We purchased goggles, snorkels, and flippers from Amazon.com and stowed them in our luggage. You can find the link to the pairs we bought here.
I will note that we found the exact same pairs at Target and Safeway in Kona for just a couple of more dollars, so we could have bought them there, but we didn’t want to risk it!
One note of warning: The waves at Kua are HUGE! We were constantly badgered by gigantic sneaker waves crashing over and rushing toward us. They knocked us all over the place. Once we passed the break line of the waves, the water was very calm and the snorkeling was easy!
See exactly what it was like at Kua Bay in my YouTube Video below!
Two Step at Captain Cook
Two Step is very aptly named. The volcanic shelf that separates the beach from the ocean has two steps in the rock that lead straight into the water. Two steps, and you’re in the ocean snorkeling over a beautiful coral reef!
It was the most active area for coral, fish, and other sea life! We saw dozens of different fish, and even though we spent all day here, I feel like we only saw a fraction of the area. It was unbelievable!
You can see more from our afternoon snorkeling at Captain Cook and learning about Hawaiian culture in the video below!
Night Snorkeling with Manta Rays
This experience was the only one for which we paid. All of the other places I have, and will, mention were free to enter and snorkel. That being said, night snorkeling with manta rays was completely worth the cost!
I booked a night time excursion with My Kona Adventures to go snorkeling with manta rays and my parents were very nervous. I surprised them with the plans, because I knew they would be hesitant, but in the end, they agreed it was an incredible experience!
P.S. I was able to get an AWESOME deal for the four of us by emailing ahead of time and asking about the packages they were offering. So don't be shy and ask ahead (and let them know The Traveling Tacos sent ya)!
See more from this nighttime snorkeling trip in my “Night Swimming with Manta Rays” blog post here and in the video below!
Places We Wish We Had Snorkeled:
Queen’s Bath / Kiholo Bay
You can read more about Queen’s Bath and our day of looking for petroglyphs in my “Kilauea-Kona Christmas Vacation” post here!
Sadly, we did not have time to get in the water at Kahalu’u Bay on our way down to Papakōlea’s Green Sand Beach. We were following the “Gypsy Tour Guide” app and it encouraged us to stop. From the shore, we could see brightly colored fish everywhere. It looked incredible, but we just didn’t have time to jump in.
Magic Sands was another stop our “Gypsea Tour Guide” app recommended, but this time, we did things a little differently and enjoyed happy hour drinks by the water. We didn’t get in the water here, but we could see a fair amount of snorkelers.
It looked like a nice spot. Instead, we cheersed our cocktails and watched the sun set!
Overall, we loved snorkeling in Hawai’i. It was extremely easy everywhere we went, and we always found the most interesting things to see. I hope, one day, we can come back and explore more!
If you would like to read more about our entire week on The Big Island, visit my Hawai’i Page, HERE, to read posts about every place we snorkeled, stayed, and ate.
6/27/2021 03:28:54 pm
queens bath is illegal at this time! respect the locals and do not go in!
6/28/2021 01:28:17 pm
Thank you for the info. There were no signs or warnings at the time I went in 2020. I understand this may have changed. Thank you for your comment!
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Talkin' 'bout Tacos:
I'm Taylor, aka Tacos! I am sharing my journeys and experiences from across the world hoping to inspire travel and adventure in all who read!