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Kailua-Kona Water activities

Our most recommended Kailua-Kona Water 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

From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

4. From Kona: Big Island Underwater Submarine Adventure

Take the ride of a lifetime beneath the waves in this adventure aboard a comfortable submarine. Explore a 25-acre magical world of marine life and colorful coral reefs. Get up close and personal with some of Hawaii's most exotic inhabitants. Descend more than 100 feet and see the sights from a fish-eye view. Board the famous submarine via a special ladder and get ready for a journey to the center of Hawaiian sea life. Marvel at the flora and fauna in their natural habitat. Enjoy free public parking in downtown Kona or at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel for a discounted rate for 4 hours. The excursion is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, weather permitting. Actual underwater time is 45 minutes.

From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

5. From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

Step aboard and step back in time. Hop aboard a sunset dinner cruise in Kona for an enchanting Hawaiian history lesson from the experts. This family adventure departs from the Kailua Pier and is narrated by a local historian tour guide, who will reveal secrets, tell stories, and share legends related to the numerous landmarks along the 12 miles of magnificent Kona coastline. Unwind while you admire Captain Cook’s Monument at Historical Kealakekua Bay (only accessible by boat or hiking) with a complimentary cocktail from a fully stocked, premium bar. Begin your delicious dinner starting with an appetizer of Mauna Loa Big Island Macadamia Nuts (Vegan/GF). Then, enjoy a salad starter of Kealaola Farm mixed salad greens, Waimea grape tomatoes, Japanese cucumber, and red onion (Vegan/GF), served with house-made Maui Onion vinaigrette dressing (Vegan/GF). For your main course, choose the Thai coconut curry with Hamakua sweet potatoes, Hawaiian breadfruit, carrots, and bell peppers (Vegan/GF). Or, opt for steamed jasmine rice (Vegan/GF) with Kiawe mango barbecue pork short ribs served with papaya salsa (GF) and island-baked coconut dinner rolls served with butter (Vegetarian). Your dessert is a cheesecake with a local Lilikoi glaze (Vegetarian). Keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and seasonal humpback whales throughout the evening. Enjoy live music from some of the Big Island's best entertainers performing slack-key Hawaiian Style music. Catch the sunset on the water and make sure to look for the famous Green Flash, a fleeting glimmer of intense emerald light that appears on the horizon just after sunset. Other highlights include the Ahu’ena Heiau, the Holua Slide, and the famous Kuamo’o Battlefield, just to name a few.

Kona: Dolphin Watch and Double Snorkel Boat Tour with BBQ

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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.

Big Island: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Sail from Waikoloa

9. Big Island: 1.5-Hour Romantic Sunset Sail from Waikoloa

Explore the Waikoloa and Kohala Kona coastline aboard a 54-foot sailing catamaran. Catch the moment the sun slips below the horizon while you enjoy the cruise with a loved one. You may even see the green flash.  Board from Anaehoomalu Bay to snorkel, sail, and relax. The custom-designed sunset-orange and maile lei sail is a stunning contrast to the azure Pacific as it sails along the blue Pacific ocean. Bask in the romance and relaxation of a stunning Kona-Kohala sunset cruise.  While you are on board, benefit from snacks and beverages served to you. Enjoy unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, two free bar drink tickets per adult, or purchase extra alcoholic beverages to feel at ease all night.

Kailua-Kona: Boat Tour and Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

10. 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. 

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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

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!

My 3 daughters had a surf lesson and it was fantastic! The instructors were so nice and did a great job of teaching them the basics before they got into the water. The instructors were also very good at helping them catch a wave! Very professional. I would highly recommend!

This hike was amazing! There were so many beautiful waterfalls. And it was very unique to get to swim under a waterfall. The view at lunch was spectacular! And Mike is an entertaining guide. I highly recommend this experience!

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

Excellent staff! Thanks again for a terrific experience