Sea Quest Hawaii

Sea Quest – Where to Raft and Snorkel All Along the South Kona Coast
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

At Sea Quest, they go all out in helping you explore the ocean wonders all along the South Kona Coast. Their raft and snorkel adventures take you near sea turtles, dolphins, and even magnificent manta rays. Want to take all your family and friends? Just sign up for their private charters.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Have you always wanted to explore all the ocean wonders along the South Kona Coast? If so, you can definitely do just that by booking a trip with Sea Quest. Their raft and snorkel adventures take you out to all the major sightseeing spots, including the Captain Cook Monument. All along the way, you can see the awe-inspiring marine life of all kinds, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, and dolphins. They even offer opportunities to swim with the manta rays after the sun goes down.

All their snorkeling tours go out in small groups, so everyone has room to stretch out and enjoy the trip to the fullest. Want the boat just for your family and friends? Just sign up for a private charter instead. Otherwise, you’ll group up with many like-minded adventurers for a shared day to remember out on the water. For either experience, you’ll need to sign up well ahead of time by giving them a call or using the booking system on their website.

After that, you just have to get ready for your time out on the water. Be sure to put on your swimwear, grab a sunhat, and don sunglasses with UV protection. Also, slather on reef-safe SPF 50+ sunblock about 15 minutes before arriving, and then reapply it every two hours. You can bring a snorkeling mask, too, if you prefer, but they have them on board for all their guests. They even have prescription masks for those who are nearsighted.

Once you’re ready to go, just arrive about 30 minutes early to check-in and meet the captain. You’ll go over what to expect and hear a few safety rules before boarding the raft. After hopping onboard, you can just kick back and relax while enjoying the views. Your captain will point out all the best sights along the way while providing fun facts about marine life, island history, and so much more.

Upon arriving at the snorkeling spots, you’ll get down into the water and kick around while enjoying the views. Lunch will come your way after that, so you can stay energized for the rest of the day’s adventures. If you need any other refreshments during the trip, just let your captain know. They’re always happy to go above and beyond in keeping all their guests comfortable and having a great time.

Their must-try snorkeling tours include:

Deluxe Morning Adventure
A fan favorite for over 30 years, the Deluxe Morning Adventure lets you snorkel at the Captain Cook Monument and Honaunau Bay. During that four-hour trip, you’ll get to explore lava tubes, sea caves, and many other geological marvels. On top of that, gorgeous marine life will grace your presence as you dip into the water at each location.

Expedition South Kona
On the Expedition South Kona, you will head out to three breathtakingly beautiful snorkeling sites. The locations change depending on the conditions, although you’re likely to explore Kealakekua Bay, Puuhonua O Honaunau, and beyond. During the five hours on the water, you’re bound to see dolphins, pilot whales, and many other wonderful creatures.

Night Manta Experience
The Night Manta Experience is a popular bucket list item, and for good reason. On this 1.5-hour trip, you’ll get to look beneath the waves after sundown to see 1,000-pound manta rays gracefully gliding through the water. Hot chocolate and cookies will cap off the night, letting you satisfy your sweet tooth while taking in the evening ocean views.

Definitely bring a camera in a waterproof case on your tour, so you can take tons of photos and video of all the amazing sights. If you don’t have one, that’s not a problem. Just ask about their GoPro rental add-on, and then use their equipment to get all your snaps.

Insider Tips:
-The captain reserves the right to cancel the trip during adverse weather conditions.
-Their boats do not have any bathrooms onboard. So, use the restroom near their outdoor office before boarding the raft.
-If you’re not a strong swimmer, avoid the Expedition South Kona and Night Manta Experience tours. Compared to their other tours, these trips require that you get around in the water with ease.
-For parking, go to the end of King Kamehameha III Road and find a spot in the dirt lot across from the pier.