One of most popular destinations on the Big Island for kayaking and snorkeling, Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook Monument area of Ka‘awaloa Flats have been negatively impacted in recent years by an influx of illegal and unpermitted kayak rental operations. Beginning the first of this year, the State of Hawai‘i imposed a moratorium on the use of kayaks and floating vessels in Kealakekua Bay in an effort to “give the bay a rest” until planned management and regulatory actions are complete. Nobody knows for certain how long this process will take, so in the meantime, kayakers are basically out of luck when it comes to exploring Kealakekua Bay.
There is some good news, however, for visitors who want to go kayaking in this pristine Marine Conservation area. This month, the Department of Land and Natural Resources approved permits for two commercial kayak tour companies, Aloha Kayak and Kona Boys, to return to the bay to offer guided tours twice a day. Currently, each tour company is allowed a total of 12 participants each trip, which means only 48 people per day can go on guided tours until further notice.
If you’re planning a trip to Kona, be sure to book your kayak reservation in advance since space is limited. Located less than a half-hour drive from Holualoa Inn, Kealakekua Bay is a prime destination for viewing pods of spinner dolphins in the wild. Our Holualoa Inn ohana will give you insider tips on how to enjoy your day trip to Kealakekua Bay.
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