Top Snorkeling Tours on the Big Island

Top Snorkeling Tours on the Big Island

Picture of Grace Towle

Grace Towle

Living on Oahu, Grace Towle knows all the best places where locals go.

The island of Hawaii is known for its diverse landscape, but is also home to pristine marine life and incredible snorkel sites. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned snorkeler, there are several places to witness the magnificent harmonization of manta rays (hahalua), green sea turtles (hona), spinner dolphins (nai’a) and hundreds of tropical fish. Here are some of the top rated snorkeling tours on the Big Island.

Note: Please be respectful of marine life by wearing reef-safe sunscreen and not touching or removing any coral. We all want to keep Hawaii reefs and marine life to remain healthy and beautiful for decades to come. Mahalo!

For more suggestions on best restaurants on the Big Island, the best things to do on the Big Island, and the best places to stay on the Big Island, click here.

Photo Credit: @seaquesthawaii

Kealakekua Bay & Red Hill Sail & Snorkel Tour

Check-in: Keauhou Bay Pier
Price: Starting at $141

Set sail for the Captain Cook Monument and discover the island’s finest snorkel spots. Snorkel the calm and clear waters of Kealakekua Bay, a marine sanctuary filled with tropical fish, coral reefs and more. Morning & afternoon departures.

Sea Quest Kealakekua Bay Snorkel Tour & Rafting Sea Cave Expedition

Check-in: Keauhou Bay Pier
Price: Starting at $166
Raft by lava tubes and sea caves to Honaunau Bay and Kealakekua Bay where you can enjoy ninety minutes of snorkeling among the marine life. A shorter version of the morning tour, this cruise also includes views of historical landmarks like Kuamo’o Battlefield and the Royal Holua Slide.

Sea Paradise Manta Ray Village Swim & Night Snorkel (Keauhou Bay)

Check-in: Keauhou Bay Pier
Price: Starting at $125
Snorkel with manta rays (Hahalua) at “Manta Ray Village” under the moonlight. This quick catamaran ride takes off at Keauhou Bay to catch the sunset and brings you to a cove just off the coast. All necessary snorkeling equipment is provided, along with hot cocoa after the tour to enjoy on the trip back to shore.

Kona Coast Dolphin Watch & Kealakekua Bay Captain Cook Snorkel Rafting Adventure

Check-in: Keauhou Bay Boat Launch
Price: Starting at $160
On this four-hour adventure, be ready to witness (and possibly swim with) Hawaiian spinner dolphins in their natural habitat. Dolphin Discovery has 20 years of experience observing and interacting with spinner dolphins. This tour does not disturb the natural behaviors of spinner dolphins and gives them the space they need to rest, nurse, and enjoy their day close to the warm shore. You are guaranteed to see these magnificent and cheerful animals.

Captain Cook Adventure — Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling & Dolphin Watching

Check-in: Keauhou Bay Pier
Price: Starting at $112

This leisurely trip is perfect for beginners. Set sail for Kealakekua Bay and swim alongside turtles, tropical fish and possibly spinner dolphins, too! This tour includes beverages, snacks, and snorkeling equipment.

Manta Ray Advocates

Price: Starting at $145

Unlike other swimming with manta ray experiences on the Big Island, experiences with Manta Ray Advocates don’t require any travel by boat. Snorkeling tours begin on the beach, and small groups of up to seven people swim a short distance to an area where manta rays like to feed. Staff are passionate about protecting manta rays; safety briefings cover everything you didn’t realize you should know about manta rays — they have no barbs or stingers and eat plankton —as well as prepare guests for what to expect when in the water, insuring a safe experience for swimmers and the gentle giants.

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