Kahalu'u Beach Park Snorkeling
Kahaluu is one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island. Fed by a fresh water spring, up to 10 million gallons per day. These waters are almost always calm, with colorful corals, rock formations, and 100+ species of fish. Swim with huge schools of colorful fish and green sea turtles in these protected waters; don't forget your underwater camera! The north end of the beach is where the waves break and is best for body boarding and surfing. Check the water conditions; when ocean swells are present, the water can be murky.
In the days of the Hawaiian kings, with many of the islands' beaches having dangerous surf and riptides, King Kamehameha wanted a safe place for his family to enjoy the ocean. He had his workers construct a seawall in the surf to protect a small cove on the sunny side of the Big Island. This cove today is known as Kahaluu Beach Park - one of the most popular swimming and best snorkeling sites in the Kona district. The beach is salt-and-pepper colored sand with lots of shady trees surrounding it. There is a sandy entrance to the water for snorkelers on the north side of the beach. Often, you can see turtles swimming the shallow waters right from the beach or while you walk on the sea wall!
The best snorkel route is to head to the southwest, towards the lava rock breakwater (aim for the pavilion restaurant) - this keeps you swimming against the current. Swim against the current on your way out, that way you are swimming with the current on your way back to shore. Try to head out to the lava rocks into as shallow water as possible - once you get into about 2-feet or less of water, the coral reef is pristine and the underwater life is spectacular. The coral reef is most prolific out here, in the shallow water adjacent the lava break water. Also, most of the tourists will stay closer to shore - so if you make it out here, it will be just you, the coral, and the colorful fish! Slowly swim to the North as the current pushes you that way. As you circle through the deeper water on your way back to the beach, you will more than likely see some green sea turtles swimming. Enjoy the great snorkeling!
Kahalu'u, a Family Beach
Kahaluu is well visited because of the calm, protected waters - perfect for families and kids. Because of its popularity, parking can be hard to find, so come early! The shallow, clear waters are abundant with sea life. Shady trees surround this beautiful sandy beach. Facilities include a pavilion, rest rooms, showers, a lifeguard tower, and limited parking. This beach is baby stroller accessible. Concession stands and beach rental gear stores are located nearby. A narrow path takes you directly to the Resort's Beach Bar & Grill, which serves sandwiches and plate lunches. Young kids will love to play in the sand and the shallow water as turtles crawl up on the beach next to them. Older kids and teenagers will enjoy the wonderful snorkeling.