Saturday, September 3, 2011

Snorkeling in Kona, Hawaii

One of the most popular visitor activities in Kona, snorkeling reveals an underwater world brimming with colorful tropical fish, beautiful coral reefs, crystal-blue waters and a variety of marine life including green sea turtles. The relatively calm waters of the leeward coast provide aquarium-like conditions for observing Hawai‘i's underwater attractions.

One of the best places to go snorkeling is Kahalu‘u Beach Park on Ali‘i Drive. Located adjacent to the Keauhou Beach Resort, the bay offers easy access into the water from a sand beach. With its lava-laden coastline, beach entries like Kahalu‘u are hard to come by in Kona, which is why this spot provides a great location for beginners snorkeling just getting their feet, and fins, wet. If you didn't bring any snorkel gear with you, no worries. There are several gear rental shops in the vicinity. You can also rent stand-up paddleboards here, as well as take surfing lessons.

Two Steps in Honaunau
The second-most popular snorkeling spot in Kona, Two Steps at Honaunau Bay offers prime snorkeling year-round. This protected bay lies adjacent to Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau, home of the sacred Hale o Keawe heiau (temple) that overlooks the water. Snorkelers can enter the bay from a lava ledge that features a naturally formed step, thus the name, "Two Steps." Spinner dolphins are known to frequent the bay, especially in the late afternoons. Another great snorkeling spot, Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay is just a short four-mile drive north from Two Steps. The best way to reach the snorkel area is by kayak or snorkel cruise. Fair Wind snorkel cruises offers two daily trips to Kealakekua Bay from Keauhou. Kayak rentals can be found on Highway 11, such as Kona Boys or Aloha Kayak. You can also book a kayak excursion with a sanctioned tour operator, one of the only ways you'll be allowed to go ashore at Ka‘awaloa, site of the monument.

Some beautifully colorful tropical fish await snorkelers in Kona, everything from yellow tangs and puffer fish to the state fish also known as the humuhumunukunukuapu‘a.

Holualoa Inn presents the ideal central location for visitors on a snorkel mission. Located just a 10-minute drive from Kahalu‘u Beach Park, the Inn is also only about 25 minutes from Kealakekua Bay. Our Hawaiian bed and breakfast offers complimentary use of snorkel equipment and other beachgoing gear.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

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