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Captain Cook Monument Tours

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Captain Cook Monument
British explorer Captain James Cook met his death at Kealakekua Bay on February 14, 1779, after a skirmish with the king of Hawaii in a local village. Today, a white obelisk in Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park stands sentinel over the lush coast and its crystal clear waters, commemorating his death.

The Basics
Admission to the state historical park is free, and many visitors come to take advantage of the area’s black rock beaches and the excellent snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and dolphin-watching opportunities just off the Kona coast in Kealakekua Bay. Popular tour options include sailing the bay in Zodiac rafts, outrigger canoes, and on lunch or dinner cruises; the monument can be spotted from the water.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Captain Cook Monument is a must-see for history buffs.
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, especially if you’re planning to spend time out on the water.
  • Tours of Kealakekua Bay tend to last from three to five hours.
  • Historical lunch and dinner cruises are wheelchair accessible.

How to Get There
The monument and state historical park are situated 12 miles (19 kilometers) south of Kailua-Kona on the western coast of the Big Island. The easiest way to get there is by private car or on an organized tour.

When to Get There
The park is open during daylight hours. For the best snorkeling conditions just offshore from the monument, book a snorkel tour first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon when fewer people will be in the water.

The Life and Death of Captain Cook
Captain James Cook first landed in Hawaii in 1778 on the island of Kauai, marking the first contact between British explorers and Native Hawaiians. He returned to the islands late in 1778, landing at Kealakekua Bay, where he was welcomed and treated as a god. He set sail again in 1779, but was forced to return to repair a broken mast. After Hawaiians snatched one of Cook’s small boats, Cook attempted to capture the Hawaiian king and was stabbed and bludgeoned to death. His memorial is controversial, as some locals see it as a tribute to an invader and a historical moment that would forever change the character of Hawaii.
Address: Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, Kaawaloa Road, Kealakekua Bay 96750, USA
Hours: Open daily
Admission: Free
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19 Tours and Activities to Experience Captain Cook Monument

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Afternoon Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

Afternoon Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

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Sail up the scenic Kona coastline, getting views of ancient lava flows and verdant cliffs, and stopping at the Captain Cook Monument, on this afternoon sail in Kealakekua Bay. Slip into the water using the provided snorkeling gear to see vibrant schools of fish, living coral, and even pods of spinner dolphins. Learn about the area's underwater flora, fauna, and ecosystem through guided commentary.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$82.73
From
$82.73
Taking safety measures

Afternoon Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

Afternoon Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

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Set sail down the Kona coastline aboard a trimaran, arriving in the Kealakekua Bay Marine Preserve for an afternoon of snorkeling. Splash into the turquoise waters near the Captain Cook Monument, and search for pods of spinner dolphins that frequent the bay. All equipment is provided along with light snacks and reef-safe sunscreen to make the trip convenient.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$82.73
From
$82.73
Taking safety measures

Deluxe Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

Deluxe Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

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Ensure you find some of the best snorkeling sites in Hawaii on this sail and snorkel adventure leaving from Keauhou Bay Pier. Set sail along the Kona coastline toward the Captain Cook Monument, where your adventure begins. Jump into the clear water to explore the vibrant reef of the marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay, which is home to schools of colorful fish and pods of spinner dolphins. Your tour includes breakfast, lunch, and equipment such as snorkeling gear and boogie boards.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$141.82
From
$141.82
Taking safety measures

Deluxe Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

Deluxe Sail & Snorkel Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay

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This half-day boat cruise takes you to the two best snorkeling sites in Kealakekua Bay: The reef beneath Captain Cook's monument and the underwater lava formations of Red Hill. In addition to breakfast and lunch, your guides provide all necessary equipment, basic snorkeling tips, and identification charts to help you spot fish and dolphins in their natural habitat. Don’t forget your camera—the route showcases sweeping views of the Kona coastline.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$141.82
From
$141.82
Taking safety measures

Dolphin Encounter and Kealakekua Bay Reef Snorkel

Dolphin Encounter and Kealakekua Bay Reef Snorkel

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Enjoy two Hawaiian underwater adventures for the price of one with this 4-hour combination dolphin-swimming encounter and snorkeling trip. Start by exploring the 600+ species of marine life like sea turtles, coral and tropical fish that call the reefs of Kealakekua Bay home. Then meet up with a local pod of wild spinner dolphins for an optional swimming session. A trip choice without the dolphin swimming portion is also available.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$65.00
From
$65.00

Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour - 4 hour Kona Zodiac Adventure

Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour - 4 hour Kona Zodiac Adventure

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Splash into the crystal-clear waters of Kealakekua Bay on this Big Island snorkeling adventure! Dart in and out of sea caves and explore the gorgeous Kona coastline in an agile Zodiac raft. Snorkel among colorful tropical fish, and keep an eye out for other marine life like whales, dolphins and sea turtles. Along the way, learn about the island’s geologic history and local legends from your expert guide, and see the spot where Captain Cook first landed in Hawaii.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$129.71
From
$129.71
Taking safety measures

