Kahaluu beach park is a great place to go snorkeling. Actually, the best spot on the whole island in my opinion. Located about 4.5 miles south of Kailua Kona on Alii Dr.
You’ll See Lots of Tropical Fish When You Snorkel Here.
Alii Dr. runs north and south along the coast from Kailua Kona to Keauhou which is about 5 miles. Kahaluu Beach Park is right next door to the Keauhou Beach Hotel.
The reason I think this is the best place for snorkeling is because the bay is protected by a rock jetty which keeps waves from breaking in the bay and makes it a pretty safe place for new snorkelers.
Another good thing about the rock jetty is underwater visibility is very good because the sand on the bottom isn’t getting all churned up from the surf like at an unprotected beach.
This bay is very shallow, about 10 feet deep at the most. If you’re into scuba shore diving then you might want to go here instead.
You can usually see at least one or two on any given day. I’ve seen as many as 5 turtles during one snorkel. They tend to hang out at the north end of the bay. But if you don’t want to get wet, you should check out Kaloko Honokohau National Park to see turtles sunning themselves along the shoreline.
Be careful when snorkeling at that end of the bay, in the winter there is a nasty rip current that runs south to north and you’ll wind up half way to town if you’re not careful or worse, banged up on the rocks.
The picture below is looking south across the bay. As you can see it has a nice little beach you can enter the bay from.
The bay is filled with thousands of tropical fish. There are many different varieties of reef fish here, as far as I know practically every type of reef fish known to Hawaii lives in this bay. Truly some of the best snorkeling on the Kona coast.
On the north shore of the bay sits St. Peters Church.
Believe it or not mass is held here on a monthly basis and people get married there all the time. I know because I lived across the street for 2 years and would see the weddings all the time.
This picture shows the only surf heiau in the whole state overlooking the break at the north end of Kahaluu bay. This heiau is a stone platform. Heiau’s are or were
Speaking of surfing, you can take surfing lessons here too. It’s a perfect beginners learning spot.
Kahaluu is also rich with history in the surrounding area. I definitely think it’s one of the best places in Hawaii to see tropical fish in their natural setting.