Reef & Dolphin Snorkel Tour
Swim with wild Hawaiian Dolphins in their natural environment, the warm, calm and clear blue waters of the Big Island of Hawaii. People are often changed after they experience swimming with dolphins because it is such an incredible experience. The wild dolphins on the Big Island teach us about community, love and communication.
Hawaii Vacations offers a Big Island Wild Dolphin Swim with one of the most experienced dolphin experts and guides in Hawaii. Dolphins love to swim with people. Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are the most common dolphin to swim with. There are about 700-1,000 Spinner Dolphins that call the water of the Big Island their home. They are found feeding in the offshore waters at night. They move into the waters near shore and protected bays during the day where they rest and play. They like shallow, sandy bottom bays to play, teach their young and sleep. Dolphins will show little interest in humans while at rest. The pod will take long deep dives together and surface for only short periods of time. When in play mode, dolphins will show an increase in their sounds and aerial behavior. They will break into small groups and swim faster. These traits indicate favorable conditions for dolphins to encounter humans.
Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are the smallest dolphin in Hawaii – about the size of an adult human. Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are not the only dolphins in Hawaiian waters. Spotted Dolphins, Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales are also found here. You may see turtles, manta rays, tropical fish and other marine life in addition to the dolphins.
The Big Island Wild Dolphin Swim begins in the morning.. As we head up the Kona coastline to search for the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins you will see beautiful scenery. The location of dolphins can vary from day to day – they may be found at Makalawena, Kiholo Bay, or Hoona Bay. The location may differ but the magic and mystique of these amazing creatures remains the same.
Once a pod has been located we stop and you can enter the water and snorkel with as many as 300 dolphins. Our Dolphin Adventures are fun, easy and safe. Swim with the dolphins in their turf on their terms. It will be their choice of if, when, how, and how long they will share an encounter with you.
Some tips to remember when swimming with these dolphins: Let the dolphins approach you. Swim gently – do not chase or pursue the dolphins. Respect the dolphins and be considerate. Swim with them but respect their personal space - do not touch the dolphins. Stay near the boat. Keep splashing to a minimum. Avoid sudden actions or noise that may startle the dolphins.It is best to swim with your hands by your side. Do not feed the dolphins. Be alert. Dolphins may swim under you or from behind you but do not dive down with the dolphins.
To ensure the best dolphin experience the tours are limited to a small number of passengers. All ages are welcome but children must pay the adult price.
Please bring sunblock and a towel. We recommend that you wear your swimsuit under your outer wear or sarong. If you will be going on the tour in the winter months we suggest a lycra top or spring suit but it is not essential.
- Wraps, fresh fruit, snacks, soft drinks and water
- Snorkel gear and flotation devices
Pod of Dolphins
Kona Diving EcoAdventures
Map - click to enlarge
- Where and When:
- Check in at 8:30 am. Tour returns at 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm.
Check in at Honokohau Harbor, Slip C-1 View Map
Take HI-19/ Queen Kaahumanu Hwy north towards the Kona International Airport. At light, turn left on Kealakehe Pkwy into entrance of Honokohau Marina. Take the first right and follow the road around. After passing Sea Store Deli / Gas Station, turn left. Look for Kona Diving EcoAdventures boat on the left. Check in at the boat.
- Snorkelers must be able to swim. Snorkeling is not recommended for those under 6 years of age.
Snorkelers age 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
- Special Notes:
- Dolphin sightings are not guaranteed, but there is a 98% chance of seeing dolphins.
- Operation Days:
- 3.5 - 4 hours
- Dolphin Adventure and Swim with the Dolphins
- Big Island
- Kona Diving EcoAdventures utilizes at 40-foot Newton Customs 36 Dive Special boat that feature FlyBridge seating with a 360 degree view, swim platform, extra large ladder and a hot water shower.