Kealakekua Bay / Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling

Kailua-Kona, HI
Duration: 3 hours
Brought to you by

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guaranteed

Select Number of Guests

Kealakekua Bay / Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling

Rated among the top snorkeling spots in North America and definitely the best snorkeling location in all of Hawaii, Kealakekua Bay is a special marine wonder because of its pristine waters.  Designated a Marine Life Conservation District in 1969 by the State of Hawaii, ensures that the a portion of the bay is protected from fishing and collecting.  Over 250 species of marine life call the bay home and you should be on the lookout for our Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, moray eels, spotted eagle rays, octopus, green sea turtles (honu), vibrant reef fish, and an amazing array of living corals.

This bay is also an extremely important cultural and historical site as it’s where Captain James Cook made his second landing in Hawaii in 1779 (after landing in Kauai in 1778) – the first western contact with the native Hawaiians after their solitary existence for hundreds of  years.  You’ll learn about this and have a deeper appreciation for its significance through the storytelling of our Captain and crew.  Some of the best snorkeling is right by the Captain Cook Monument and the adjacent Ka`awaloa Cove.


  • Adventure. Fun. Aloha. Respect.
  • During our day snorkels, our crew will help introduce you to our vibrant coral reef and the many marine species who call it home. We will be on the lookout for the 4 species of local dolphins, whales, and mantas, but we will always act with respect for their safety and well-being, equally as with our own.
  • We rigidly adhere to the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 which sets strict guidelines and penalties for proximity and that prohibit any harassment of these animals. Count on our captain and crew to create the best experience and educate you on these amazing creatures as we encounter them.

What to bring

  • Bathing suit on and ready under your clothes.
  • Dry towels and a change of dry clothes or layers for the ride home.
  • For daytime experiences – UPF protective clothing and a light jacket or sweat shirt for the start of the day or if the wind comes up.
  • Remember that you will be snorkeling face down and your uncovered back will get significant sun exposure. Best approach is to have a sun shirt or rash guard on while you are in the water and manage your sun exposure diligently.
  • Non-aerosol reef-safe sunscreen (active ingredients should include non-nano zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – such as that used in mineral-based sunblock. Bad for the reef chemicals are octinoxate and oxybenzone or nanoparticles and microplastics). Please apply before boarding the boat giving it time to be absorbed. Travel + Leisure magazine did a recent comparison in 2023 and this may provide some assistance in securing the right sunscreen before you travel:
  • If you experience motion sickness, you are encouraged to consult with your doctor and if approved, to use a relief agent such as Dramamine, Bonine, or other brand product well in advance of the tour following the instructions for use by the manufacturer. Sea-Bands are a non-drug option as well and are available at a local pharmacy. Our fast and open-air boat will reduce the sideways motion that larger boats experience, but only you know your own sensitivity and we ask you to take the appropriate precautions for everyone’s best interests.
  • Any additional snacks or non-alcoholic beverages you’d like in a backpack or less sized container. Space is limited, only bring what you need onboard. No alcohol allowed on the boat and we suggest you wait until after the experience is concluded to enjoy a beer or cocktail.
  • An adventurous outlook . . . . and all of the Aloha Spirit that you’ve absorbed through your stay thus far! Our Captain and crew will definitely be adding more to keep you Living Aloha!

Health & Safety

  • Our fast and maneuverable vessel will help introduce you to our Kona coast’s amazing reef and near-shore marine life. It’s a comfortable ride with our forward-facing cushioned bench seats, and we do move expeditiously and that can include a few bumps and is generally part of the fun. The best approach is to hold on and smile!
  • The ride can be a bit bumpy at times, therefore we do not recommend our tour for anyone who is pregnant, is recovering from an injury, or has a history of neck, back, or shoulder issues. Please consult with your physician before booking our tour to ensure your personal well-being.
  • Our 31’ NATURE SCHOOL II RHIB vessel has inflated pontoons and our guests must be able to physically and safely move about the boat without assistance. Boarding requires stepping up onto the bow pontoon and then stepping down into the boat.
  • You should be in good physical and mental health to join our adventures. Our crew will be happy to lend a hand when needed, but you should be prepared to be self-sufficient and mobile. You must be able to climb a short ladder unassisted to get back into the boat from snorkeling.  Everyone’s safety is our top priority.

Additional information

  • Please arrive no later than 20 minutes before your scheduled departure time. We will get you checked in, have you complete our liability waiver, fit you for a wetsuit (night manta only), provide a safety orientation, and then “lines away” as we depart for your adventure!   Please be aware that our departure times will change throughout the year based upon the changing time of sunset.
  • We’ll be going “local-style” and instead of removing your “slippahs” or shoes before you enter someone’s house in Hawaii as a common practice, we’ll be collecting your footwear and keeping them safely until we return to the dock (remember, don’t take a better pair when you leave!).
  • Complimentary Snorkeling Gear, Additional Floatation, Cold Drinks, And Snacks.
  • There is no bathroom on board. We recommend that “You GO, before WE go” at the public restrooms located adjacent to where you will park. Light tan building, reddish roof.

Cancellation Policy

  • Customers will receive a full refund or credit with 48 hours notice of cancellation.
  • Customers will also receive a full refund or credit in case of operator cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • No-shows will be charged the full price.


Additional Information: Kealakekua Bay / Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling


Booking Times

9:00am, 1pm

Time of Day

Afternoon (1pm – 4pm), Morning (9am – 12pm)

Min Guests


Max Guests


Operator Details

Meet Hawaii Marine Life Charters

At Hawaii Marine Life Charters, we are more than a tour company – we’re stewards of the ocean, helping you to connect with nature through Hawaii’s amazing marine life along our Kona coast. We believe that every adventure is a chance to learn, appreciate, and protect the marine world for now and for generations to come.

Our mission is to inspire a deep connection with marine life while fostering a sense of responsibility for conservation. We believe there’s more to the world than we humans have seen, and ushering you on a journey through the waters that house an abundance of marine life helps to inspire a new level of environmental and aquatic life consciousness.

More Activities

Kealakekua Bay / Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling
Kealakekua Bay / Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling
Book your Activity

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guaranteed

Select Number of Guests
Shopping cart