Kahaluu Beach Park - One of the Big Island's Best
Kahaluu Beach Park is located on the Kona Coast (West coast) of the Big Island of Hawaii, about 5 miles South of the town of Kailua-Kona. There is lots of history in Kahaluu Bay, and as such is part of the National Register of Historic Places. However, this doesn't mean a visit will be filled with dry "boring" historical museums (although I kind of like that stuff). History is just that: history. When speaking about the present, Kahaluu Beach Park takes lots of pride in it's natural beauty, recreational activities , and straight up fun.
It's debatable what this coast line is better known for: the surfing, or the snorkeling. This is not a bad thing though, as both are incredible. In this article, we will focus on the excellent snorkeling to be found at Kahaluu Beach Park.
Marine Life in Kahaluu Beach Park
As with many snorkeling destinations, one of the primary features that makes this spot so great are the spectacular coral reefs. More than 100 different species of reef fish can be found along these shores, leaving you with good odds to see something cool. In fact, many people are surprised at the variety of tame marine life because it's not a marine preserve, yet you wouldn't guess that when snorkeling the waters.
The extremely tame and friendly behavior of fish, as well as the amount and variety of marine life, are likely due to the natural landscape. The cove is sheltered by rock, but just enough to only keep the big waves out. Natural currents can still enter the cove, and these currents often contain other life and forms of nutrients, ultimately creating what could be imagined as a marketplace for fish.
Of course, we must mention the Hawaiian Sea Turtles, the ultimate fan favorite in Hawaii. There are tons of these critters around Kahaluu Beach Park, and often times they will come out of the water to relax and sleep on the warm rocks. Be careful though, as sometimes they will blend in with the environment, so just watch your step!
One more note about the turtles, although there are technically no fishing limitations at Kahaluu Beach Park, turtles are a protected species everywhere in Hawaii, so don't get so close that you scare them, and definitely do not touch them. In general, it is very much frowned upon to fish or take anything from the natural environment in areas like this, so if it isn't necessary, just plan to enjoy your time and leave with awesome pictures and memories.
Kahaluu Beach Park Snorkel Rentals
Mask, Snorkel, and Fins: $2.50-$11 per day, or $9-$44 per week, depending on the snorkel equipment you choose.
*Kids 12 and under are cheaper (details on website)
*Can rent individual components at a lower rate. Rx masks are available (details on website).
75-5381 Kahakai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Phone (toll free order line): 1-800-262-7725
Phone (customer service): 1-808-737-2421
Email: [email protected]
KAHALUU BAY SURF AND SEA
Snorkel, mask, and fins: $7/4hr, $8.75/day, $19.75/week
Individual snorkel components: $3/day or $10/week
*Rx masks available for an extra charge
Address: 78-6685 Ali'i Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm Mon-Sun
Email: [email protected]
Mask, snorkel, and fins: $7/hr, $12/day, $29/week
Individual components: $5/hr, $9/day, $19/week
Provide fitting and instruction on how to properly use snorkel gear
Address: 79-7539 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, HI 96750
Hours (Shop): 7:30am-5:00pm everyday
Hours (Shack): 8:00am-5:00pm everyday
Phone (Kealakekua Shop): 1-808-328-1234
Phone (Kona Beach Shack): 1-808-329-2345
Email: [email protected]
Amenities at Kahaluu Beach Park
If you're looking for an isolated spot well away from civilization, well, this isn't one of those spots. That being said, Hawaii is very unique in that often times you won't even know the difference, especially once you're in the water among the marine life.
The beach has lifeguards, restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. There is parking available on site, but as with most beaches in any country that have parking lots, it tends to fill up early.
Depending on how you look at it, the fact that Kailua-Kona is so close by, this could really add to your experience if you are in Hawaii for more than just snorkeling. If you're bringing kids then maybe it's a god option in case snorkeling isn't for them. But like we said, if you're looking for something a little more extreme and isolated, probably not the best spot.
Beach and Water Conditions at Kahaluu Beach Park
The beach is ok. It isn't the white sandy relaxing type beach you see at all-inclusive hotel resorts, but if that's what you were after, you would proabbly be looking to one of those instead. The beach here is a little more patchy and dispersed in amongst lava rock as well. Although this isn't the classic relaxing style beach, you can still find spots around the area to chill out and rest.
On the other hand, the water conditions are excellent. Three words can summarize the water conditions: calm, shallow, and clear, which is exactly what you want when snorkeling, especially if you are a beginner. There are lots of neat little areas to explore, and you can enter the water from multiple points, either on rock or sand.
If you are able to make it on a sunny day, which is very likely, the sun will shine through the water, and the majority of the ocean floor will also receive sunlight, which is great for the coral reef, and in turn the fish. But in terms of immediate benefits for the snorkeler, this will simply allow you to take more awesome pictures and see the marine life in optimal clarity.
Kahaluu Beach Park is a great snorkeling destination for all skill levels, but is probably best suited for beginner-intermediate snorkelers. The reason we say this is because it's not the most difficult environment to navigate. You don't need to swim or boat out to a spot, you don't need to worry about swell, and you still get to see tons of cool stuff.
If you are a more advanced snorkeler, or have spent a decent amount of time snorkeling in Hawaii, this will still be a solid outing, but may not provide the challenge or experience you have been working towards.