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  • Address: Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, Kaawaloa Road, Kealakekua Bay 96750, USA
  • Hours: Open daily
  • Admission: Free

Big Island of Hawaii ATTRACTIONS See all

Captain Cook Monument Tours

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.

Tours & Tickets

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Historical Dinner or Lunch Cruise to Kealakekua Bay, Big Island of Hawaii, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Historical Dinner or Lunch Cruise to Kealakekua Bay

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 37 Reviews

Set sail for a 3-hour cruise to Captain Cook’s Monument for dinner, as a local historian shares stories and legends of the sites you will see along the way. ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $137.63
Zodiac Raft and Snorkel Adventure, Big Island of Hawaii, Lunch Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Zodiac Raft and Snorkel Adventure

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 47 Reviews

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 ...  Read more

Location: Kona, Hawaii
Duration: Flexible

From USD $115.00
Guided Outrigger Canoe Tour in Kealakekua Bay, Big Island of Hawaii, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Guided Outrigger Canoe Tour in Kealakekua Bay

Try your kayak tour, Hawaiian style, with our traditional one-of-a-kind outrigger canoes. We offer Outrigger Canoe Tours to the famous Captain Cook Monument in ...  Read more

Location: Kealakekua, Hawaii
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $110.00
Snorkel, Kayak and Dolphin Experience in the Big Island’s Kealakekua Bay, Big Island of Hawaii, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Snorkel, Kayak and Dolphin Experience in the Big Island’s Kealakekua Bay

4.5 star rating: Recommended 48 Reviews

Surround yourself with beautiful scenery, dolphins and the occasional humpback whale as you paddle a kayak in picturesque Kealakekua Bay! This narrated Big ...  Read more

Location: Honalo, Hawaii
Duration: Flexible

From USD $99.79
Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour With Optional Honaunau Bay, Big Island of Hawaii, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling Tour With Optional Honaunau Bay

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 25 Reviews

Snorkeling in Kona is the best in the State. Join us on one of our personal, unique, and award winning snorkel tours and see the hidden Kona Coast. Discover ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: Flexible

From USD $94.31
Dolphin Encounter and Kealakekua Bay Reef Snorkel, Big Island of Hawaii, Snorkeling
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Dolphin Encounter and Kealakekua Bay Reef Snorkel

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

COMBO TRIP: Swim with wild Dolphins and snorkel at Kealakekua Bay!    On this four hour excursion, you will travel to a beautiful marine sanctuary, ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $69.66
Hawaii Combo: Wild Dolphin Swim and Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling, Big Island of Hawaii, Snorkeling
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Hawaii Combo: Wild Dolphin Swim and Kealakekua Bay Snorkeling

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Combine the magic of swimming with wild dolphins off the Kona coast with an amazing snorkel adventure in stunning Kealakekua Bay. Set out from the Big Island ...  Read more

Location: Hawaii-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $158.61
Luxury Dolphin Sail and Kona Snorkel, Big Island of Hawaii, Swim with Dolphins
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Luxury Dolphin Sail and Kona Snorkel

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

We take you on an unparalleled yacht to experience the beauty and grandeur of the Kona coast and its most bejeweled underwater treasures. Every guest is ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $420.77
Wild Dolphins and Reef Snorkel Kealakekua Bay, Big Island of Hawaii, Dolphin & Whale Watching
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Wild Dolphins and Reef Snorkel Kealakekua Bay

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Snorkel and observe sea turtles and spinner dolphins at Kealakekua Bay during this half-day boat excursion from Kailua-Kona. A professional captain and crew ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $129.00
Captain Cook and Sea Cave Snorkel Excursion, Hawaii, Snorkeling
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Captain Cook and Sea Cave Snorkel Excursion

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

6 passengers max, no crowds! Explore Captain Cooks Monument at Kealakekua Bay on this small group private tour for snorkeling along coral reefs and sea ...  Read more

Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $100.00

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