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Discover the Treasures of the on a Snorkel Trip to Captain Cook Monument

snorkel trip to Captain Cook monument

Hawaii is well known for all of the amazing adventures that you can have both on the island and in the tropical waters that surround each isle. At the height of ocean exploration for those who live and visit Hawaii, are guided snorkel tours of some of the most incredible reefs in the world. If you are staying in Kona on the Big Island, you may be pleased to hear that one of the greatest reefs on the planet is located nearby at Kealakekua Bay.

Captain Cook Monument is a largely popular spot, not only for marine enthusiasts but a wide variety of aquatic life native to the Big Island. From sea turtles to eels and hundreds of tropical fish, there is so much to explore! Here is our guide to discovering the best that Captain Cook Monument has to offer.

The Types of Tropical Marine Life You’ll See Snorkeling Captain Cook Monument

Captain Cook Monument is probably most well known for the lush marine plant and animal life that lives around and relies on the reef in the shallows of the bay. Depending on the visibility and weather that day, you may get to see hundreds of small fish ducking in and around the coral, alongside some of the larger creatures that live towards the center of the bay in the deeper water. This is why we highly recommend you book your snorkel aboard an accredited snorkel boat tour with a trusted local company. This will give you a chance to not only travel to other areas of Kealakekua Bay but the opportunity to drop into the water at the most active part of the reef.

The most commonly spotted marine creatures around Captain Cook Monument are Boxfish, Parrotfish, Triggerfish, Hawaiian Sea Turtles– also known as “Honu”, and sea urchin, to name a few.

The Landscape of Kealakekua Bay

Captain Cook Monument is located in the greater Kealakekua Bay. Sheltered from the open ocean, making snorkeling easier for those learning as there is likely less interference from currents. You’ll notice that once you enter the water from a boat, there is a sharp drop off between the shallows at the base of the landmark. This is another reason that we highly recommend snorkeling this popular reef with a guide. A snorkel boat will be able to provide you with all the necessary gear and take any guesses out of where and how you should enter the water.

If you are looking for a greater than what you may catch a glimpse of from a surface– see if you are able to spot the pods of native spinner dolphins jumping out of the water from the middle of the bay.

The Historical Influence of Captain Cook Monument

Outside of the natural beauty of Kealakekua Bay, Captain Cook Monument serves as a stark reminder of an extremely contentious point in contemporary Hawaiian history. The monument was erected by the British as a symbol to the spot where the explorer and eventual colonist of the islands was slain. Kealakekua Bay itself is a significant sacred area to the native Hawaiians and their ancestors. Many argue that the juxtaposition of the monument commemorating the Brit atop of native sacred lands is quite hypocritical to say the least.

Outside of the historical context that we may place Captain Cook Monument, the structure serves as a landmark to where you can find an incredible sea life habitat for you to explore.