Hawaii's Kealakekua Bay
Dolphin Bay House & Cottage are located about 300 feet from the shores of Kealakekua Bay. A world-famous Marine Life Conservation District, Hawaii State Park and National Historic Site. The bay is known as one of the best snorkeling and diving locations on all of the islands and throughout the world.
Kealakekua Bay is also the location where Captain James Cook first encountered the indigenous people of Hawaii and was later killed. There is a historical monument and information near the site.
Kealakekua Bay is a truly magical and peaceful place to relax and recharge, become one with nature, watch a gorgeous sunset and kayak, swim, snorkel or dive many diverse species of marine life including sea turtles and tropical fishes.
Marine Life Conservation District
Kealakekua Bay was designated a Marine Life Conservation District in 1969 to protect the diversity and abundance of marine life from overfishing and pollution. These areas provide fish and other aquatic life with a protected area in which to grow and reproduce, and are home to a great variety of species. Marine Life Conservation District's like Kealakekua Bay are popular as sites for snorkeling, diving and underwater photography.
The waters in the bay are nearly pristine, and its diversity of marine life is amazing, for example, there are more than 400 species of reef fishes including 30 different species of angelfishes and butterflyfishes.
The Spinner Dolphins
While you will often see dolphins in Hawaii, the best place to get up close to them is Kealakekua Bay on The Big Island.
We love to relax on the shores of the bay at the beach area less than 300 feet from our vacation home, which is why we named our home "Dolphin Bay House."
Although there is plenty of marine life in the bay, the dolphins are one of our favorites because they seem to love to entertain. Dolphins are friendly and playful and seem to love to entertain - jumping and spinning right next to you.
Although you can easily see the dolphins from the beach, especially in the mornings, you can also rent a kayak or take a dolphin and snorkeling tour.
Renting A Kayak On Kealakekua Bay
Since the bay is a Marine Conservation District it is protected and only a limited number of daily passes are given out to kayak so it's best to talk to a kayak rental early in the day.
There are several local outfitters nearby that can get you set up with kayaks or canoes.
Snorkeling And Diving In Kealakekua Bay
The water in the bay is very clear with amazing visibility which makes it one of Hawaii's best spots for snorkeling and diving.
There are plenty of places to snorkel here in the bay, but most people have great luck in the waters closer to the Captain Cook monument.
The bay’s best diving is at Ka‘awaloa Cove where depths range from about 5 to 120 feet. The fish are quite tame and will swim near humans. The diversity of coral and fish is exceptional here.
On the bay’s northeastern side, the waters below the cliff (pali) are perfect during calm conditions. Abundant coral growth and marine life can be seen in waters of about 5 feet.
We often have some snorkeling gear inside the house for our guest's use.
Captain Cook Monument
In 1779, Captain James Cook, a British explorer, arrived at Kealakekua Bay after discovering the island for the Europeans a year earlier. Although he was treated like a God by the natives, a skirmish between his crew and the locals resulted in his death.
In 1878 a monument was erected in his honor by the English near the site he was killed. Later, the site was added to the State and National Registry of Historic Places.
To see the monument and the ruins of the ancient village of Ka'awaloa up close you need to kayak or take a tour boat to that side of the bay.