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“Relax, unwind and get wet!”
Review of Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay
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Snorkel, Kayak and Dolphin Experience in the Big Island’s Kealakekua Bay
Lismore, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Relax, unwind and get wet!”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Visited here for a wedding and discovered so much more than a sleepy seaside community. The pace is slow and the locals friendly. Snorkelling was fabulous with great visibility, diverse fish life and corals and visits from turtles, small reef sharks and the local spinner dolphins. My best dive experience so far. Sunsets were stunning. I hope I am lucky enough to return.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank TheBarovskys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I knew I really wanted to come here when I started researching where to go on the big island. Originally I wanted to hike it to save the money of taking a cruise but the hike sounded mildly sketchy and we weren't sure what the deal was with private property. We did the fair winds tour and loved it!! It was probably one of my favourite days, the boat tour really made it extra awesome.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank Monique M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Kayak out to Captain Cook Monument, Amazing Snorkeling”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

My husband and I rented a kayak and went kayaking out to Captain Cook Monument, where we docked on the rocky shore and went snorkeling. To date, it has been the most amazing snorkeling experience of my life. I dropped into the water and literally felt like I had dropped into an aquarium. The water was incredibly clear. I can't wait to go back one day. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the big island. I would also recommend taking water and a pack lunch. I don't remember seeing any places to eat nearby. My husband and I brought our camelbacks and picked up some sandwiches on the way to the kayak rental area, and enjoyed a really nice picnic lunch after snorkeling for a couple of hours or so. This is the No. 1 thing to do on my list when I go back! (To dock on the shore legally, you have to apply for a docking permit about 7-10 days in advance, which I did because of my government job... It was free and very easy, and I believe I got the signed permit back sooner than expected, about 5 days. I did it all via email and I believe there was a fax option. You apply with the Hawaii State something department... I can't recall but if you Google it, the info page/proper link should pop right up. That said, no one asked to see our permit while we were there. Maybe we were just lucky, not sure.)

Visited August 2013
3 Thank lkflor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“stunning trip with Kona Boys”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

We booked the Kona Boys morning magic Kayak and snorkel tour. WOW worth every penny and more. The water was calm the sky was blue. kayaking was effortless and once in the water it was like swimming in an aquarium. Make note if coming in on a boat tour. You are not allowed to walk on the ground by the monument. new gov regs let only certain tour groups do that and they all come by kayak.

Visited May 2014
Thank Bill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
79 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Do yourself a favor: Go there and go there by hiking”
Reviewed 16 July 2014

Kealakekua Bay is easily the best spot for snorkelling on the Big Island. The water is extremely clear and the ocean floor is covered in coral richer than I saw anywhere else on Hawai'i. The hike there is tough, as mentioned here often, but it makes reaching the bay incredibly rewarding.

How to get there:
You can join a tour, but these boat tours are quite touristy (with loud music, water slides and even barbecues...). The hike is tough, but rewarding. From Kona, follow Highway 11 until it splits to 180, Napoopoo Road. I parked my car at a Keopuka Square Shopping Center on Highway 11. It is not the most convenient spot; it's close, but you have to cross the road, while it is not that suited for pedestrians. The hike starts just 30 meters down Napoopoo road; you cannot miss it because there is a sign nowadays. There are some road side parking spots available, but not many.

How to do the hike:
You will read many discouraging blog posts and comments, but don't let yourself be discouraged. It's a tough ascend when you go back up, but not undoable. I am a 25 year old man, I consider myself fit and I walked down in ~30 minutes and back up in ~40min. There are lot's of loose lava rocks at the bottom half, which makes it hard both ascending and descending. In the heat of the day, there is not much shade. Bring therefore plenty of water! Do not forget there are no facilities whatsoever down at the bay.

When to get there:
I arrived at the bay 9.15 and it was beautiful: so quiet and peaceful. Around 10.00, the tours arrive. By then the water is filled with people who use all sorts of floating devices to make sure they swim as little as possible... Some of these bigger tours are even annoying by playing music or even barbecuing on board. By 11.30, as the tide becomes stronger, most tours leave. Do yourself a favor, come early! You will also read some posts here saying that in the early morning you might even spot dolphins!

Where to swim:
This bay is untouched by man and therefore a bit difficult to get into. Coral grows directly below the water. You don't want to step on that. Moreover, urchins grow in abundance; you definitely don't want to step on those! Just 20 meters before you arrive at the bay by hiking you will notice a distance-sign with the number 8 on it. Take a left there and go through the bushes to the actual Captain Cook monument. There is platform from which you can jump into deeper water. It is definitely the safest and easiest way to get both in and out of the water.

The reefs are beautiful, the hike is rewarding: don't miss it!

Visited July 2014
6 Thank GielO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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