Top Water Activities on the Big Island

Top Water Activities on the Big Island

Go above and beyond on your next Hawaiian beach day. Spend a day in the warm, Big Island water surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, SUPing, kayaking, and more. From Hilo, Kona, and Kohala coast, choose one of these top rated water activity tours.

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.

Feature Image: Hawaii Ocean Sports Facebook

Kohala & Waikaloa

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 regularly 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

Hulakai - Big Island Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Adventure & Lessons in Waikoloa

Check in: Hulakai Store at Kings' Shops in Waikoloa
Price: Starting at $157

Enjoy a 90-minute SUP ocean adventure as you glide across the tropical sea and take in the views of the amazing Kohala Coast. The local stand-up paddle professionals of Hulakai will teach you the ways of the water, and if you’re lucky you may see a turtle or dolphin too.

Ocean Sports Kohala Coast Snorkel Cruise with Lunch and Open Bar

Check in: Kawaihae Harbor
Price: Starting at $159

Adventure to some of the Big Island’s most remote snorkeling locations along the Kohala Coast. This cruis comes with a snorkel lesson, snorkel gear, snacks, beer and wins, and lunch.

Hulakai Hawaiian Canoe Paddling Adventure & Whale Watching Tour from Waikoloa

Check in: Hulakai Store at Kings' Shops in Waikoloa
Price: Starting at $157

Glide down the scenic Kohala Coast in a traditional Hawaiian canoe with a local expert guide. During winter, aka whale season, whale watching tours are also available.


Kona Honu Divers

Price: Varies per Charter

This dive shop does it all — scuba diving, snorkeling and even whale watching — along with sister company Kona Snorkel Trips. Advanced divers gravitate to Kona Honu Divers for its Black Water Night Dive tours. During this unique scuba diving experience, divers are tethered to a weighted rope so they can observe a diverse range of pelagic animals (think squid, cuttlefish, and jellies) that drift by.

Kona Diving Company

Price: Varies per Charter

Visitors come to Hawaii Island from all over the world to swim with Manta Rays. Family-owned Kona Diving Company offers two-tank dives at Makako Bay, also known as Garden Eel Cove and Manta Heaven. The first dive take place in the late afternoon, highlighting the area’s namesake Hawaiian Garden Eels and other sea life. After sunset, it’s back into the water to hopefully see mantas that come to the area to feed. Along with sought after manta ray dives, Kona Diving Company offers Discover Scuba classes for beginners, PADI certification courses, and reef night dives. A major perk — both of Kona Diving Company’s boats offer hot, fresh water showers!

Hawaii Lifeguard Surf Instructors - Kona Private Surfing Lessons

Check in: Hawaii Lifeguard Surf Instructor Office
Price: Starting at $180

Paddle out with Kona’s #1 surf School, Hawaii Lifeguard Surf Instructors! Bring a friend or get one-on-one attention with a private lesson.

Ocean Safari's Keauhou Bay Sea Cave Kayak & Snorkeling Adventure Kona

Check in: Keauhou Bay
Price: Starting at $94

Explore the beautiful Kona coast by kayak. Adventure into sea caves, along sea cliffs, over underwater lava tubes, and snorkel at Keauhou Bay. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, sea turtles, and manta rays.

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Lesson at Keauhou Bay

Check in: Keauhou Bay
Price: Starting at $125

Tour the gorgeous waters of Keahou Bay on a stand-up paddleboard. This Kona adventure includes a proper lesson and is the perfect experience for first-time stand-up paddleboarders.


Hilo Scuba Diving Tours - Introductory Shore Dives for Beginners

Check in: Hilo Ocean Adventures
Price: Starting at $172

Dive deep and get your scuba diving certification in Hilo. These professionally trained SCUBA instructors will guide you through the basics and introduce you to the underwater world.

Hilo Ocean Adventures - Black Sand Beach Snorkel Tour at Sea Turtle Lagoon

Check in: Hilo Ocean Adventures Store
Price: Starting at $124

Experience the beautiful black sand beaches of the Big Island. Swim and snorkel with turtles on this Hilo adventure.

If you book an activity Local Getaways might earn a commission — prices subject to change. Mahalo!
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