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Underwater Adventures on the Big Island of Hawaii

Underwater Adventures on the Big Island of Hawaii

Fringed by a rainbow of coral reefs and teeming with tropical fish and marine life, Hawaii’s Big Island has no shortage of underwater wonders. Whether you opt to cruise along the coast, learn to scuba dive, or take part in water sports—there are ample options for underwater adventures on the Big Island. Here are some ideas. 

Swim with Wild Dolphins

Swimming in the ocean close to pods of wild dolphins is a quintessential Hawaii experience. The Kona and Kohala coasts are two top places to spot dolphins—most commonly spinner dolphins and Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Tours offer the chance to swim and snorkel in areas known for wild dolphin sightings, giving you the opportunity to observe the creatures in their natural environment. 

Snorkel at Night with Manta Rays

Thrill-seekers can brave a nighttime swim in the ocean and enjoy a rare opportunity to watch nocturnal marine life in action. Holding onto a light board that's designed to attract plankton, you’ll soon be surrounded by manta rays, swooping in to feast on the plankton. 

Venture Deep into the Ocean on a Guided Scuba Dive

The Big Island is home to some of Hawaii’s most impressive dive sites, and there are opportunities for both certified divers and first-timers. Head to the east coast around Hilo to scuba dive in an area known for its green sea turtles, explore the reefs along Kailua coast, and look out for octopus, Whitley's boxfish, and whale sharks.

Raft, Kayak, and Snorkel in Kealakekua Bay

The clear waters of Kealakekua Bay are a prime spot for snorkeling, and the entire bay is protected as a marine life conservation area. Paddle around the bay on a raft, sea kayak, or canoe; look out for spinner dolphins and humpback whales; and then dive underwater to snorkel amid live coral, sea urchins, and parrotfish. 

Take in Views from a Stand-up Paddleboard

If you don’t fancy submerging yourself in the water, mount a paddle board instead for underwater views as you float along the surface. Rent a paddle board and head out on your own, combine it with kayaking and a glass-bottom boat ride in Anaehoomalu Bay, or even take a nighttime tour using a special light-up paddle board that allows you to observe underwater marine life.

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

10 Tours and Activities

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Night Manta Ray Adventure
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Night Manta Ray Adventure

star-5
1408
Have a unique Big Island experience snorkeling with manta rays on this tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll take a short cruise out to the manta site, where you’ll watch the beautiful Hawaiian sunset before dipping into the water to watch the manta rays up close. All necessary equipment will be provided for your excursion, as well as light refreshments and snacks to enjoy on board. Your tour will conclude at its original departure point. If you don't see manta rays on this excursion, book again for another night--no charge.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.00
From
$70.00

Manta Magic - Night Manta Ray Snorkel At Manta Village

Manta Magic - Night Manta Ray Snorkel At Manta Village

star-5
547
Get up close with Hawaii’s graceful manta rays during this nighttime snorkel experience along the Kona coast with a small group. Watch these gentle giants as they swoop and dive for plankton just below the surface during their evening feeding. An on-board manta ray specialist, along with a certified swim guide, ensure an informative and safe experience.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$129.00
From
$129.00

Dolphin Watch & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii

Dolphin Watch & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument Big Island Kailua-Kona Hawaii

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235
View dolphins in their natural environment with guides who respect these intelligent creatures’ boundaries. After feeding in deeper waters at night, spinner dolphins come close to the Kona shore where they often interact with boats, playing in their wake. The utmost respect and care are given to our aquatic friends to assure that we do not disrupt their rest, nursing and breeding behaviors. Depending on where and when we locate the dolphins there may also be time for a quick snorkel at one of the many beautiful reef areas along the Kona coast line, quite possibly Kealakekua Bay.
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  • 4 hours
From
$160.49
From
$160.49

Introductory Beach Scuba Dive - 1 or 2 Tanks

Introductory Beach Scuba Dive - 1 or 2 Tanks

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2
Get an introduction to scuba diving during a 3.5-hour beginner's lesson in Hilo. Get fitted for all the necessary gear at the local dive shop and listen to a 30-minute introductory lesson on diving theory on dry land. With your highly trained instructors, proceed to the only indoor heated pool in Hilo for your first underwater experience. Once you're comfortable, head to a nearby reef for your first open water dive. Accompanied by your instructors, submerge using your newfound skills and look for native sea turtles, octopus and tropical fish. All gear and round-trip transportation from Hilo accommodations or the cruise port are included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$225.00
From
$225.00

Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour - 4 hour Kona Zodiac Adventure

Special Offer

Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour - 4 hour Kona Zodiac Adventure

star-5
278
Splash into the crystal-clear waters of Kealakekua Bay on this Big Island snorkeling adventure! Dart in and out of sea caves and explore the gorgeous Kona coastline in an agile Zodiac raft. Snorkel among colorful tropical fish, and keep an eye out for other marine life like whales, dolphins and sea turtles. Along the way, learn about the island’s geologic history and local legends from your expert guide, and see the spot where Captain Cook first landed in Hawaii.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$108.08
$135.11
$27.03 savings
From
$108.08
$135.11
$27.03 savings

Hawaiian Double Hull Canoe Eco-Friendly Night Snorkel for Manta Rays
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Hawaiian Double Hull Canoe Eco-Friendly Night Snorkel for Manta Rays

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219
Swim with manta rays at night during this 2-hour outrigger canoe excursion from Keauhou. A small group of 15 or fewer fellow adventurers means a safe, intimate experience with personalized attention from your guides. Hot chocolate and cookies included after your swim.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$136.13
From
$136.13

Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)

Kayak Snorkel Capt. Cook Monu. See Dolphin in Kealakekua Bay Big Island (3.5hr)

star-4.5
310
In terms of history, scenery, and marine life, there isn’t anywhere on the Big Island of Hawaii that compares to Kealakekua Bay. This protected cove on the island’s west shore is where Captain Cook met his end, and today a memorial stands at the bay to honor the famous explorer. On this guided Big Island kayaking tour, hear the history of Captain Cook as well as surrounding temples, and, after paddling past rugged sea cliffs and caves, snorkel and swim in the clear waters of this Marine Life Conservation District.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$110.42
From
$110.42

Kona's Best Snorkel - Captain Cook Monument and Place of Refuge

Kona's Best Snorkel - Captain Cook Monument and Place of Refuge

star-4.5
33
It’s common to spot green sea turtles and spinner dolphins while snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay. This snorkel tour departs Keauhou Bay in the morning to avoid the crowds. Explore the coral gardens with a guide who points out the Captain Cook Monument and Place of Refuge. A tropical lunch, snacks, and beverages are served.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$140.03
From
$140.03

Dolphin Dreaming - Dolphin Swim

Dolphin Dreaming - Dolphin Swim

star-5
193
Go swimming with dolphins on a tour that ensures the charismatic mammals are treated with the utmost respect. While in harbor, your guides brief your small group on how to interact with the dolphins in their natural habitat before allowing you into the water to meet and play with them. Afterward, snorkel a pristine reef with exotic fish, turtles, and rays. Includes all equipment, as well as snacks, beverages, and photographs.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$150.11
From
$150.11

SCUBA Shore Dive at Sea Turtle Cove (Certified Diver)
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

SCUBA Shore Dive at Sea Turtle Cove (Certified Diver)

star-5
2
This one-tank underwater excursion is perfect for certified divers and ensures all the details are taken care of. Travel in comfort from your hotel or cruise port to a local dive shop where you'll be fitted with gear before heading out to a popular dive spot. Spend 35 to 55 minutes exploring the waters with this easy-to-book experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$132.22
From
$132.22