Kayaking and Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay

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Kayaking and Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay Captain Cook Reviews

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Making the most of Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park Dec 26, 2008
Kealakekua Bay is where Captain Cook "discovered" Hawaii in 1778. It was also where he was killed a year later. Today the Bay is a Marine Conservation Area and it provides a wonderful spot to snorkel. It's easy enough to get to the bay. When you are driving along Highway 11, you will see a sign for Kealakekua Bay which will take you on scenic winding drive down Puuhonua Road to the water's edge.

The harder part is getting to the other side of the bay where the snorkeling spots and Captain Cook Memorial are located. There is a rugged trail that you can hike to get there. Another option is to take an expensive boat cruise. We decided to kayak to the other side which is probably the most popular option and provides much more of an "experience" than a boat tour.


From one of the numerous shops along the way before you head down the hill to the bay. Or don't. We didn't, so we ended up renting from one of the (unlicensed?) guys hanging out by the dock. We didn't have any problems but it's probably best to rent gear from an official shop.


A bathing suit and water shoes or sandals that strap on. The lava rocks on the other side of the bay are both sharp and slippery.


Sunscreen, food, water, an underwater camera, and anything else you will need for the day because there are no shops or restaurants by the bay.


Kealakekua in the early morning or late afternoon for the best chance of catching a glimpse of spinner dolphins in the bay. We went in the mid-afternoon and still saw some dolphins from a distance.


Disturb or try to swim with the spinner dolphins you may see along the way. The dolphins rest during the day. Do you like to be woken up in the middle of the night?


In the water in front of the monument. This is supposedly where you see the sea turtles. I didn't see any sea turtles so either it wasn't the right time of year or I wasn't snorkeling in the right spot. I hear the sea life is more plentiful in the warmer months.


Stop one of the many coffee plantations. Boost your energy with samples of brewed coffee. Buy 100% Kona coffee for the best possible flavor (as opposed to Kona blends). It can be expensive but it's worth it!
yarasil says:
I am off to the Big Island next week. You have some great advice here! Thanks for sharing.
Posted on: Mar 24, 2009
bashmentbabe says:
great entry
Posted on: Jan 29, 2009
travelman727 says:
Ekua, fantastic review and sage advice!
Posted on: Jan 29, 2009
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