In Kailua-Kona next to Kailua Pier, the snorkeling at Kamakahonu Beach is a popular downtown Kona dive spot. Since it is quite protected, it is good for beginners and families. The water depth ranges from 5 to 20 feet deep. Initially, it starts with sand flats but you can go out further to see some coral. Also known as King Kam Beach, it is not known for good water c...
In Kailua-Kona next to Kailua Pier, the snorkeling at Kamakahonu Beach is a popular downtown Kona dive spot. Since it is quite protected, it is good for beginners and families. The water depth ranges from 5 to 20 feet deep. Initially, it starts with sand flats but you can go out further to see some coral. Also known as King Kam Beach, it is not known for good water clarity or exceptional coral. The best Kamakahonu Beach snorkeling can typically be found from March through June. While snorkeling, you may encounter butterflyfish, parrotfish, tangs and wrasse.
To reach the snorkeling at Kamakahonu Beach, follow Kuakini Highway into Kailua-Kona. There are two main parking options: free and expensive. The free parking is located on Likana Lane just off Kuakini Highway. After you park, walk through the Banyan Court Mall to Ali'i Drive. Turn right walking past the Kailua Pier onto the beach.
Alternately, there is paid parking available at the Courtyard By Marriot King Kamehameha, which faces the Kamakahonu Beach. After a long day of snorkeling in Kona, head across the pier and look for The Fish Hopper where you can grab a cool drink or the scenic waterfront On The Rocks for a lunch or dinner.
To reach the Big Island by air, you will need to fly into either Kona International Airport (KOA) on the south side of the Big Island and Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the northeast side of the Big Island. From either airport, the best bet is to rent a car since the dive sites are pretty far off the main roads. When planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands, be aware that the State Of Hawaii has banned all sunscreens that oxybenzone, which has been proven to kill coral reefs.
The best Big Islands snorkeling dive sites are spread around the island. The conditions at each dive site vary throughout the year depending upon winds and currents. Since many of the Big Island snorkeling destinations are open water and unprotected, make sure to check the current surf reports before heading to any of these dive sites. Luckily, there are excellent up-to-date surf reports that can provide guidance on these adverse conditions. PRO TIP: With the usually rolling surf, it is strongly discouraged to use open-tube snorkels which are common at snorkel rental locations -- only use snorkels with a dry-top splash-guard and a sump purge-valve in the mouth piece.
Overall, Kamakahonu Beach is the 11th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 28 snorkeling dives in Big Island. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Kamakahonu Beach including Honaunau Bay, Ke'Ei Beach, Manta Ray Night Snorkel, Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kealakekua Bay and Pebbles Beach.
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