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  • Writer's pictureKeli's Concierge Kona


Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Kealakekua Bay is one of the best Kona snorkel sites on Hawaii Island. With its natural wind protection, remote location and designations as an underwater state park, marine sanctuary, and site of the Captain Cook Monument, Kealakekua Bay is earning a reputation as the best snorkeling destination in Hawaii.

According to Hawaii – The Big Island Revealed, The Ultimate Guidebook, “Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay near the monument is perhaps the best you will find anywhere in the state.”

At Kealakekua Bay, endless rainbow of blue hues color the water. In the protective embrace of a dark lava shoreline, an underwater world of magic and mystery is revealed. Schools of colorful tropical fish play hide and seek among delicate filigree forests of pale purple, pink and white coral architecture and dark fingers of “pillow lava.” In fact, Hidden Hawaii describes Kealakekua Bay as an “outstanding snorkeling spot with technicolor coral reefs and an array of tropical fish species.”

As the only underwater state park on Hawaii’s Big Island, with no paved roads leading to its sparkling shore, this marine sanctuary boasts pristine water conditions. A dive into the calm water confirms its clarity, where snorkelers enjoy underwater visibility up to 100 feet.

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