Guide to the Best Captain Cook Snorkeling Tours
The Ultimate Captain Cook Snorkel Tour Guide
Imagine arriving in a bay that is so stunningly beautiful with tropical beauty and massive cliffs plunging into the ocean that you are surprised when you dip your head below the surface you find that you are even more amazed by the marine life the surrounds you. This is Kealakekua Bay located just south of Kona, Hawaii. It’s easily one of the best snorkeling spots in all of Hawaii and has history and stunning views to top things off.
In This Guide
Captain Cook Monument is a spot on the north end of beautiful Kealakekua Bay in the City of captain Cook on the Big Island. There are multiple ways to access the bay and reach the monument. Most people go by boat because let’s be honest, it’s the easiest and most fun way to get there in style. There are a few other options however including a steep hike and Kayaks, paddle boards, or even a double hull old school Hawaiian style canoe.
There are 2 kinds or styles of boats that visit Captain Cook monument for snorkeling.
Intimate boat tours emphasize service and cater more to each individual with a smaller number of guests per guide. This is going to be more like a private boat tour. They typically offer more assistance and attention to each individual. They are better for people into the snorkeling experience or with less experience snorkeling that like being closer to their guide. Intimate boat tours will have less than 20 snorkelers on board.
Party boat tours are on larger boats with slides, barbecues, and other activities in addition to snorkeling. There might be one staff to 20 or more individuals on these tours. They are more about the topside activities and food. Party boat tour will have 40 or more guests on board.
Of the more personalized offerings we’ve selected the provider with both the most flexibility (they offer 2 departure times) and the highest rating/most reviews.
We’ve visited Kealakekua bay many different times in different ways. The party boat is good if you’re visiting with friends and you want to drink and hang out on the boat. In that case our favorite party boat tour provider is Sea Paradise. Their boat is a fantastic sailing catamaran that offers excellent views and is a good option for pople that get easily seasick. it accommodates a maximum of 40 guests
Morning Captain Cook Snorkel Tour
Afternoon Captain Cook Snorkel Tour
There are several different ways to get from the shore on the other side of Kealakekua Bay to the Captain Cook Monument without a guide. If you’re looking for a tour the boat options above will be a better option.
Captain Cook Paddling Tours
There’s three ways to get to the Captain Cook monument from the other side of Kealakekua Bay.
Probably one of the most ‘Authentic’ ways to get to the monument is via a Hawaiian-style double-hulled canoe. This is how the Hawaiians used to travel around the island and is probably the most fun self-propelled way to get there with a group of up to 8 friends or family.
The most conventional way to get across the bay is by Kayak. Park near the bay and paddle across 1 mile (1.6 km) to reach the other side where you can beach the kayak and snorkel around. You can rent snorkel gear for an additional fee if you’d like to see the beautiful underwater sights here (recommended).
The most challenging method and best workout is via paddle board. Staying atop in rough water can be a challenge and is a great way to get a workout while you transit from one side of the bay to the other. It’s more difficult to beach on shore and snorkel on a board board than a Kayak. This would be for people that really want a good workout and are less concerned about the snorkeling.
There are many different ways to get to Hawaii’s best snorkeling spot at the Captain Cook Monument. Weather it’s by tour boat, kayak or canoe there’s something for everyone. No matter how you get there, do try to visit because it really is worthwhile not just for the snorkeling but the scenery and History truly make this a special place in Hawaii to visit.
Looking to learn more about the Captain Cook Monument? Check out our guide
Is Captain Cook good for snorkeling?
The best snorkeling in Hawaii is in front of the Captain Cook Monument located on the north end of Kealakekua Bay, on the Big Island of Hawaii.
What makes Captain Cook snorkeling so good? It’s a combination of the pristine reef, schools of colorful reef fish, as well as stunning topside scenery and history of the site itself. While it’s not straighforward to get there you can Paddle there yourself or take a boat tour.
Is Kealakekua Bay worth it?
Kealakekua Bay is stunning above and below the water. To see the best part, take a Captain Cook snorkel tour where the reef is teeming with colorful reef fish.
Are snorkeling tours worth it?
It depends. In general, a tour is going to provide equipment, ease of access, and a guide to help you along as well as point out creatures underwater as well as highlight historical points of interest. You may also have a fun boat ride with food and drink as well as an opportunity to come across marine life on the way to the site. During some months there is a high likelihood of spotting whales.