The best time of year to Swim with Dolphins Kona, Hawaii
We have many different kinds of dolphins here in Kona Hawaii. They can be seen year around in our waters. This means that no matter what time of year you come to visit us on the island, you’re likely to see dolphins. But you may wonder, is there a best time of year to swim with dolphins Kona?
The best time to see dolphins is usually early in the morning after they come in from hunting all night. Dolphins are nocturnal creatures, they go offshore to find animals like squid and schools of baitfish to hunt and eat at night. Then they come in in the morning and sleep in our bays and shallow spots. They prefer sandy bottoms and then they turn off half of their brain and rest. Dolphins can be found frequently in bays such as Kailua Bay. Spinner dolphins are the most common kind of dolphin to see on the Big Island. There are hundreds and hundreds of them up and down the Kona Coast. Often when we encounter these playful creatures we will see them in pods of anywhere between five and 30. If were lucky we may even see larger pods the size of 100 to 200. But this is very rare. Since NOAA banned dolphin encounters in Nov 2021 you can no longer legally swim with dolphins Kona.
You may be asking yourself, is there a best time of year to come and see dolphins? This is no longer a consideration since the NOAA ban that has gone into effect for Kona snorkel tour operators. There is no data that shows that dolphins are more commonly cited at a certain time of year. But there are certainly better times of year to view dolphins because of the ocean conditions. During the summer the water is typically much more calm. During the winter we will often have larger swells meaning the ocean conditions will be less ideal and it may be harder to spot dolphins. The bays that are normally protected from large slow may not be as well protected. So even if you want to swim with dolphins Kona no time of year is best for seeing them.
The entire industry of Kona snorkeling tours has shifted to offering Kealakekua bay snorkeling tours. You may be asking yourself what’s it like going on a Captain Cook snorkeling tour to Kealakekua bay and will I see dolphins? We will run you through the typical Captain cook monument charter. We start the day at home in Honokohau harbor. This is where Kona Snorkel trips is based. First we will begin with the briefing and then we’ll get our gear ready making sure you have everything you need before we head out. If you want to snorkel the reefs you’re going to need a snorkel set. And depending on your swimming ability you may prefer to have a flotation device. Then we board the orca our comfy zodiac style boat, and head out of the harbor. We will cruise down the Kona coast keeping an eye out for humpback whales and other cetaceans. If you want to swim with dolphins Kona dolphins are very particular and the laws prohibit it. Since they are resting it’s important that we treat them with respect. Sometimes they don’t want to be played with or seen in the with the water. Other times they can be very friendly. We will do our best to avoid getting to close to the Hawaiian spinner dolphins. From there we stay stationary and see if the dolphins will come near us. If not then we can move on an continue down to Captain Cook snorkeling tour. Once at the bay in Kealakekua we will pull in close to shore and drop you in the water to snorkel the gorgeous reef there.
If you do come to the Big Island to swim with dolphins Kona is no longer the best place to do it. If you’re looking for a snorkel tour, look no further estimation point Kona snorkel trips is top rated snorkeling company on the Big Island.
Let’s say you were to come to Hawaii during the wintertime when swells are bigger. What are the odds that you will see dolphins? Very good. In fact very very good. Dolphins can be found year around up and down the Kona Coast. The ocean swells can be very large and may not be possible to go out, but this is only a fraction of the time. Most days the conditions will be quite nice. We are very fortunate here in Kona to have such wonderful ocean conditions. Our island is sheltered by the other Hawaiian islands which means Kona coast used to be one of the nicest places on the planet to go out into the ocean and look for dolphins. But now if you want to swim with dolphins Kona no longer offers any opportunities.
Give us a call at 808-326-4774. We are available for private Kona snorkel tours and our comfy boat fits up to 19 passengers. We not only see dolphins there’s so many other marine animals up and down the Kona Coast. From December through April we will see humpback whales. They are very commonly seen with bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins act as escorts for the whales. Sometimes you can also see bottlenose dolphins alone or in pods but this is much more rare. Spinner dolphins are the most common. We also have two other kinds of dolphins on the Kona Coast but they are seen much less frequently. These are the rough tooth dolphin and the spotted dolphin. Both of these dolphins are found more commonly offshore. When they are seen offshore, they’re often not interested in being near us. Unfortunately for us, the spinner dolphins do enjoy human interaction so we must do our best to avoid them. During the period when the coronavirus was prevalent, and the commercial operators were unable to run tours, the dolphins became lonely and sought out people to interact with. There were instances of people swimming and the dolphins coming up to see them coming very close and acting much different than they would normally. When treated well the dolphins enjoy being near us humans. Maybe they think we are their pets!