We're in the planning stages of our trip to the Big Island. We love to snorkel. Should we be staying on the Hilo or the Kona side of the island?
The answer certainly would be the Kona side. There are plenty of fish and lots of coral formation on the Hilo side as well but the issue here is the water clarity and visibility and the water safety. Generally speaking the waters on the Hilo side are much rougher and more dangerous. The constant movement of the ocean also stirs the bottom and the visibility is not as good. On the other hand the Kona side of the island is more protected and calm and the visibility is generally excellent. This would be true of most areas between Kealakekua Bay and Waikoloa.
Hawaii snorkeling is by far the single most popular category of activities to be found in Hawaii. One reason for this is that snorkeling in Hawaii is often a component of many different types of tours found on any individual island such as many of the dolphin watches, whale watches, diving tours, raft excursions and even in some cases dinner cruises.
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