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

Kona Snorkel Tours Options

a small boat in near the shore in Kealakekua bay near captain cook monument

Guide to Kona Snorkel Tours

There are so many different Kona snorkel tours available on the Big Island’s western coast. The Kona side of the Big Island is home to some of the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii. Our pristine reefs and dramatic lava features make for a unique mix of reef and rock where the fish find their refuge. Here we will take you through an overview of all of the options available to the adventurous water lover. Weather you’re a solo adventurous water lover, a large family group, or someone that just wants to enjoy a peaceful Hawaiian holiday there’s a snorkel tour just for you. There are many different snorkel tour options on the Big Island here’s the cream of the crop picked just for you.

Kona Snorkel Trips is Hawaii’s top rated and most reviewed snorkel company. We take thousands of happy water lovers snorkeling from Honokohau Marina 3 times daily. Click here to see our reviews. We know good snorkeling when we see it and some of the best tour operators deserve recognition for doing it right. Here are the best snorkel tours in Kona by time of day and type of tour.


a snorkel boat with a few passengers sits on calm water off a dramatic tall rocky cliff

Kona Snorkel Trips ‘Orca’ idles in Kealakekua Bay near the coast where the Captain Cook Monument Sits


This guide is for adventurous water lovers who want to narrow down the many Kona snorkel tour options.


What are The Best Snorkeling Options in Big Island Hawaii?




Kona Snorkel Tours by Time of Day

Its possible to do 3 tours in a day with many different Kona snorkeling options in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The manta ray night snorkel can go late into the night as the sun sets later in the summer months.


Morning Snorkel Tours


Afternoon Snorkel Tours


Night time Snorkel Tours




The Best Kona Snorkel Tours for Kids

Families know sometimes it’s about quality time. These Kona snorkeling tours are best suited to families with young children. Many snorkel experiences will take a large range of ages but these are particularly well suited to pip squeaks with shorter attention spans and limited snorkeling experience.



Short Snorkel Tours

If you’re the kind of person that wants to pack in the most activities in one day or you just want a small taste of what Kona’s underwater has to offer you can book these shorter tours. They are also typically better for families with small children or people that don’t want to spend a ton of time on a boat or in the water.



The Best Snorkel Tours for Avid Water lovers

Some people just love being in the water. These Kona snorkeling tours will give you the most time in the water. The Open ocean Safari is best for hunting for elusive large marine life while the Deluxe Snorkel is for people who want the guarantee of seeing beautiful reefs.



The Best Kona Snorkel Tours for Large Animal Encounters

Kona snorkeling is the best in Hawaii for large animal encounters. This is because our volcano is so new it allows the large animals of the open ocean to swim close to shore and still be in deep water. The big island is home to 13 different resident cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) including 4 different kinds of dolphins, pilot whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, melon head whales, pygmy killer whales and even the occasional whale shark! The reefs are what truly make Big Island snorkeling stand out form snorkeling on other islands. Our lack of sand means better water clarity and more reef. The reef attracts fish and so we get the best snorkeling Hawaii has.




The best Tours for Non-Swimmers and 




Kona Snorkel Tour Descriptions

Check out a detailed run-through of all of the snorkel tours mentioned in the lists above. Each one is best suited for different tastes and needs. There’s sure to be Kona snorkel trips to suit your specific desires. Keep in mind there are many snorkel tour companies but we only recommend Kona snorkel tours with the best Kona snorkeling operators on the island.


Kona Snorkel Tours

Deluxe Morning Snorkel

Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling Tour

Sail & Snorkel Tour

Open Ocean Safari

Manta Ray Snorkel at Night

Afternoon Reef Snorkel Tour

Afternoon Sail & Captain Cook Snorkeling Tour


Deluxe Morning Snorkel Tour

One of our favorites, this tour packs a lot of in-water time in a short 3 hour tour. This is because some of the best snorkeling is nearby the harbor but is only accessible by boat. This means the places you will see are more pristine. Kona Snorkel Trips visits 2 different snorkel sites which is perfect for the avid snorkeler. At each site you will spend about an hour in the water with a bit of snack time and a surface break between sites. Click here to book.



Captain Cook Monument Snorkeling Tour

One of Hawaii’s best snorkeling spots the Captain Cook Monument lies on the northern shore of Kealakekua Bay (K-Bay). There are many Captain Cook Snorkeling Tours but Kona Snorkel trips offers one of the best. The history, geography, and excellent pristine underwater views make for a really nice 1/2 day on the water. Click here to Book. a small boat in a body of water  


Sail & Snorkel Tour

Cruise out from Keahou harbor aboard a spacious sailing catamaran. Once the sails are hoisted it’s a silent cruise along Kona’s southern coast to some of the Big Island’s most secluded southern snorkeling spots. Swing by captain cook monument to hear the history of the Big Island’s clash between the modern and the ancient.


  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Book Now




Open Ocean Safari

One of the wildest snorkel tours on Big Island. Be prepared for a boat ride like no other. This 40 foot twin jet assault RHIB was used by the special forces for beach and ocean operations and once had a 50 caliber machine gun mounted up front and now it’s just one big toy for finding one of the 13 different whales and dolphins that frequent the Big Islands near shore waters. That doesn’t include the whales sharks, and massive hammerhead schools seen here. Many people are unaware of just how epic the snorkeling off shore can be. This comes with a caveat though. The open ocean is a bit like a desert. Occasionally you’ll chance upon an oasis but often there’s not much to see for miles. It’s probably about a 50% chance of seeing something epic like a pod of pygmy killer whales, pilot whales, or spotted dolphins among other cetaceans. But don’t worry! You’ll love the boat ride regardless because this boat can do things no other boat can! Hang on, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Book Now



Manta Ray Snorkel at Night

One of the most popular activities on the Big Island. The manta ray snorkel is Kona’s most unique attraction. It’s not available anywhere else in the world. Click here to book.



Afternoon Reef Snorkel Tour

This is a great tour for people that want to sleep in or just want a quick taste of the ocean. The boat leaves from Honokohau harbor around 2pm. It’s a quick ride to one of the nearest snorkel spots. There are many good ones that are only reachable by boat nearby. Once the boat arrives at the site you’ll see why snorkeling Kona is one of the best snorkeling Hawaii has. After up to a while snorkeling around you’ll hop back aboard with drinks and snacks and head back to the harbor just in time for Pau Hana (after work drinks usually around 4:30pm) at the Harbor House restaurant located in the Harbor.

    a group of people in a boat on a body of water    


Afternoon Sail & Captain Cook Snorkeling Tour

This is a great tour for people that want to cruise and get just a taste of what Kona’s underwater has to offer. Head out of Keahou bay and sail down the coast to Captain Cook monument located in gorgeous Kealakekua Bay. Some of Hawaii’s best snorkeling is there in the bay.    

Book Now

a small boat in a body of water


Historical Dinner Cruise

One of the best tour options for non-swimmers or people that just want to take it easy. This dinner cruise visits the Captain Cook Monument in Kealakekua bay. Along the way you will learn the sordid history of the Island and have a primo seat on a floating restaurant on the Pacific Ocean. This boat tour is best for adults who are not comfortable in the water or who just want to take it easy on their vacation in paradise.

Book Now