Home > "The Big Island" of Hawaii > Snorkeling Tours

Snorkeling Tours on "The Big Island" of Hawaii

See All Activities See All Activities By Vendor The Big Island often has the best conditions for snorkeling in Hawaii.

There are 70 tours in this category that range in price from $37.33 to $3240.00.

"The Big Island" of Hawaii Snorkeling Tours

Big Island Snorkel Tours are considered by many to have the very best snorkeling in the state. The west facing shorelines on the leeward side of the Big Island provide the very best locations to snorkel. The ocean conditions found here are not only desirable in the morning hours, as are the leeward side of the other Hawaiian Islands, but they are often fabulous in the afternoon hours as well. Add to the favorable ocean conditions, an incredible quantity of colorful reefs and more reef fish than can be found elsewhere, and you have the foundations of the argument that the Big Island is the best place to snorkel in Hawaii. Tom Barefoot's Tours offers many discount snorkel tours on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Where are Big Island snorkel tours located?

As far as snorkeling is concerned, the leeward and windward coasts are complete opposites. It is not that there are not plentiful fish on the windward side, but the ocean conditions can be hostile to boats taking visitors to see them. It is for this reason that you will not find virtually any visitor snorkel tours departing from the Hilo area or ports anywhere close.
The Kona side of the island is where all the snorkel action is:
  • Honokohau Harbor is one of the major harbors where snorkel tours depart. This is located about six miles or so north of the town of Kailua Kona and as such is near the main hotels in the Kona region and easy to get to. From this departure point boats can go north or south to find excellent snorkel reefs filled with fish of all varieties such as Pawai Bay.
  • The Kailua Kona Pier is another location that is easily accessible to Kona visitor accommodations. Many of the boats that depart from this location will travel the beautiful coastline down to Capt. Cook and Kealakekua Bay which is arguably one of the best snorkel locations in Hawaii.
  • Waikoloa is the area about 45 minutes by car north of Kailua Kona and is the area of beautiful white sand beaches where you can find some of the largest and most beautiful resorts on the island. Snorkeling departures from this location will take you to great snorkeling spots as that shoreline is rich with tons of fantastic reefs.
  • Keauhou Boat Launch is located to the south of Kailua Kona and is in closer proximity to the beautiful snorkeling areas of Capt Cook and Kealakekua Bay.

Types of Reef Fish to be found on snorkel tours off the Kona Coast

The list here is seemingly endless but here are a few of the varieties you could expect to see:
  • Humuhumunukunukuapua'a
  • Longnose Butterfly Fish
  • Racoon Butterfly Fish
  • Bluestripe Snapper
  • Yellow Tang
  • Moorish Idol
  • Goat Fish
  • Black Trigger Fish
  • Parrot Fish
  • Trumpet Fish
  • Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
  • Spinner Dolphins
  • Manta Rays

What types of boats do we have for Big Island tours?

  • Large power boat vessels that are suitable for large groups and are very stable in the water
  • Zodiac or hard-bottom inflatables that are very fast and maneuverable, carry small groups of people and are great for the more adventurous snorkeler.
  • Sail boats take advantage of the winds off the coast of Kona as well as provide a great snorkeling experience.
  • Outrigger Canoes which provide a bit more of the 'old Hawaii' experience and are fantastic for snorkeling in the evenings in search of the Manta Rays.
  • Kayaks are great for snorkeling as well as you are close to the water at all times and have great views of the reefs even without getting into the water.
Norwegian Cruise Lines - Pride of America Cruise Ship:
Snorkeling tours on the Big Island will not pick up directly at the cruise boat pier. Many snorkel excursions can simply be reached by a short walk to the pick-up point or a taxi ride and many others can be reached by having Tom Barefoot's Tours organize a Rental Car for you which will pick you up via a shuttle at the dock. Dependent upon the individual tour these are generally available on the Wednesday when you dock in Kona.

Look for this symbol in the tour descriptions below to indicate if it is Pride of America compatible.

Snorkeling Tours Sorted by Specific Tour


Snorkeling Tours Sorted by Company

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(5 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Adventures In Paradise

2 Activity Options

Snorkel,Kayak, and Hiking

Why not consider a kayak snorkeling tour into the famous Kealakekua Bay with Adventures in Paradise? Kayaks are among the most eco-friendly marine vessels available and are a wonderful way to experience the marine environment. You can also choose to take a night-time kayak tour out to see the giant Manta Rays and jump overboard for a 'once in a lifetime' swimming experience.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(5 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Hang Loose Boat Tours

3 Activity Options

Hang Loose Boat Tours

Wild dolphin watch & snorkel, evening sunset & manta snorkel, Kealakekua Bay snorkel.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(4 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Body Glove