Kona Shore Excursion: Wild Dolphin - Reefs -Sea Caves -Kealakekua Bay Snorkel

Kona Shore Excursion: Wild Dolphin - Reefs -Sea Caves -Kealakekua Bay Snorkel

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Make the most of your time in port on this Kona shore excursion timed to your cruise's arrival and departure. Get picked up from the port and head out on a sailing adventure to the Captain Cook Monument and Kealkeaua Bay where you can snorkel, swim, and explore caves and lava tubes. Expect to see spinner dolphins, sea turtles, colorful fish, and ancient reefs. Lunch, snacks, and use of snorkeling gear are all included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$139.00
From
$139.00

Luxury Dolphin Sail and Kona Snorkel

Luxury Dolphin Sail and Kona Snorkel

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Take the ultimate snorkeling and sailing trip along the Kona Coast during this 4-hour luxury yacht trip with a small group. Explore the stunning beaches and bays of the Big Island aboard a high-end boat, stopping at top snorkel sites and spotting marine life like dolphins, turtles, and whales. Unlimited refreshments, plus snorkel gear and a tasty picnic- or bento-style lunch are also included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$422.89
From
$422.89
Taking safety measures

Wild Dolphins and Reef Snorkel Kealakekua Bay

Wild Dolphins and Reef Snorkel Kealakekua Bay

star-4.5
Snorkel in Kealakekua Bay and visit the sea caves during an aqua adventure from Kailua-Kona. Board a boat in Honokohau Harbor to meet your local captain and crew. With a group of 16 people or fewer, travel to a marine life conservation area in Kealakekua Bay, stopping at local landmarks and listening to interesting commentary from your captain on the way. If conditions allow, enter the sea caves, unusual rock formations only accessible by water. Dive in wearing the provided snorkel equipment and look for pods of friendly spinner dolphins, sea turtles, and native tropical fish. Lunch, refreshments, and use of all snorkeling equipment are included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$139.00
From
$139.00

Morning Magic Kayak and Snorkel Adventure in Kealakekua Bay

Morning Magic Kayak and Snorkel Adventure in Kealakekua Bay

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Kealakekua Bay is a culturally sacred place to the Hawaiian people, rich with history and not without controversy. We are lucky to be allowed to provide tours in Kealakekua Bay and feel that it is our responsibility to share some of that history while enjoying the Bay's majestic beauty. Know for it's marine diversity and coral cliff, the snorkeling is some of the best on the planet. When you aren't looking down at the display of colorful reef fish, you'll gaze over the surface of the most protected deep water bay in the Hawaiian Islands, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coco palms. We are one of only three companies that provide kayak tours to this amazing destination and we pride ourselves on providing the best customer service, equipment, and knowledge to ensure that you get the most enjoyment out of your time in the Bay.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$205.97
From
$205.97

Guided Outrigger Canoe Tour in Kealakekua Bay

Guided Outrigger Canoe Tour in Kealakekua Bay

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Skip the usual boat tours and embark upon a Hawaiian style kayak adventure in a traditional outrigger canoe. These double-hull canoes are known for providing stability and smooth rides; all the better to experience Kealakekua Bay with minimal exertion. Learn about the history of the bay, one of the most sacred in Hawaii; its mysterious caves, and how people lived there, from guides whose families are connected to the area.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$117.34
From
$117.34

Big Island - South Island Coastal Loop Driving Tour

Big Island - South Island Coastal Loop Driving Tour

star-4.5
Come with us as we explore the fascinating volcanic landscape looping around the southern coast of the Big Island! Shaka Guide is your perfect companion with turn-by-turn directions, information on what to do & see, and a truckload of interesting stories and Hawaiian legends of this amazing island! Skip the tour bus & explore Big Island at your own pace for a fraction of the cost with the best self-guided audio GPS tours for Hawaii! Rated the #1 best GPS tour app for Hawaii with over 6,000+ raving reviews and 200,000+ downloads. Why you need it: ✅ You don't need service because you can download the tours & use them offline ✅ Much cheaper than a tour bus at only $9.99 for lifetime access ✅ Save time planning your trip because we have the best stops lined up ✅ Freedom to stop and go as you please, unlike a tour bus where you are confined to the pre-determined route (no fun!) ✅ Hear cool and fun stories along the way (and some corny joke's that might make you laugh)
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  • 2 days
From
$11.99
per group
From
$11.99
per group

Big Island - Kona Big Kahuna GPS Driving Tour

Big Island - Kona Big Kahuna GPS Driving Tour

A fun bite-sized loop tour that begins in North Kona and takes you down south to Puuhonua and back! Hear cool stories about King Kamehameha, Captain Cook, and the sacred rituals of ancient Hawaii. Shaka Guide is your local guide with turn-by-turn directions, information on what to do & see, and a ton of fun stories. Skip the tour bus & explore Big Island at your own pace for a fraction of the cost with the best self-guided audio GPS tours for Hawaii! Rated the #1 best GPS tour app for Hawaii with over 6,000+ raving reviews and 200,000+ downloads. Why you need it: ✅ You don't need service because you can download the tours & use them offline ✅ Much cheaper than a tour bus at only $9.99 for lifetime access ✅ Save time planning your trip because we have the best stops lined up ✅ Freedom to stop and go as you please, unlike a tour bus where you are confined to the pre-determined route (no fun!) ✅ Hear cool and fun stories along the way (and some corny joke's that might make you laugh)
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  • 2 days
From
$11.99
per group
From
$11.99
per group

