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Kailua-Kona Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Kailua-Kona Safaris & wildlife activities

Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

1. Big Island, Hawaii: Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

Snorkeling with manta rays is a must-do while in Hawaii! Enjoy this amazing opportunity to see manta rays up close. Feed and interact with other ocean creatures on this cruise trip. After a safety briefing, gear up with the snorkeling equipment and wet suits provided. Relax and enjoy the cruise with drinks and snacks on board. Bring your underwater camera for photos and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

2. Kailua-Kona: Whale Watching Cruise

Hawaii is the only state in the United States where humpback whales mate, calve and nurse their young. Humpbacks may find Hawaii suitable because of the warm waters, the underwater visibility, the variety of ocean depths and the lack of natural predators. Mothers can be seen breaching alongside their calves and males can be seen competing with one another for females in fierce head-to-head battles. Join a 2.5-hour cruise as you follow these magnificent sea creatures and listen to their singing using the underwater hydrophones. Snacks and beverages will be available during your cruise providing a unique and memorable experience for the whole family.

Big Island: Night Swim with Manta Ray with Hot Chocolate

3. Big Island: Night Swim with Manta Ray with Hot Chocolate

Experience a nighttime snorkeling expedition on a cruise from Big Island. Get up close and personal with stunning manta rays as they gracefully soar through the water. Your underwater adventure will take place in clear warm waters near protected reefs abundant with marine life. After the sun sets, head off into the nighttime waters to see a fascinating "manta ray ballet" along the Kona coast near the mouth of Keauhou Bay. This point of departure is one of the island’s most successful and consistent manta ray viewing locations. Your snorkeling guide will outfit you with all the necessary gear needed to embark on your experience including snorkel gear, wetsuits, and flotation devices. After a quick safety briefing, plunge into the dark waters and be captivated by these graceful creatures as they feast on plankton. Grip onto the flotation swim ring with high-illumination blue water lights that attract the plankton on which the mantas feed. Soon afterward, rays will glide through the water almost at arm's length opening their enormous mouths to feast. After your remarkable underwater adventure, return to your boat and warm up with a nighttime snack of hot chocolate and cookies

Kona: Dolphin Watch and Double Snorkel Boat Tour with BBQ

4. Kona: Dolphin Watch and Double Snorkel Boat Tour with BBQ

Discover the beautiful coastline aboard the Kibou zodiac vessel. Search for playful dolphins in the gorgeous blue Hawaiian waters, snorkel with exotic underwater species, and enjoy a hearty Hawaiian-style BBQ lunch. After meeting your crew and boarding the boat, begin by searching for majestic dolphins in the shimmering ocean surrounding Kona. Learn a bit about marine biology, Hawaiian history, and local traditions. Stop in a spectacular bay with a vibrant reef and enjoy plenty of time for snorkeling. Swim with wild turtles and exotic tropical fish as you explore the underwater world. After snorkeling, the crew will bring out the barbecue and cook up a delectable meal. Once finished snorkeling and with lunch, travel to a second snorkel spot to try and see more wildlife and potentially some manta rays, before heading back to the meeting point.

Kona: Kalaoa Midday Whale Watching Tour

5. Kona: Kalaoa Midday Whale Watching Tour

Marvel at humpback whales on a catamaran cruise as it's finally the time of year when these creatures return to the Hawaiian islands. Learn about the majestic creatures and the local area as you sail aboard the Kibou. Sit back and enjoy views of whales, turquoise waters, and mountains. Step aboard the Kibou in Kalaoa and explore the incredible Kailua-Kona coast while searching for humpback whales migrating from Alaska. Get up-close views of the whales as they breach the surface of the water. Learn about the majestic creatures and the local area from the experienced crew. Bring your own drinks, sit back and relax on the catamaran, enjoying views of the beautiful turquoise waters and mountainous island. Return to shore, your head full of memories that will last a lifetime.

From Keauhou Bay: Snorkel Cruise to Captain Cook's Monument

6. From Keauhou Bay: Snorkel Cruise to Captain Cook's Monument

Embark on an unforgettable day at sea from Keauhou Bay to Captain Cook's Monument on a guided Yacht trip. Enjoy scenic views of the Kona coast as you sail and indulge in tasty light snacks and tropical fruit juice. Meet your guide at the Keauhou Bay Pier. Hop aboard, relax and enjoy the ride. Cruise past rock formations, stop at beautiful coves, and soak in the views. Set sail along the beautiful Kona coast on a trip from Keauhou Bay, marvel at the ancient Kealakekua Bay, and see the Captain Cook Monument. Splash into the clear waters to swim, snorkel, or sunbathe onboard. Spot the colorful fish underneath the water, and take photos with your marine camera of the dolphins and other marine life. Enjoy site briefings and snorkeling tips from the crew members. Life jackets, floatation noodles, viewfinder boards, masks, fins, and snorkels are provided. Energize yourself with fruits and tropical juice. The crew will help you enter and exit the water if needed and will provide fish identification cards. They will even take you on a guided snorkeling tour.