1 Activity Option

65' Custom Catamaran, 51' Trimaran

Kailua Kona's Body Glove Charters offers snorkel and dolphin watching tours on a daily morning charter, dinner cruises in the evenings, a historical luncheon cruise, SNUBA diving and a whale watch during the winter season. If you are interested in a wonderful 3 hour coastal tour without the snorkeling, Body Glove is the only game in town.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(4 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Wahine Charters

5 Activity Options

Dolphin Excursions, Whale Watch Tour - Wahine Charters, Snorkeling and Manta Ray trips from Honokoha

Wicked Wahine Charters operates a series of boat tours out of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Their 29' custom power vessel can easily traverse the 12 miles of coastline between Honokohau Harbor and the Captain Cook Monument while snorkeling and dolphin watching on the way, or it can take you out on a night time Manta Ray adventure or whale watching.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(2 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Ocean Encounters

2 Activity Options

46' Delta

The Kona Coast of the Big Island is famous for its manta rays, dolphins and whales and Ocean Encounters 46' Delta is the perfect boat from which to find and observe these beautiful underwater creatures. Being both seaworthy and stable this is a great boat for anyone but is especially ideal for an extended family with older persons on board or for anyone who is tentative with movement on the ocean.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Hawaii Nautical

3 Activity Options

Leid Back' Dinner Cruise, Snorkeling and Dolphins, Whale Watch off the leeward coastline,Oahu Scuba

Hawaii Nautical offers a large variety of boat tours throughout the island of Oahu and on the Big Island of Hawaii. Snorkel tours and dolphin watches are offered in the mornings and the afternoons and in addition they offer sunset sails, dinner cruises, scuba and snuba options, whale watching in season and private charters.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Hawaii Oceanic

4 Activity Options

Private Charters, Swim with Dolphins, Kealakekua Bay Tour, Whale Watching

Personalization is the key word describing the ocean adventures offered by Hawaii Oceanic on the Big Island. Six passengers is the maximum number that will be on board so you will have all the personal attention you will need on these adventurous tours on a comfortable 30' power catamaran. Tours will include snorkels to Kealakekua Bay, swim with the dolphin adventures, swim with Manta Ray trips and whale watches.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Sea Paradise

4 Activity Options

Snorkel - 50' Catamran

Sea Paradise is a 50 foot sailing catamaran, the Hokuhele, which explores beautiful locations along the Kona coastline. Trips depart from Keauhou Bay heading down the coastline towards the historic marine preserve, Kealakekua Bay. Dolphins or even whales when in season will often become a major focal point of these trips. Evening tours are also available to see the amazing giant Manta Rays.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Kona Style

2 Activity Options

Kona Style

Kona Style offers morning and afternoon snorkeling and sailing on the "Noa Noa," our 50 foot sailing catamaran. Certified for 43 passengers and permitted for operations from Kailua pier, she boasts roomy seating in an open-air shaded cabin and up front in netted trampolines on each side of our retractable swim ladder. She provides a comfortable ride, safe and easy water access and is equipped with a fresh water shower and his/her restrooms.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Anelakai Adventures - Big Island

1 Activity Option

Kayak with Anelakai Adventures

Anelakai offers kayak, outrigger canoe and stand up paddling adventures off the Kona coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Aloha Dolphin Tours

6 Activity Options

Aloha Dolphin Tours - 25 Foot Power Catamaran, Group and Private Cruises

Aloha Dolphin Tours offers a variety of sea tour choices for exciting ocean adventures. Ideal for small group or intimate private charters this power catamaran makes Kealakekua Bay accessible to enjoy with your family and friends.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(8 Reviews, 4.9 Stars)

Fair Wind Charters

2 Activity Options

50' Sailing Catamaran, 55' Teknicraft Catamaran

Well established as a tour boat company on the Kona Coast of the Big Island, Fair Winds Charters has two beautiful and distinctive boats that offer a complement of tours which include snorkel tours to Kealakekua Bay and evening Manta Ray excursions. Also included as a part of the day snorkels are SNUBA diving and the new sea rocket underwater propulsion vehicles.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(16 Reviews, 4.8 Stars)

Kamanu Charters Inc.

