A picturesque cove on Hawaii’s sunny Kona Coast, Keauhou Bay is known for its rich history and opportunities for swimming with manta rays. The birthplace of the longest reigning monarch in the Kingdom of Hawaii, the bay is now lined with upscale resorts and tour companies but its main appeal remains its cultural significance and marine life.
The clear weather and waters that once attracted Hawaiian royalty to Keauhou Bay are what continue to make it an ideal snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking destination. To see the manta rays that flock to the area to feed on the microscopic plankton, embark on a night snorkeling or diving excursion. Other tours include swimming with dolphins, sailing, whale watching, and visiting ancient Hawaiian ruins and restored temples (heiau).
Things to Know Before You Go
- Keauhou Bay is a popular spot for nature, marine life, and history enthusiasts.
- There are hotels, restaurants, and bars in the Keauhou Bay area.
- Keauhou Bay is a jumping off point for visiting other secluded coves by boat or kayak.
- Showers and restrooms are available at Keauhou Beach Park.
- Swimming at the bay’s black sand beaches is discouraged due to boat traffic.
How to Get There
Keauhou Bay is 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of Kona International Airport and 7 miles (11 kilometers) from downtown Kona on the Hawaii Belt Road. You can reach the bay by car, bus, or on a tour. Many tours depart from Kona and venture into the bay on a boat or kayak.
When to Get There
Keauhou Bay’s temperate climate and year-round active marine life make it a great spot to visit in any season. Winter holidays and summer break are typically the busiest times, so to avoid the crowds visiting in the spring or fall. Sunset cruises are popular for spotting dolphins and whales. For the manta rays, join a night excursion.
Viewing Manta Rays at Manta Village in Keauhou Bay
Manta Village, offshore in front of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, is the most consistent ray viewing site in Hawaii. Lights from the resort originally attracted manta rays to the plankton-filled waters. Today, visitors can still spot rays from the resort’s Rays on the Bay restaurant. To see the rays up close, join a night tour and snorkel or dive with the rays that come to feed on the plankton attracted by the boat’s lights.
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