Kailua-Kona: Boat Tour and Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

7. Kailua-Kona: Boat Tour and Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

Join a boat tour from Kailua-Kona and swim with Manta Rays off the coast of Hawaii's Big Island. Choose the sunset boat tour or opt for a moonlight experience, watching the rays while you hold onto a floatation device. Board the luxury zodiac vessel, the Kibou, at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor and venture out to sea. Learn about Hawaii's culture, marine life, and the ocean before getting the chance to interact with the world's largest rays. Once you arrive at your snorkeling destination, receive a safety briefing and get all the necessary gear. Then, hop into the waist-deep water and meet the rays. You'll spend around 30 minutes in the water swimming with these majestic creatures. After your swim, warm up with a cup of tea or a hot cocoa while you make your way back to the harbor, where your tour comes to an end. 

From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

8. From Hawaii: Eco-Friendly Snorkeling Experience with BBQ

Join a morning snorkeling and dolphin-watching cruise with paddleboards and kids' activities from Kailua-Kona and explore the underwater world off the coast of Hawaii. Enjoy a light breakfast, a barbecue lunch, and a full-service premium cash bar throughout your trip. Start with an early-morning departure and cruise ten miles down the spectacular Kona coastline to reach your snorkeling destination for the day, a protected marine sanctuary. As you travel, enjoy a light breakfast of tropical fruits, assorted pastries, bagels, juices, teas, and Kona coffee. Then, sit back and enjoy the boat's comfortable amenities, including a large shaded cabin with cushioned seating, 3 restrooms, and freshwater showers. Once you arrive at your snorkeling spot, get kitted out with your mask, fins, and snorkel. Prescription masks are also available. If you're new to snorkeling, take advantage of a short introduction to snorkeling offered by the lifeguard-trained crew. You'll also have access to a host of flotation toys, including noodles, vests, inner tubes, and more. Or, make use of the stand-up paddleboards available on board at no additional cost. A waterslide and high-dive platform also provide endless entertainment for the kids. Or, if you just feel like kicking back and doing nothing, check out the floating "relaxation station". Your crew will even swim your refreshments out to you at your station. And while you're exploring, having fun, or just unwinding, the crew will be preparing lunch. Once you're done snorkeling, belly up to a full-service premium cash bar, featuring a large selection of liquors, mixes, and local brews. Your Kona snorkeling cruise comes to an end with a return transfer back to the harbor in Kailua-Kona.

Kailua Kona: Humpback Whale Watching Adventure Cruise

9. Kailua Kona: Humpback Whale Watching Adventure Cruise

See majestic humpback whales and listen to them sing on this whale watching cruise from Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Over 8,000 humpback whales journey over 3,500 miles to Hawaii every year. Between December and April, these incredible creatures gather to breed and raise their young. This 2.5-hour whale-watching experience in Kona offers you an incredible opportunity to view humpback whales up close in their natural habitats. Hear the whales sing with unique underwater hydrophones. Keep your eyes open for other marine creatures like spinner dolphins, pilot and sperm whales, manta rays, sea turtles, and more. Whale sightings are guaranteed or you can join the cruise again for free.

Big Island: Kona Half-Day Boat Tour with Snorkeling & Lunch

10. Big Island: Kona Half-Day Boat Tour with Snorkeling & Lunch

Embark on a half-day boat tour of the Big Island's Kona Coast to enjoy ultimate scenic views and two gorgeous snorkel destinations. Round off your experience with lunch served on board along with a variety of drinks and snacks. Board a top-of-the-line rigid hull inflatable boat at the historic Keauhou Bay and head south for two snorkeling stops. Swim through the clear Hawaiian waters at Puʻuhonua O Honaunau, where you'll spot coral, all types of sea life, and perhaps a few turtles. Back on the boat, enjoy tropical fruit, chips, and cookies before continuing on to Kealakekua Bay for more snorkeling and the chance to observe more fish and a unique coral reef. When you are ready to re-board the boat, savor a delicious deli-style sandwich as well as more snacks and beverages for your lunch. Sit back as your knowledgeable captain and crew point out interesting geological features and keep you entertained with fun facts about the history of Kona Coast. On your way back toward Keauhou Bay, explore ancient lava tubes and sea caves that are unique to the Big Island.

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Frequently asked questions about Kailua-Kona

What top attractions are a must-see in Kailua-Kona?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona?

The best day trips and excursions from Kailua-Kona are:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Kailua-Kona

Want to discover all there is to do in Kailua-Kona? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Kailua-Kona

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 6 reviews

This trip was amazing!!! I saw a manta ray, 3 whales, an entire mega-pod of dolphins, flying fish, and coral fish. And the crew was incredible; they went above and beyond to ensure an excellent experience. I have never snorkeled before, but they were very patient, gave me a ton of guidance, and make the entire experience wonderful. I highly recommend this trip!

We sent our four kids to experience this adventure. The oldest two are 20 and the youngest is 11. They had a blast. Had such a great experience. They saw a lot of Manta Ray. They documented it on a go pro. We were amazed at how amazing the footage was when they showed us. Very Impressed

Staff was very friendly and informative. Snacks and beverages were good. That got us very close to the whales and porpoises. The family enjoyed the trip very much.

This was a fantastic excursion! The boat is whistle clean and the crew are amazing hosts! Bonus slack line show was cool!

Simon and the crew are amazing!!! Great time and saw plenty of manta rays.