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Kealakekua Bay, Kona on the Big Island, Hawaii

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Our Route Summary

  • Submitted by: Jorge Vazquez
  • Date Submitted: 7/2000
  • Email:
  • Location: Kealakekua Bay sea caves and tidal pools near Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii
  • Class: Ocean
  • Distance Paddled: 3 miles round trip (four hours with stop for snorkeling)
  • Water: salt
  • Wildlife: Dolphins, Moray eels in intertidal zone, Crabs, Octopus

Entry and Exit

  • Directions: Entry/Exit at Kealakekua Bay off Alii Road in Kona
  • Fee: none for entry, but see the text if you want guides
  • Description: sand and rock ramp
  • Parking: Nearby
  • Facilities: none, but numerous nearby

What We Saw

The organization that rents Kayaks and offers guides is Ocean Safari. Kayaks can be rented without guides but for those new to the Kona area I recommend the guides. Micah and Lindsey were the great guides on my first sea going kayak trip. They knew the sea caves and were helpful to less experienced sea kayakers.

The trip itself was along the coast in a northeasterly direction. It was about 0.5 miles to the first cave and then another mile to the intertidal zone. We left about 8:30 AM and came back about 12:30 PM with a half hour stop at the intertidal zone.

We saw about three caves but only went inside one. This is where the guides were so important. They went in first and showed us how to go in with the current and come out safely. Lindsey stayed in the caves to make sure as we went in that no one got caught or got too close to the sides where the waves would break.The guides knew very well how to do it and made sure we did it right. They then also showed us how to turn around in the caves. Nonetheless we all got sprayed a lot. It was part of the experience. I felt very comfortable with the guides.

Dolphins swam with us in the open water.The scenery along the coast is breathtaking. Cliffs at the cove are cooled lava which adds to the adventure. The sea caves were exciting; very different from any other paddling I've done.

We stopped at an intertidal zone for snorkeling. That's where we saw moray eels, many crabs and even an octopus.

And we even had the opportunity to do some cliff diving.

Although the trip was in ocean salt water along the Kona Coast it is definitely one which beginners would enjoy. The cost of the trip was $55.00 which included a light snack at the cove where we anchored and snorkeled. I highly recommend this trip.