Snorkel the marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay’s Captain Cook Monument, one of the top-rated snorkeling spots in the world. Learn the history, snorkel with numerous tropical fish, beautiful coral, and many other underwater creatures.
Seafari & Discover Pawai Afternoon Reef Snorkel
Skip the crowds at Kealakekua Bay and discover our stunning local sites!
Departure Location: Honokohau Harbor in Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 2 hours
Trip Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m
Not Suitable For: Non-swimmers, expectant mothers, or those with regular back or neck issues
Inclusions: Mask, snorkel, fins, additional flotation
- Per Person
KONA SNORKELING AT PAWAI BAY
Visit one of Kona’s most beautiful and exclusive local snorkeling spots, only accessible by boat. Only a handful of visitors get to snorkel here each day, and you could be one of them! Our afternoon snorkeling trip takes place in Pawai Bay (pronounced Pa-vai) – ocean permitting. This beautiful lava rock coastline is set aside for the use of native Hawaiian children, inaccessible to non-natives from shore.
- For safety, basic swimming skills are required to enter the water
- Expectant mothers or those with regular back or neck issues are not permitted on this tour due to the adventurous nature of our retired Navy SEAL boat
- Non-swimmers can enjoy the dramatic and spectacular Kona coastline while relaxing in the sun
- An adult must accompany those under 18 years of age, but 3 or older at all times
- For safety, you must be able to converse in English
We are fortunate to be able to moor in the bay and share the beautiful shallow reef wildlife and educational briefings with guests about the wildlife we encounter. This secluded location is a true local gem and is known as one of the most beautiful local snorkel spots in Kona.
Just after boarding, we depart Kona’s harbor, keeping a watchful eye out for *Hawaiian spinner dolphins in their natural habitat. Jump in the water to snorkel Kona’s most beautiful local snorkel spot at Pawai, where massive schools of fish, lava rock arches, and gorgeous reefs await discovery.
You’ll spend less time on the boat and more time in the water. Plus, it’s likely you’ll have the whole area to yourself. Kealakekua Bay can get crowded so why not spend the time exploring some of Kona’s local reefs.
*Please note that the spinner dolphins and whales are protected under the marine mammal act and we can only observe from the designated distance. If dolphins try to engage we have to take evasive measures to disengage from them.
- Basic swimming skills – must be able to swim or float unassisted
- Non-swimmers are not permitted to enter the water
- Beginner or first time snorkelers welcome
- Basic swimming skills – must be able to swim or float unassisted
- Mask, snorkel, fins, additional flotation
- Snacks, juice, sparkling water
Snorkel tips & basic instruction
- Swimsuit (please arrive in it)
- Sun-protective cover-up
- Reef-safe non-aerosol sunscreen – Please read for further info on choosing safe sunscreen
- Waterproof camera (GoPro’s avail to rent)
Storage space is limited on the vessel.
Full payment is due at the time of booking. You may make changes or cancellations to your reservation up to 48 hours prior to your trip and receive a full refund.
We enforce a strict no refund/no reschedule policy with less than 48 hours’ notice before the trip, with no exceptions. We are a small business and every seat counts. Thank you for your cooperation.
No-shows will not be offered a refund.
What if we cancel?
We reserve the right to cancel for any reason including, but not limited to weather, ocean conditions, passenger count, mechanical issues, safety for you, our guests, and our crew. We’ll do our best to reschedule your trip based on availability or you’ll be issued a refund in full. We will contact you via the phone number and/or email address provided in the reservation. We are not responsible if we can not contact you for important information regarding the charter.
We specialize in fun. Depart from Honokohau boat harbor aboard our comfy pontoon boat heading south around Kaiwi point. The coastline is rugged with no access from the shore. This means only boats can get to this unique area. It’s a short 15-minute cruise to reach the magical spot that is Pawai Bay. Pawai is a marine reserve which means it’s teeming with marine life. The fish are not shy in Pawai! The reef begins at a vertical lava wall that drops to the coral-covered bottom in 15 feet of water. It gently slopes to about 40 feet before descending more steeply into the blue. The types of animals you can see are plenty. Colorful reef fish are abundant here but there are also eels, sea stars, and the occasional large animal including turtles, manta rays, and spotted eagle rays. The protection offered by the Bay means calm waters most of the year around. The colors of the reef allow many different critters to hide among it. Occasionally you will spot an eel head or a shy octopus poking out from under the reef. Our guides will be happy to take you to the select spots and show you the unique marine life. Kona is home to the highest rate of endemic (found only in Hawaii) fish in the world. There are colorful long-nose butterflyfish like the Wili wili nuku nuku oi oi, and large puffer fish like the Kokala.
Our guides are also full of information about the history and culture of the island. The advantage of this quick afternoon Kona snorkel tour is the fast turnaround time means you will be able to get in the water and get back home in time for dinner. If you’re looking for a quick, convenient Kona snorkel tour this is the one. We provide all of the snorkeling gear so you can focus on the fun. Been a while since you have snorkeled? We’d be happy to show you how to use your snorkel gear in a quick tutorial. Our experienced captain and crew love showing off our beautiful island, that’s why Kona Snorkel Trips is the #1 rated snorkel tour company on the Big Island. Our snorkel tours are designed to delight. You’re looking for an easy way to enjoy the Hawaiian waters and we are happy to give you a way to do it in a small and personalized setting. Our boat allows a more intimate setting for you and your family with only a captain and crew to oversee your trip. Looking to go with just your family? The private tour option is economical and allows you to enjoy the boat all to yourself. Not all snorkel tours are created equal. Kona Snorkel Trips works hard to provide an experience you won’t soon forget. Vacations offer us an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime and a Kona snorkel tour is a wonderful way to round out that perfect holiday. Kona has some of the best ocean reefs in Hawaii. The colorful variety of hard corals mixed with our calm lear water and abundance of fish means you’re going to love your time out on the water with us. This is because of the shelter offered by the other islands. We are also a very steep volcanic island that has little sand. The combination of calm water and little sand means visibility is superior. We also have more places for coral to grow which in turn attracts reef fish. Snorkel tours can vary in quality and duration. This Kona snorkel tour is designed to give the maximum amount of water time for the minimum amount of total time spent out on the water. Pawai Bay has some beautiful rock arches and pinnacles. The unique lava features mean for some spectacular underwater scenery is just a fin kick away from the boat. If your looking for other Kona snorkel tour opportunities check out our Kealakekua bay snorkel tour or our manta ray snorkel tour. Combine multiple tours to get package pricing! Looking for other things to do in Kona? After you return to the harbor you can go to the turtle beach to the north in Kaloko National Park. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see honu or turtles resting on the shore. So book your trip today because space is limited on the Big Island’s highest-rated snorkel company. Our attention to detail and focus on your experience means your comfort is our highest priority. Snorkeling Kona’s waters can be a mixed experience. It’s important to have the gear and the guides that can show you the best spots to maximizer your precious vacation time. By selecting Kona Snorkel Trips you can be confident that you’re time and money will be well spent. So join us on a afternoon Kona snorkel tour today!