Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Where to Find the Best Snorkeling on the Big Island

a person flying through the air while swimming in a body of water

The Big Island of Hawaii boasts some of the greatest snorkeling opportunities in the world, finding the best snorkeling spots along the island’s coastline is an exciting part of that experience. From vibrant coral reefs to abundant marine life, there are so many underwater wonders waiting to be explored. If you are looking for the best snorkeling locations on the Big Island, you have to consider Kona; known for Kealakekua Bay, the Place of Refuge, and mysterious black sand beaches– all known for rich marine life. Additionally, the island’s west coast offers numerous coves and bays that provide amazing snorkeling for all that take part. If this all sounds great to you, then keep reading and learn how you can secure your spot exploring the best snorkeling the Big Island has to offer.

Make it Easy and Venture out on a Snorkeling Tour

For a hassle-free and immersive snorkeling experience on the Big Island, you would have to consider venturing out on a snorkeling tour. The best snorkeling tours in Kona are led by experienced guides and take you to some of the island’s most picturesque snorkeling spots. A snorkeling tour ensures that you have access to the best equipment, have built in safety measures, and expert knowledge about the marine life you’ll encounter. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned snorkeler, these tours cater to all skill levels and provide a comfortable and educational way to explore the Pacific. Booking a snorkeling tour not only makes the experience easy but also enhances your chances of discovering hidden treasures and all the wild and unique marine life beneath the surface.

The Two Most Popular Snorkel Destination on the Big Island

While the Big Island offers a plethora of snorkeling opportunities, two destinations consistently stand out as the most popular: Kealakekua Bay, also known as Captain Cook and the Place of Refuge. Kealakekua Bay, located near Kona, is celebrated for its stunning coral reefs and vibrant marine life. Snorkelers here have the chance to swim among schools consisting of hundreds of tropical fish and may even encounter spinner dolphins in their natural habitat, on the boat ride out and back. 

Right next door the Place of Refuge provides a unique snorkeling experience alongside the rich history that makes the area such an important piece of Hawawaiian culture. These protected waters are also home to a diverse array of marine species. Both destinations offer unforgettable underwater adventures and are well worth a visit during your time on the Big Island.

How You Can Have a Safe and Fun Time Snorkeling on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Ensuring a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience on the Big Island of Hawaii is paramount. Start by choosing a snorkeling spot and guided snorkel tour that matches your skill level, as some areas may have stronger currents or more challenging conditions. If you insist on venturing out without the guidance of one of the island’s experts, make sure that you invest in high quality gear and always snorkel with a buddy for added safety and companionship. Lastly, respect the fragile marine environment by avoiding contact with corals and refraining from touching or disturbing marine life– this is something that is easily followed when aboard one of the island’s trusted tours, as a guide will be able to take you to areas of the reef that are more friendly to snorkelers while still exciting. By following these guidelines, you can have a memorable and responsible time snorkeling on the Big Island.