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Here’s the Big Island Snorkeling Guide You Need for Your Hawaii Vacation

Experience a whole other world when you go below the surface of the water. A trip to Hawaii isn’t complete without a Big Island snorkeling adventure! There are plenty of places to dive in and spot tropical fish and coral reefs, but we want to give you some insight into our favorite snorkeling spots on The Big Island of Hawaii. Or, check out our favorite places to go snorkeling on Oahu! 

Before you strap on your snorkeling gear, don’t forget to grab your copy of our complimentary Vacation Guide to Oahu and The Big Island. In the guide, you can find a variety of thrilling activities on the Hawaiian islands. It also includes our favorite places to dine, relax, and sight-see so that you can explore our beloved islands from a local’s perspective.

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Your Big Island Snorkeling Guide

6 of the Best Places to Snorkel on the Big Island of Hawaii 

1. Kealakekua Bay 

Kealakekua Bay is a beautiful area to scope out some marine life and have some fun in the ocean. This gorgeous bay is in a secluded area and protected from the wind as it sits under a 100-foot lava cliff! The natural wind protection makes for calm waters and easy snorkeling for beginners. 

The area also boasts incredible clarity, and you can spot tropical fish up to 100 feet away. Some consider Kealakekua Bay the best snorkeling in Hawaii. 

Make sure to check out the Captain Cook Monument while you’re there for a bit of a history lesson! That side of the bay is known to have the best snorkeling, and you can get there by hiking, kayaking, or boating. 

2. Kahalu’u Beach Park, Kailua Kona 

Kahalu’u is an excellent place to peak under the surface. This beach park near Kona is easily accessible, and you can often find tide pools during low tide filled with colorful tropical fish! If you’re a beginner snorkeler, this Big Island Beach is perfect for you! 

3. Mauna Kea Beach 

Mauna Kea Beach, also known as Kauna’oa Bay, is one of the few white sand beaches on the Kohala Coast. The contrast between the white sand and brightly colored turquoise waters is absolutely stunning. 

Grab your snorkeling gear and head out to the waters of Mauna Kea Beach for a fun snorkeling trip for beginners. The shallow waters make it easy to see marine life and coral reefs. Here, you’re likely to see sea turtles, parrotfish, butterflyfish, and more! Or, if you come at night, you can see manta rays as the nearby hotel shines a light on the water. Ultimately, the lights attract plankton, which attracts the rays! 

4. Magic Sands Beach Park 

Do you believe in magic? You’ll be astonished to learn that this beach is said to have sand that disappears at night when storms pass through. Plus, it’s great for beginners when there are small waves. And, you’ll likely spot big fish! 

5. Hapuna Beach 

Find the perfect Instagram spot when you check out the beautiful Hapuna Beach. This white sand beach has calm waters and interesting sights to see around the rocky point of the beach on the southern end. 

6. Honaunau Bay 

Honaunau Bay, or The City of Refuge, is named after Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park. The bay is a local favorite and a favorite of The Travel Channel as well! It’s named one of America’s Best Beaches! The entry points to the water are easily accessible with flats made of smooth lava rock. Submerge under the water to see a world of colorful schools of fish swimming through the coral reef. 

The shallow water averages around 10 feet. One creature that loves the calm waters is the Hawaiian spinner dolphin. Keep an eye out, and you might just see one! 

Where to Stay on The Big Island for a Luxury Vacation in Hawaii 

After a day of exploring on one of the Big Island snorkeling tours, you’ll want to relax and recharge before another day of tropical excursions. Reserve a stay at one of the best vacation rentals on The Big Island. Private Homes Hawaii offers beautiful, luxury vacation rentals, perfect for the whole family! 

Your dream vacation awaits on The Big Island. Check our availability and start planning your adventures today!