- Boating & Sailing
- Dolphin Encounters
- Scuba Diving
- Water Sports
- Whale Watching
Dolphin Encounters on the Big Island
Famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau claimed no aquarium, however spacious it may be, can duplicate the conditions of the ocean. This becomes abundantly clear for visitors who venture out for a day on the water looking for, and swimming with, wild dolphins. The Big Island offers ample opportunity to get up close and personal with these intelligent, magnificent creatures.
In the Hawaiian language the name for dolphin is ‘naiʻa.’ There are four different species of dolphins found in the waters surrounding Hawaiʻi. The most common is the Spinner Dolphin, but Bottlenose Dolphins, Spotted Dolphins, and Rough-toothed dolphins also make an occasional appearance.
Once in a Lifetime
Swimming with dolphins on Hawaiʻi Island is available to visitors of all ages. It requires only basic swimming skills and feeling comfortable in deep water. Tour companies take small groups of snorkelers out into the ocean to look for dolphins, and when found swimmers are instructed when to get into the water. The experience of swimming with wild dolphins is often described as an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Best Dolphin Scouting Locales
The Kona and Kohala Coasts on the west side of Hawaiʻi Island are the best places to swim with dolphins. The weather is almost always cooperative, and the water conditions are favorable. It’s not uncommon to run into a pod of Spinner Dolphins while swimming or snorkeling on your own. However, if you want to guarantee your opportunity to see these creatures up close, your best bet is to book a professional tour.
Dolphin Tour Options
Most tours last approximately three hours and include snorkel gear, snacks and beverages. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a towel. There are several options for seeing dolphins while on Hawaiʻi Island.
Hawaii Dolphin offers 3-hour dolphin cruises that include snorkeling. For those interested in staying dry, private charter tours offer a no-swimming option at a $200 discount. Private charters are a great way to practice social distancing and still enjoy Hawaii’s ocean with your family and friends. Bring your own snacks and drinks to enjoy and celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
However you choose to become familiar with these amazing creatures, it will be an experience not soon forgotten.
Dolphin Encounters Directory
- Change the Way you See Hawaii with Shaka Guide’s GPS audio driving tours! It’s like having a tour guide in your car.
- Air & room packages starting from $1,129. See Oahu and the Big Island!
- 6-night Big Island & Kauai island-hopping adventure, starting from $1,039
- Big Island, Kauai & Maui 6-night multi-island adventure, from $1,159
- Get up to 6 GPS audio tours for $29.99 with Shaka Guide! Tours available on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island.
- Beachfront on Maui in a newly renovated room.
- Private powerboat charters in Kona - $540 per hour
- $739 & up - 6-Nt Island-hop Trip; see the Big Island & Oahu
- $809 & up - 6-Nt Island-hop Trip; see the Big Island & Oahu
- Must Try Snacks. Hand picked by your Island Favorites
- Visit Giovanni's, the North Shore Oahu's best shrimp truck!
- From $949 - 6-Nt. Big Island & Maui Package w/Air & Hotels
- Change the Way You See Hawaii with Shaka Guide GPS Tours!
- Visitor tip: Try Matsumoto's Shave Ice with ice cream!
- Old Lāhainā Lūʻau - Maui's Best Luau