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Discover the Best Snorkeling in Kona: Unveiling Nature’s Underwater Paradise

best snorkeling in Kona

There’s no doubt that the town of Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is home to some of the most incredible snorkeling in the world! From the bustling coral reef at Captain Cook monument to the incredible close encounters that you may have with the native Hawaiian spinner dolphins aboard a tour boat; there’s so many adventures to be had!

If you are looking for local insights into what you can expect from a snorkeling adventure on the Big Island as well as where you can find the best snorkeling around Kona, then keep reading!

Uncover the Magical Reef at the Place of Refuge

One of the most incredible reefs in all of Kona is at the Place of Refuge. Not only is the Place of Refuge known for its important role in the cultural history of Hawaii, but it is home to one of the most popular reefs for snorkelers and marine life alike.

While this reef is nearly impossible to visit and snorkel at on your own, there are reputable snorkeling tours held by local companies that have permission to take you to the coral reef. Some things you may see when adventuring the waters around the Place of Refuge are reef fish like Parrotfish and Triggerfish, as well as various Hawaiian marine animals like Honu (Hawaiian sea turtles).

Snorkel Near and Around South Kona’s Black Sand Beaches

Another magical spot to set out on a snorkel adventure, on the Big Island, is a black sand beach. Black sand beaches are seldom found on any other Hawaiian island, which is what makes their beauty around South Kona that much greater. While many of these beaches are secret or hidden, the good news is that local snorkel tour companies know exactly where they are and will take you to them! Beyond the beauty that is the gorgeous and seemingly sparkling dark shores, there are reefs scattered along the beaches’ coastline.

A List of the Best Snorkeling in Kona Would be Incomplete Without Kealakekua Bay

By far and away, the most popular snorkeling spot on the Big Island, and arguably in Hawaii, is Captain Cook Monument within Kealakekua Bay! Known for the massive stunning coral reef, the large historically significant Captain Cook Monument, as well as the ability to see a wide variety of marine animals (including Spinner Dolphins that frequent the middle of the bay). 

We hope that this article has shed some light on some of the best snorkeling spots in Kona; each offering a unique and enchanting experience for snorkelers to explore the natural wonders beneath the waves.