Along the shores of the big island of Hawaii, visitors can enjoy a plethora of unique sights, activities and experiences. On the western shores of Hawaii’s main island, travelers can find Kealakekua Bay in South Kona – the largest sheltered bay on the island itself. Many natural wonders and sights of beauty can be found here, as can plenty of activities.
In particular, the Captain Cook Monument attracts many visitors. Situated off the coast and at the end of a daunting two-mile trail, the Captain Cook Monument was built to commemorate the death of British explorer James Cook, who died more than two hundred years ago.
Getting to the monument may be difficult, but there are multiple ways to find this site – and plenty to do along the way. You’ll never get bored reaching Captain Cooks Monument with these activities!
Via Hiking the Captain Cook Monument Walking Trail
Perhaps the most common method of finding the Captain Cooks Monument involves taking the walking trail mentioned prior. This trail can be accessed by first leaving the town of Kailua-Kona, which is a bit over 10 miles north of the trail-head itself.
From there, you can reach the trail-head by heading south on Highway 11. You’ll continue driving until you reach Napo’opo’o Road, and once there, the beginning of the trail starts about 200 feet off the highway.
The trail itself is around 2 miles in length, with a steep gradient. You’ll hike across more than 1,200 feet of elevation change while traversing the trail, which slopes downward on the way to the monument. While hiking to Captain Cooks Monument is relatively easy, it is the return trip that becomes difficult.
Visiting the Captain Cook Monument by Boat Ride and Tour
If you’re looking for a more relaxed trip that’ll nevertheless take you to Captain Cooks Monument, then consider embarking on a boat ride and tour of the area. Rather than driving to the trail-head and working your way to the monument on foot, these boat tours focus on bringing you shore-side to see the monument, and also incorporating a variety of other activities during the tour (click here for the best Captain Cook Monument boat tours).
For instance, many boat tours offer snorkeling opportunities for those who’d love to see the local sea-life. Here, you can find vibrant schools of fish and dolphins that frequent the coast. You’ll also be able to see the unique lava formations under water in Kealakekua Bay.
If snorkeling isn’t your cup of tea, other boat tours offer fishing opportunities in and around the bay. After seeing the monument, you can head out deeper into the waters of South Kona and partake in deep sea fishing.
See the Monument by Kayak
If you’d prefer a more intimate and relaxing experience when visiting the monument, then bringing or renting a kayak in Kealakekua Bay is another way to reach it. Guided kayak tours are available, but many people also kayak themselves across Kealakekua Bay in order to reach the monument. By doing so, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the surrounding bay and can explore the open waters on your own schedule, rather than being ushered along by guides.
Anybody who visits South Kona should take the time and opportunity to visit Captain Cooks Monument. Rooted in history but anchored in natural beauty, the area is an adventure to reach no matter which way you decide on – but well worth the effort!