6 Activity Options

36' Sailing Catamaran

You'll enjoy "real sailing", snorkeling and whale watching on this trip with Kamanu Charters on their 36' custom designed sailing catamaran "Kamanu" to Pawai Bay. This area, located just north of Kona, is under State Fishery Management . The bay is within the Queen Liliuokalani Trust Land at Kaiwi Point and it is private. They also offer night manta ray snorkels.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(4 Reviews, 4.8 Stars)

Dolphin Discoveries

4 Activity Options

25' Rigid Hull Adventure Craft, 32' Zodiac Mark VI

Dolphin Discoveries focuses on finding the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins and/or Spotted Dolphins on their educational and personalized tours. These trips offer small groups the chance to capture a memory of a lifetime while enjoying a cruise along the calm Kona Coast of the Big Island.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(11 Reviews, 4.7 Stars)

Sunlight On Water

3 Activity Options

Snorkeling Tours

Sunlight on Water is the name of an amazing boat that takes you out for a 'dolphin swim' off the coast of Kona on the Big Island. This very stable and smooth riding 40' vessel with quiet engines, comfortable seating, restroom and warm shower accommodates as many as 25 passengers. You will be in search of the dolphins and swimming with them in the open ocean. Manta Ray snorkels are also available in the evenings.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(6 Reviews, 4.5 Stars)

Captain Zodiac

2 Activity Options

23' Inflatable Zodiac Rafts, 24 Foot Inflatable Zodiac Raft

One of the oldest charter boat companies in the state, Captain Zodiac offers spectacular personalized and adventurous snorkel and wildlife tours along the coast of Kona on the Big Island. A variety of daily snorkel tours will take you to Kealakekua Bay on speedy 24' Zodiac Rafts and outstanding whale watches are offered during the winter season.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(9 Reviews, 4.3 Stars)

Splashers Ocean Adventures

2 Activity Options

30' RIGID Hull Inflatable Raft

Splasher's Ocean Adventures is an eco-friendly adventure rafting company which operates out of Honokohau Harbor on the Kona Coast of the Big Island. It's 19 passenger, 30' rigid hull inflatable raft offers snorkel and dolphin tours down the coast to Kealakekua Bay, whale watches in season and two exciting evening Manta Ray snorkel tours.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(3 Reviews, 4.3 Stars)

Neptune Charlies

3 Activity Options

28' Orca with Twin Diesel engines

One of the most popular dive shops in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii is 'Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii'. Also known as Neptune Charlies, they specialize in fabulous night dives with the Manta Rays. Being a dive shop however they also have available a wide selection of dives and have dolphin and whale watches as well as snorkel tours.
More Info / Buy Now


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(2 Reviews, 4 Stars)

Sea Quest Rafting

5 Activity Options

Inflatable Rafts, Rigid Hull Inflatable Raft

Quick, maneuverable and personal are all words that accurately describe the tours offered by Sea Quest Rafting. Leaving from Keauhou Bay their 26' rafts travel the distance down to famous Kealakekua Bay to snorkel and the various tours they offer will include other locations as well. These tours are all marine intensive and dolphins almost always seem to play a big role in each ocean outing.
More Info / Buy Now


Adventure X Boat Tours

2 Activity Options

Raft Whale Watching, Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling Tour

Enjoy speeds of over 40 MPH on the upgraded zodiac raft used by Adventure X Rafting while touring the areas along the coastline of the beautiful Kona region of the Big Island. Individual tours will include day trips to swim with the dolphins, spectacular evening Manta Ray snorkels and whale watching tours during the migration season.
More Info / Buy Now


Iruka Hawaii

2 Activity Options

Dolphin Snorkel Tours, Manta Tour, Whale Watch

Iruka Hawaii offers snorkel and dolphin watch tours off the coasts of the two islands in Hawaii that provide the very best venue for observing dolphins, the Waianae Coast of Oahu and the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.
More Info / Buy Now


Mauna Lani Sea Adventures

1 Activity Option

21' Power Catamaran, 50' Sailing Catamaran

The beautiful Mauna Loa Resort in Waikoloa is the departure point for all the activities provided by the Mauna Lani Sea Adventures. Pristine snorkel adventures, scuba diving trips, sunset sails and whale watching trips in season are all available. The 55' Polynesian style catamaran 'Winona' carries intimate groups of passengers on tours along this gorgeous coastline.
More Info / Buy Now


Torpedo Tours

2 Activity Options

An amazing experience!

Want to have a unique diving experience, try a trip with Torpedo Tours off the coast on Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The torpedoes are safe and easy to operate and allow you to cover much more distance than you normally could. The torpedo provides all the power to propel you in the water instead of you kicking, which means you'll be expending a lot less energy on your dive. You will likely even be able to swim along with the dolphins as they join the groups for a frolic every couple of days.
More Info / Buy Now


Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures

2 Activity Options

Ocean Warrior is a 36 Foot Navy SEAL assault raft boat

Among the fastest power vessels in Hawaii is the 36' Navy Seal Assault boat. Its used by Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures to take tours up the coastline to remote locations to Snorkel and enjoy the caves viewing sea life. Then Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures takes you out to sea to visit and play with the dolphins and whales in season. It also offers a speedy tour all the way to Capt. Cook's Monument to snorkel and returns in just two hours.
More Info / Buy Now


Hula Kai

2 Activity Options

Hula Kai part of the Fair Wind

Join us aboard Fair Wind's sister vessel, Hula Kai.
More Info / Buy Now


Hawaiian Boating Adventures

1 Activity Option

Grady White, 30', Power Cat, catamaran design, twin 200 hp Yamaha engines

Design your own customized ocean adventures on the Big Island of Hawaii and choose both how long you want to go out and what ocean activities you want to do on your special tour.
More Info / Buy Now




Recent Reviews


Top Activities
Customer Favorite Tours Based on Reviews

So snorkeling on the Big Island, snorkeling on the Big Island is probably the single most popular activity that we have anywhere on the island. Everybody wants to go snorkeling, and it's because there is such good snorkeling there.

