamaran is when you get tired, you can rest, grab a bite to eat, drink some water and head back into the water. Bring your camera - the views will not disappoint. You can snorkel near the shore where many of the most colorful fish are snacking around the coral. The reef is very close to the surface here so be careful. You can snorkel into deeper water if you are a strong swimmer - I could not see the bottom one direction. Just so much to see and it is definite worth whatever you pay to get out to the bay - Just wonderful!

Visited December 2012
2 Thank GratefulTraveler21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
130 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“The Best Snorkeling Ever!”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

After looking at tours and ways to get to this bay, we finally decided to do the 2 mile each way hike that covers 1400 feet of elevation. We did this with our 6 and 9 year old kids. I'd be lying if I said it was easy! We hike alot, but this trail is constantly steep both up and down and full of small fragments of lava rock that make it tricky to walk on. It took us an hour down and and hour and forty minutes to walk up. BUT the snorkeling was so worth it! Make sure to bring plenty of water for the trip up the hill and give yourself time before it gets dark. As noted, you can take tours, but they don't hang around long and cost $$$. This is free!

This bay is amazing. Right at the bottom of the trail, stay straight. Don't go to the right where the Capt. Cook monument is located. Access to the water is very simple just straight ahead. From the rocks on shore you can see the abundant tropical fish swimming in front of you. Then you get in and it's just incredible. The water was very clear, the fish abundant and it's fairly calm water so you don't get thrown around.

Later that day, just as we were leaving, dolphins came swimming right up to the snorkelers in the bay and played with them. We also saw jumping marlin from shore playing and jumping everywhere.

We've snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, Mexico Beaches and Haunama Bay in Oahu, and this by far was the best!!! Well worth the exhaustion of the walk.

Visited January 2013
8 Thank amarion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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