Considered one of the finest snorkeling spots in the world, millions of people visit the Big Island of Hawaii every year for its clear, calm waters and abundant marine life.
If you are headed to the Big Island on your next vacation, make sure to add these snorkeling spots to your Hawaiian itinerary for an unforgettable experience.
Whether you're an experienced snorkeler or a beginner, there's a perfect beach on the Big Island for you to explore. Simply grab a mask and snorkel to come face-to-face with stunning sea creatures including corals, stunning reef fish, dolphins, manta rays, and more!
1. Kona Manta Ray Snorkel
Experience one of the only places on earth where you can swim with Kona's resident gentle giants. The Kona manta rays weigh more than 1,000 pounds on average and have a wingspan of about 12 ft.
This snorkeling spot on the western side of the island is safe and suitable for beginners. Manta rays only feed on plankton, so all you have to do is book a tour and don a mask to see them up close when they come out to eat. This once-of-a-lifetime activity will be one of your favorite memories from your Hawaii vacation.
2. Kahalu’u Beach Park
The shallow waters of Kahaluʻu Bay are a great place for beginner snorkelers. This bay is home to a diverse group of sea life and the area has one of the highest concentrations of schools of fish on the island. This is a popular spot among locals, and many people flock here to surf and spot the honu, or sea turtles.
3. Kealakekua Bay
Also known as Captain Cook Bay, this marine sanctuary is home to the Captain Cook Monument, a tall statue that pays homage to the iconic explorer. To see the colorful fish and a dolphin or two if luck is on your side, try snorkeling directly in front of the monument. There are a few different ways to explore the area, including renting a kayak or scheduling a tour with a local company. Check in with our hosts to learn more—they're always happy to point you in the right direction.
4. Honaunau Bay
Another popular spot for snorkeling is in Honaunau Bay. The left side of the waters is suitable for beginners and the shallow waters make it a great place to view sea turtles. For the more adventurous and experienced, visit the deeper right-hand side of the bay where dolphins tend to hang out.
Kamakahonu, also known as King Kam Beach, is a small and sheltered beach that is perfect for families with small children who are learning to snorkel. Head there in the morning when the waters are calm and crystal clear. This white-sand beach is also perfect for kayaking, diving, and swimming.
These five popular snorkeling spots on the Big Island are all easily accessible from Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. Not into snorkeling? There's plenty to do on and off property, from cultural classes and other water sports, to Kona Coffee tasting. You're sure to have an amazing time on Hawaii's Big Island.