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 with information located on the north side of the bay.
Kealakekua Bay is a truly magical and peaceful place to relax, recharge and soak up nature. Kayak, swim, snorkel or dive with a diversity of marine life including sea turtles and tropical fishes. End each day watching a gorgeous sunset unfold before you. Be on the look out for plenty of rainbows too!
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
You will often see dolphins in Hawaii, but especially in Kealakekua Bay and other nearby bays in South Kona. It is a magical sight to see the spinner dolphins jumping, playing and spinning in the bay.
You can easily see the dolphins from the beach, especially in the mornings. You can also take a tour.
Renting A Kayak On Kealakekua Bay
Since the bay is a Marine Conservation District it is protected and a limited number of daily passes are given for kayaking. We recommend you make your kayak rental reservation a day or two in advance.
There are several local outfitters nearby that can get you set up.
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.
Some of the best diving is at Ka‘awaloa Cove where depths range from about 5 to 120 feet. 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 at the house for our guests to use. Bring your own to be sure to have your size.
There are several tour companies to choose from to snorkel at the bay. Please read this information about current permitting and approved tour companies.
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 indigenous people, 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.