Kailua Kona boasts perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and tons of outdoor activities. This makes Kona the most popular destination on the Big Island, and you definitely should try to include at least a couple of days of Kona (or more in general: the west coast of the Big Island) into your itinerary.
These are our unmissable activities for Kailua Kona:
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- Dive with the 12 to 18-foot giant Manta Rays at night
- Soak up the sun on the picture-perfect Kona Beaches
- Visit a Kona Coffee farm and taste the freshest Kona coffee you will ever find
- Go snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters
- Relax with a drink and see the best sunset on the Big Island
1: Manta Ray night dive
The one activity that we think is a must-do on the Kona side is the manta ray night dive. This is a nightly diving or snorkeling excursion where enormous and harmless manta rays are attracted by shining a big light onto the water. You can float between them as they play and feed and come so close that you could touch them if you wanted to.
You do not have to be a scuba diving die-hard to see the manta rays. If you join a snorkeling tour very little experience is needed, and you still will get to see a very big part of the “show”.
2: Relax on the Kona Beaches
Mauna Kea beach and Hapuna beach are two of the most popular white sand beaches on the west side of the Big Island, but there are more beaches to explore. Don’t forget to pick up some snorkeling sets at the local supermarket to bring along with you, because everywhere where there is water you can snorkel. Many of the snorkeling spots around Kailua Kona can be found in our favorite snorkeling spots on the Big Island
3: Kona Coffee
The slopes of the volcanoes around Kona are home to the world famous Kona coffee, so if you are into coffee try to visit a Kona coffee farm. You can of course also get a fresh cup of Kona coffee in town If you are not that much into coffee but still want to know what all the fuzz is about.
One of our favorite scenic drives takes you through the heart of the Kona coffee country.
4: Snorkeling at the Kona coast
The Kona coast has hands down the best places on the Big Island to go snorkeling. All 3 of our favorite snorkeling spots are south of Kona, at less than a 1-hour drive from central Kona. However, there is even good snorkeling to be found in downtown Kona, at the Kailua pier.
5: Perfect sunsets from the Kona coast
Since the sun always sets in the west, the Kona (west) coast of the island is the place to see sunsets.
Seeing the sun set below the ocean is one of our favorite parts of the day. It’s up to you to choose whether you want to see this from the beach or for example from a seaside terrace holding a Mai Tai. Regardless, sunsets here are pretty spectacular: