Dolphin Discoveries

Snorkel at Some of Kona’s Best Spots with Dolphin Discoveries
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Take one of the snorkeling tours from Dolphin Discoveries and encounter sea life while learning about the history of the islands and their native wildlife. Each unique snorkeling tour provides you with interesting and educational trips to the top snorkeling spots around Kona. Don’t miss this chance to encounter marine life and learn more about the islands.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

You can snorkel on your own around the Hawaiian Islands. But why not get a guided tour to some of the best spots around Kona to dive? Dolphin Discoveries offers multiple tours to get up close and personal with Hawaiian marine life, including dolphins, fish, whales, and more.

What makes Dolphin Discoveries different is its emphasis on education about Hawaiian history and the ocean environment. They work hard to ensure the dolphins have humane treatment and don’t experience stress during encounters. In fact, this company pioneered humane, ethical dolphin encounters. So, you can feel good about choosing this company that protects the welfare of the wildlife it shows to visitors.

Dolphins may be in the company name, but they also provide boutique snorkeling tours of some of the best places for swimming around Kona. These tours are great ways to get comfortable snorkeling, learn about history, and see coral reefs with their native marine life.

Dolphin Discoveries offers several tour options, including the following:

Snorkel Tour to Captain Cook Monument
Snorkeling tours to the Captain Cook Monument take visitors to the still, shallow waters of Kealakekua Bay. This tour is ideal for beginner snorkelers. Kids and adults will enjoy this experience that gives everyone the chance to see marine life.

On this tour, visitors frequently see a large number of tropical fish and corals. Lucky swimmers spot reef sharks or spotted eagle rays. Additionally, the boat will tour the geological features along the bay, such as lava tubes and sea caves.

Manta Discovery Adventure
The Manta Discovery Adventure is a 90-minute nighttime trip to have close encounters with manta rays. During the trip, you will have snorkel gear and be underwater with your guide you watch the natural motion of manta rays in the water. To protect these creatures, you cannot freely snorkel with them. However, many visitors get the chance to have the manta rays swim within inches of them as the creatures float, barrel roll, and seem to fly through the water.

Dolphin Discovery Adventure  
The Dolphin Discovery Adventure ranks as one of the most popular of the company’s tours. By communicating with other boaters in the area, the tour guide can steer the boat toward areas with dolphin sightings, for a very high likelihood of seeing these creatures up close on the tour.

Unfortunately, recent laws prohibit swimming within 50 feet of swimmer dolphins, so you cannot get in the water with them. However, you will still be able to see these beautiful creatures swimming in their natural habitat from on the boat.

For optimum viewing of the dolphins from aboard the vessel, Dolphin Discoveries provides binoculars to see the spinner dolphins closer while staying aboard. Participants can see the dolphins swim and leap through the waves. You’ll get the chance to take numerous pictures of dolphins from the boat on this tour.

After dolphin watching, the tour finishes the morning with a snorkeling trip at Kealakekua Bay, where you could see any of the 100 species of invertebrates or fish that call this area home.

Humpback Whale Watch
The Humpback Whale Watch does not include snorkeling or swimming. Instead, participants stay aboard the boat to watch for migrating Humpback Whales. You can photograph the whales as they breach the surface. The boat’s underwater hydrophone allows those on board to hear the sounds the whales make underwater. This trip is the ideal wildlife encounter for all abilities and ages to see whales. To optimize the chances of spotting whales, Dolphin Discoveries only offers this tour from December through April.

Premium Kona Snorkel Tour
The morning Premium Kona Snorkel Tour lasts four and a half hours and takes you to the Captain Cook Monument and Kealakekua Bay. Then, you’ll travel to the Place of Refuge at Honaunau Bay. The first half of the trip gives you an abbreviated version of the Captain Cook Monument tour provided in the afternoon. Though, you will still get to snorkel, see lava tubes and sea caves.

The next stop is at Honaunau Bay, also known as the Place of Refuge. The Travel Channel dubbed the spot among “America’s Best Beaches.” Locals know it as one of the best snorkeling spots on the Island of Hawaii. With calm, clear water and sandy patches between the reefs, you can see a variety of fish and sea life here. If you want to see Honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles), this is the place to go.

Lucky visitors on this tour may even see dolphins from the boat at some point during the half-day excursion.

Take a trip with professionals who respect the land and its history while leading snorkeling and swimming tours near Kona. Whether you want to swim with dolphins or have a snorkeling trip to the best spots around, book one of the many tours Dolphin Discovery offers.

Insider Tips:
-Stay calm and quiet when snorkeling to allow dolphins the chance to approach you. Don’t move toward dolphins. If you do, they will flee.
-Only bring rub-on reef-safe sunscreen. Aerosol and non-reef safe products are not permitted.
-Bring a sweatshirt to cover up and stay warm during the cool nights after the manta ray dive. Choose a lighter coverup and sunglasses for daytime dives. Don’t forget your towel and waterproof camera for all snorkeling adventures.
-You may use your personal snorkel equipment or the equipment on the boat.
-Vessels do not have onboard restrooms. Plan a bathroom break right before you board.
-Enjoy free water, snacks, and juice aboard the vessel.