Kona, Hawaii has some of the best snorkeling spots in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to Hawaii for the opportunity to dive in its waters, and see the diverse and colorful marine life that lives beneath its waves.
Here is our guide to the five most popular snorkeling spots in Kona, Hawaii for you to look at and get an idea for yourself about what awaits you just off shore. Dive in South Kona beaches to experience the best snorkeling you’ll ever have!
This stunning beach is actually known by two names; Kamakahonu Beach and King Kamehameha! The water here is shallow, and great for swimming, paddling and of course, snorkeling.
Kayaks are available to rent on the shore too, if you need a break from all the snorkeling, and you can find some excellent cafés and seaside stores just a few steps from the shoreline. This is easily one of South Kona’s best snorkeling spots.
This small crescent shaped beach is the perfect fish habitat, making it a haven for snorkeling. Though the water here is shallow, it can get rough, so be prepared for some strong waves.
This area is stunningly beautiful, and the short hike you have to take from the harbor to reach it is worth every step. This beach has no amenities, and the hike that separates you from the nearby town means this beach isn’t best suited to families with small children.
This South Kona snorkeling spot is hard to beat. The marine reserve here is often called ‘Captain Cooks’, and boasts one of the healthiest coral reefs in the world.
There is no beach here, and no amenities, so you will have to reach this snorkeling spot by boat, much like Captain Cook himself. The bay can also be reach by kayak and canoe if you prefer. There is a monument here to the famed Captain Cook, as well as the remains of an ancient temple and a picturesque wooded area on the edge of the bay.
The snorkeling at Honaunau Bay is awe-inspiring. The site is known locally as ‘Two Step’ after the underwater steps that you use to get in and out of the bay. These were formed by lava millennia ago.
The bay is in the center of one of Hawaii’s State Historical Parks, called Pu’uhonua O Honaunau. The word Pu’uhonua means ‘place of refuge’ and the site was a sanctuary for Hawaiian warriors who had been defeated in battle or broken a sacred law. As long as you could reach Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, you were free from any tribal retribution.
The shallow waters here are teeming with life. If you are just beginning snorkeling, or want to introduce some friends or family members to the sport, then this is the snorkeling spot for you.
A reef protects the swimming area, keeping rough waters away from the beach, and there are life guards on site to help keep you safe. This beach is often busy, popular with tourists and locals alike, so there are always plenty of amenities open and ready to serve fresh food and drinks.
South Kona has some of the world’s best snorkeling spots. From Captain Cook’s monument to the shores of Pu’uhonua Park at Honaunau Bay, you are never far from history when snorkeling in Hawaii.