Kayak And Snorkel Tour To Kealakekua Bay - Big Island

by Tyler Loo
(Kelowna, BC, Canada)

We took a kayak and snorkel tour to Kealakekua Bay and I wanted to give some helpful information about the kayak situation at Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island, Hawaii. I read the information on this site and thought I would recommend what we did.

We were there on Jan. 8, 2011. I recommend that you book a kayak tour through Adventures in Paradise. They took us down to the launch site and made sure that we launched safely. We had a guide with us at all times so it was nice and safe and he could help if you had any difficulties. This also eliminated any of the problems that others have noted about the vendors trying to make you uncomfortable or people bothering you at the launch site.

They also had the permit to land the kayaks near the monument and our guide was able to make sure to help us each land safely and make sure we didn't damage the reef or even scrape our kayaks on the rocks because apparently the plastic that scrapes off can be really bad for the ocean life because they eat it.

In summary, kayaking there is a great way to see the bay and the dolpins and I strongly recommend you going with the tour company and not just rent kayaks on your own and try to launch yourself.

I hope this helps some people in the future.

Comments for Kayak And Snorkel Tour To Kealakekua Bay - Big Island

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Jan 13, 2011
Snorkeling Captain Cook
by: Galen & Nicole

Thanks for those tips and update. We are glad to hear when people are using companies that are both legal and taking care of the environment and their customers.

For up to date information on kayaking over to Captain Cook to snorkel, read our Captain Cook page.

Apr 03, 2015
Kealakekua Bay
by: Anonymous

We just returned from a trip to the Big Island, our 5th, and went back to Kealakekua Bay after 10 years. It's more crowded than we would have liked but still THE best snorkeling on the island.

We, too, took the Adventures in Paradise kayak snorkel tour. The guide was wonderful with our group of 8. She also gave us fun facts about the monument and locals who live nearby.

We saw spinner dolphins on our way out in the morning and spent a lot of time with them. While we didn't see any eels this trip we were still treated to a wide array of fish and corals.

When the big boats came in (one with over 30 people!) the water was crowded so we snorkeled left of the monument out toward the ocean and continued to find great coral and fish. It is a bit cooler on that side due to a spring nearby.

We met hikers at the monument who had hiked down with gear stating it was a very hot, long hike and they weren't looking forward to the hike back up. We'll stick with the kayak mode of transportation.

Aug 30, 2015
Kayak & Snorkel Trip Kealakekua Bay/Captain Cook Monument
by: Mahonia

We were recently lucky enough to vacation staying near Captain Cook (the town). The Captain Cook Monument area (Ka’awaloa Cove in lovely Kealakekua Bay) was a "must-visit" among places where we hoped to snorkel. So we read everything Galen & Nicole had written on the topic in the Big Island Snorkeling Guide, as well as their (& everyone else’s) more comments & updates (thank you!).

As Galen & Nicole shared, there are presently three kayak companies approved to lead kayak groups AND also permitted to land the kayaks for a limited period of time (2 hours I believe) once at the monument. Landing the kayaks allows the participants to snorkel without being tethered to his/her kayak or needing to arrange for a partner to stay with it.

Like usual, we found that the websites for the kayak (& other commercial expeditions) mostly didn’t tell how much or little time one will actually be able to spend snorkeling. Maybe most participants don’t care much. But when we go on a commercial snorkel outing, we don’t go for the food, the stories, or the boat ride, we go because we want to reach a special spot we can’t easily access otherwise. We want to spend as much of the total time snorkeling as possible. So we called around & asked questions.

Happily, the group we chose for the CC Monument snorkeling trip, Kona Boys, worked out well. During the time the kayaks were landed, we were free to spend nearly the whole time in the water, exploring this wonderful area.

But for sure, this is the kind of place we hope to re-visit. So next time, we’ll probably rent kayaks on our own – if launched from the Napo’opo’o wharf area, it is a short paddle (maybe 20-30 minutes).

Aug 31, 2015
Launching A Rental Kayak
by: Nicole & Galen

Hi Mahonia, thanks for the information. Just a quick comment on your last statement. If you choose to rent a kayak, you are not allowed to launch at the Napo'opo'o Wharf. We understand that the rental companies with permits will tell you where you can launch in the area.

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