A short story. The first time I ever went to the Big Island, I was staying in a hotel. I was interested in doing long-distance swimming, and I asked somebody where a beach might be that would be a good place to do that, didn't have a clue at all. They gave me an idea. I ended up going to this beach, and getting my goggles ready, and waded into the water, and was ready to jump in. As soon as I got under the surface of the water, I almost jumped right back out. I couldn't believe how many fish there were there. I wasn't expecting really to see fish. I didn't know what I was going to be seeing. I was looking for an area that was maybe sand bottom and a distance where I could swim. Instead, what I ended up seeing were huge reefs that were just covered in fish of all kinds. It was something like I had not seen in Hawaii before. That was the first time that I really got a sense of what it was like to do snorkeling on the Big Island.

Every time I've gone there, it's been amazing to me how much marine life you could see. There are ... This is a bottlenose dolphin. That's one of the things that you may see in the water. The coastline, once again, as so many things happen on the Big Island, the area that you want to be on to snorkel is going to be along this coastline, the Kona Coast. This area is the windward side. It's wet, it rains a lot, but it's also the wave conditions are usually way, way too strenuous to get in to enjoy, so it's always this area that you're going to be snorkeling in.

There are so many locations that we have along this coastline. There's about 80 separate snorkel sites that are found from Captain Cook area on Kealakekua up to Waikoloa. There are many boats that we have that take you to all these places. You're going to be seeing so much, and so colorful, and so many fish, and dolphins are a big thing that happen there, turtles. Who knows what may show up.

One of the really neat places we like to take people is down south in Captain Cook down here to Kealakekua Bay. Kealakekua Bay is an underwater marine reserve, and it is one of the most beautiful places just to visit, to see, but as far as snorkeling, it's great, too. They've got the cliffs that come straight down to the ocean. It's got Captain Cook's monument there. Anyway, it's a real famous place. That's one place, but don't feel like that's the only place.

Between Kona and Kealakekua, we've got lots and lots of areas that have caves, and little inlets, and places where you can snorkel and lose yourself. Then heading up towards Waikoloa, there are many, many locations that we have boats that will take you. There's just tons of places to see.

We have all different kinds of boats that you can go on. We've got the large boats, large power boats that are probably for those of you that like the stability of a larger boat, that would probably be what you'd be interested in. They're often quite double-decks, so you can a little higher, and you get a little bit more perspective on the ocean as you're looking out.

But then we also have the smaller boats, the Zodiacs, and Radons, that kind of thing. These are more maneuverable, and they're fast, and speedy, and usually deal with smaller groups of people. Because they're smaller, more intimate groups, you're going to probably be able to ask more questions of the captain and learn a little bit more in that way. However, these are not boats for everyone. You need to be a little bit more athletic. You can't have a bad back. A lot of times, you zoom along the ocean's surface, and it may be a little bit pounding for some people. Other people just love it.

You can also kayak on, or excuse me, snorkel and kayaks out there, and so on, so there's a number of different types of vessels that you can be on. We have sailboats, so some of the trips that you'll be on snorkeling will have an opportunity, after the snorkel perhaps, to put up the sails and have a little fun that way. A lot of these, we'll take you out for a morning sail, and then they'll be a lunch involved at some point. Some of these will be more in the afternoon. They're all over the place. Lots and lots of different snorkeling options and that's why it's so ridiculously popular on the Big Island to do the snorkeling.

If you have any questions about tours or activities in Hawaii, just give us a call, or check out tombarefoot.com.

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.

More Info / Buy Now

Kauai's coastline is both varied and beautiful ranging from the more gentle inlets and coves of the Poipu and South Shore region to the dramatic, isolated and incredible shoreline of the Na Pali Coast.

More Info / Buy Now

Great Oahu snorkeling spots can be found off the coast of Waikiki and Honolulu but many excellent snorkel areas can be found off the coast of Waianae, Kailua, and Haleiwa as well.

More Info / Buy Now

There's a reason people love snorkeling on Maui. The ocean waters surrounding Maui and its neighbor islands of Lanai and Molokini are comfortably warm, have great visibility (often in excess of 100 feet), and are teeming with beautiful coral formations and colorful tropical fish.

More Info / Buy Now