- Boating & Sailing
- Dolphin Encounters
- Scuba Diving
- Water Sports
- Whale Watching
Water Activities on the Big Island
For visitors wanting to get their feet wet, it’s difficult to surpass the spectacular diversity of Big Island water activities available. Boasting more miles of coastline than all other Hawaiian islands, the calm, clear waters of Kona are a marine paradise. Protected from winds by majestic Mauna Loa, it’s the perfect location to enjoy the beautiful waters of Hawaii.
Thrilling to Luxurious – Snorkeling on Hawaii Island
Kealakekua Bay is one of the best snorkeling sites in the state of Hawaii. Whether seeking an adventurous, white-knuckle ride on the Zodiac pontoon, or a lavish, pampering experience aboard the island’s newest catamaran, the Hula Kai (which also offers free stand-up paddle and delicious breakfast and lunch), you won’t want to miss this protected marine sanctuary. Disney’s animated film, “Finding Nemo,” was inspired by Kealakekua’s beauty. Read more
Manta Encounters – Ballerinas of the Ocean
The Kona Coast is the best place to spot these gentle giants. At night, spotlights attract mantas that feed off plankton illuminated by the light. With wingspans of up to 20 feet or more, these intimidating, but friendly creatures glide within inches of scuba divers and snorkelers. Tours leave just prior to sunset.
Surfing: The Sport of Kings
Once reserved exclusively for royalty, surfing is now one of the most popular Big Island water sports. Visitors can experience the rush of catching a wave by taking a surfing lesson with experience instructors. From beginner to advanced you can experience first-hand why surfing is the “Sport of Kings.”
Kayaking in Paradise
Kayaks were a main form of transportation for early Hawaiians, and today have become a popular Big Island water activity. From a six-person canoe, to a single seater, you can rent a kayak, or join a group for a lesson and guided tour of the Kohala/Kona Coast, or Hilo Bay.
If you’re seeking a more laid-back Big Island Water Activity, an historical sunset dinner cruise maybe be right up your alley. Body Glove cruises offers a relaxing 3 hour dinner cruise from Kailua pier, to Captain Cook Monument that includes live music, delicious food and cocktails, and an historical narration of the Kona Coastline. Bring your camera because the sunsets are one-of-a-kind, and after a couple of mai tais, you may get lucky and see the famous “green-flash.”
Featured Water Activities
Over 2,000 species are found in this one-of-a-kind garden.
Manta Ray Snorkel at the Big Island
Hawaii’s #1 marine encounter! Immerse yourself in the waters of…
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- Make a Play Date with a Dolphin at Dolphin Quest Hawaii
- Island-Hopping with Air & Room, from $959 for 6 nights, see the Big Island and Oahu!
- Explore native wildlife along with thousands of rare and endangered flowers and more at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.
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- Cozy Kokee Museum, always waiting. Admission by donation.
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- Visitor tip: Try Matsumoto's Shave Ice with ice cream!
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