For many people, snorkeling is a great way to enjoy the beautiful ocean. However, you may be wondering if it’s possible to see turtles while snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay? You are not alone. Many people have this same question when they are planning their vacation and want to make sure that they’re able to see Hawaii’s marine life while also having fun swimming underwater. Luckily for you, there are plenty of turtles who live in the bay. However, they aren’t always easy to spot while snorkeling.

Keep reading below to learn about the turtles who live in Kealakekua Bay!

WHAT IS KEALAKEKUA BAY

Kealakekua Bay is a beautiful area that lies on the southern part of Hawaii’s Big Island – aka The Kona Coast. The bay has an amazing coral reef where you can see plenty of marine life including sea turtles! It’s also a great place for swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding. If you’re looking for an unforgettable snorkeling experience, Kealakekua Bay should definitely be on your list!

The bay is around 16 miles south of the town of Kailua-Kona and it can be easily accessed by driving down Highway 11. There’s a lot of parking available, so you won’t have to worry about finding a spot, however, if you are trying to access the Northside of the bay by the Captain Cook Monument, it is a steep switchback trail that needs to be hiked both down and up.

WHAT KIND OF TURTLES CAN YOU SEE AT KEALAKEKUA BAY?

If you’re looking for turtles at Kealakekua Bay, keep an eye out for these guys:

  • Green sea turtles

  • Hawksbill sea turtles

  • Leatherback sea turtles

Make sure to bring your camera – you’re going to want to capture these beautiful creatures! As always, please be respectful of the marine life and do not touch or harass them.

WHY IS KEALAKEKUA BAY A GREAT PLACE FOR SPOTTING TURTLES?

When you go snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay, there’s a good chance that you’ll see turtles – which is why the bay has been dubbed “Turtle Town”. Unlike other areas where turtle populations are shrinking, this part of Hawaii is doing well and the bay contains healthy turtle populations. In fact, the bay has been designated as an important nesting area for the endangered green sea turtle. In fact, Kealakekua Bay is a marine wildlife refuge and turtles are protected in this area.

WHERE CAN YOU SEE TURTLES AT KEALAKEKUA BAY

Turtles can be seen in the water and on shoreline rocks, but they are especially common around the bay’s outer reefs. If you’re lucky, you may even see a sea turtle swimming close to the surface! Keep in mind that you can’t always guarantee to see a turtle – it’s common to go through snorkeling excursions without spotting any. While this is disappointing, remember that the bay was created as a protected area for marine life and turtles are thriving here!

So make sure to keep an eye out as you snorkel – you never know when you’ll spot one of these beautiful creatures.

WHEN CAN YOU SEE TURTLES AT KEALAKEKUA BAY

Turtles are common in Kealakekua Bay, but they are especially visible during the summer months. During this time of year, you may be lucky enough to see turtles laying eggs on shoreline rocks!

If you don’t want to wait it out or if you’re not visiting Big Island during the summertime, there’s still a good chance that you’ll see turtles while snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay.

The best time to visit is during the morning when the sun isn’t too strong and the waves are calmer. If you’re looking to spot turtles, the morning is your best bet. Snorkelers can see turtles during daytime hours too if they wear polarized glasses that cut through the glare of sunlight and reveal what’s below.

OTHER WILDLIFE AT KEALAKEKUA BAY

While turtles are the most common marine life you’ll see while snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay, there are lots of other creatures who live here. Some examples include:

  • Dolphins

  • Monk seals

  • Spinner dolphins or spinner porpoises (depending on which type is spotted)

  • Tropical Fish

Just like with the turtles, make sure to keep an eye out and bring your camera! These animals are amazing and you’ll be able to capture some great memories of snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay.

GO SNORKELING AT KEALAKEKUA BAY

You can definitely see turtles while snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay but you’re more likely to see them around the shoreline rocks. The bay is a marine wildlife refuge and it’s best to go with a tour company, such as Kona Style for the opportunity to not only explore but also increase your chances of seeing these incredible creatures. Book your tickets today!

MORNING KEALAKEKUA SNORKEL & SAIL

Start time: 8:30am
Prices from $35

Sail KONASTYLE and experience the pristine waters of the Kona Coast as we make our way to Kealakekua Bay, which is home to the Captain Cook Monument and a marine sanctuary filled with with tropical i’a (fish) and beautiful coral structures.

AFTERNOON KEALAKEKUA SNORKEL & SAIL

Start time: 1:30pm
Prices from $27

Sail KONASTYLE and experience the pristine waters of the Kona
Coast as we make our way to Kealakekua Bay, which is home to the Captain Cook Monument and a marine sanctuary filled with tropical i’a (fish) and beautiful coral structures.

KEALAKEKUA SNORKEL & SAIL

SUNSET & MANTA RAY SNORKEL

AFTERNOON MARINE ADVENTURE