Big Island Adventure Bundle: 5 Epic Audio Driving Tours

Big Island Adventure Bundle: 5 Epic Audio Driving Tours

star-4.5
Shaka Guide is an audio tour app that gives you the benefits of a guided tour with the freedom to explore on your own terms. This Big Island Tour Bundle comes with five socially-distanced audio driving tours: • South Island Epic Coastal Journey (8-10 hour tour) • North Island Jungle Adventure Loop (8-10 hour tour) • Kona Big Kahuna Loop (4-6 hour tour) • Kohala Coast and Backcountry Tour (3-5 hour tour) • Volcanoes National Park Tour (6-8 hour tour) The app uses GPS to give you turn-by-turn navigation to historic sites, popular attractions, world-class beaches and scenic hikes with stories about the places you’re visiting and music to entertain you along the way. All Shaka Guide Tours... • Never expire - take them multiple times or buy in advance • Work 100% offline - no data or wifi necessary • Let you take the tour when you want - download the tour and choose the day that works best for you *Please use the link in your confirmation email to download the app*
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  • 5 days
From
$24.99
per group
From
$24.99
per group

South Island Tour

South Island Tour

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Our flexibility and accommodating style set Anuenue Rainbow Tours apart. We tailor each tour to the desires of the group – where we go and how long we stay at any stop along the way is up to you. (We've listed only typical attractions and times spent at each; we happily accommodate what you want to do.) Your attentive tour guide will point out features along the way and delight you with her knowledge of local culture and history. Your guide is a 38-year resident of the island with a degree in Hawai'ian culture and history, a passion for sharing her love of the island, a great sense of adventure, and an abiding aloha spirit. Our air-conditioned Honda Odyssey comfortably accommodates 2 to 7 guests as we traverse the beautiful Island of Hawai’i and experience the sights, sounds and flavors of this incomparable tropical paradise. We are committed to delivering an excellent customer experience! PLEASE NOTE: Your $75 payment through Trip Advisor covers the 1st hour ONLY, as time is flexible.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
per group
From
$80.00
per group

2.5 hr Kona Morning Snorkel

2.5 hr Kona Morning Snorkel

Seats are limited. Online Calendar may not reflect actual availability. Explore the Kona coast with experienced captains and guides. Snorkel Kealakekua Bay home to the Captain Cook Monument, then enjoy fresh fruit and snacks. Keep and eye out for whales, dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and more. Our Captains and crew are always eager to share local knowledge and tips. Our new 23 foot RIB has plenty of seating room, lots of dry storage, and extra shade. Boat capacity is 6 persons, Please call for availability before purchasing.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$132.31
From
$132.31

Kona Snorkeling - Beat the Crowd to Kealakekua Bay

Kona Snorkeling - Beat the Crowd to Kealakekua Bay

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Skim across the waves on an exciting Big Island Zodiac tour to Kealakekua Bay, site of the Captain Cook monument and Hawaii's finest marine sanctuary. Snorkel with a rainbow of tropical fish among beautiful coral gardens in the bay's clear, crystal waters. Enjoy the delightful picnic snack provided before you head out again. Our Zodiac rafts allow us to hug the shoreline and get into areas where other boats can't. Join us to explore vast sea caves, lava tubes and the rugged beauty of the coastline.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$145.92
From
$145.92
Taking safety measures

Kona Day Tour Hawaii

Kona Day Tour Hawaii

Come and join us and hear all the beautiful stories of the Hawaiian people. Learn about Coffee growing in Hawaii at the Living History Coffee Farm and walk through Ancient Hawaii at the City of Refuge. Visit the Captain Cook monument. Learn history of the island that no other tour companies are offering.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$200.00
From
$200.00
Taking safety measures

Private Catamaran Charter

Private Catamaran Charter

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Cruise and snorkel along the South Kona Coast aboard a private catamaran during this 4-hour charter from Kona. Meet your local captain aboard the comfortable, spacious boat and set off in search of adventure. Don the provided mask, snorkel and flippers, then jump in and snorkel in the aquamarine waters of the Kealakekua Bay. Sail past The Grotto, Parrot's Cove and Red Hill, listening to tales of local history and culture from your captain. Perch on the ship's bow, searching for pilot whales and spinner dolphins in deeper waters. Enjoy personalized attention and a flexible itinerary on this private tour.
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  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$996.34
From
$996.34

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Captain Cook Monument hours of operation?
A:
Captain Cook Monument hours of operation: Open daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Captain Cook Monument?