Big Island Snorkeling
Snorkeling off the 250 miles of Big Island coastline is arguably the best in the State. With far less human interaction, Hawaii has vibrant reefs and plentiful ocean life that make it incredible for snorkeling. Many of the best Big Island snorkel spots are most-easily accessed from a boat trip.
A favorite location to snorkel on the Big Island is only a short distance from Kona Town. Kealakekua Bay is where Captain James cook originally landed on the the Big Island. It’s also the spot where he was killed one year later by the Hawaiian people. His memorial can be visited via snorkel boat, and you can also see the Hikiau Heiau on the east side, a sacred temple built to honor the Hawaiian god Lono.
Snorkel at Night!
Our personal favorite Big Island snorkeling experience was done at night among the massive manta rays not far from Kona. We took a sunset cruise to the spot where there are already lights attracting the rays. Then, the boat turns on all their ocean lights, illuminating the water, ultimately attracting plankton. This plankton then brings in the manta rays for feeding. We had 15 manta rays with 15-20 foot wing spans swooping open-mouthed inches from our bodies! This is a bucket list item, for sure!