My Kona Adventures

Phone (808) 895-8951
5 stars from 7 reviews
Address 78 Kaleiopapa St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Charter boat tours for snorkeling, fishing, whale watching, or enjoying the beautiful rugged coastline off Kona. Boat tours depart from Keauhou Harbor.

• General: Cost: Paid • General: Discount: Kama'aina
• General: Discount: Military • General: Kid Activities
• General: Photo Opportunity • Sightseeing: Dolphins
• Sightseeing: Fireworks • Sightseeing: Whale Watching
• Sightseeing: Wildlife • Tours: Boat & Submarine
• Tours: Charter / Private • Tours: Full Day
• Tours: Guided • Tours: Half Day
• Tours: Photography • Cultural & Historical: Memorials / Statues
• Water Activities: Boats / Sailboats • Water Activities: Cliffdiving
• Water Activities: Fireworks Cruise • Water Activities: Fishing
• Water Activities: Manta Ray • Water Activities: Snorkeling
• Water Activities: Spearfishing • Water Activities: Sportfishing
• Water Activities: Water Sports

About My Kona Adventures
My Kona Adventures is a unique Hawaiian and Veteran owned company that combines fun and knowledge for the curious, with rich descriptions of Hawaiian history and underwater marine life.

We intentionally keep our charters to six or fewer guests so that we can maintain highly personalized and customized care for you and your family! Our staff has many years of experience escorting people out on the waters and providing the safest and most memorable Hawaiian experience available.

Our staff encourages people to be adventurous and to see, first-hand, the beautiful coral reefs and sea life that the Big Island has to offer in this beautiful water wonderland.

You can snorkel the best big island reefs, cliff jump, whale and dolphin watch, or snorkel with manta rays—no matter your preference, we have affordable adventure tours to accommodate your needs, or you can simply create a customized, private adventure just for you!

We respect and care about the creatures of the sea and understand that we are simply visitors in their undersea realm.

My Kona Adventures is a Hawaiian/Veteran owned company. Started by Nicholas and Misty Yanagi and ran as Family, providing very family oriented ocean activities in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. All our snorkel guides are ocean certified lifeguards providing you the safest and most memorable experience
Full Description
We met Nick at Keauhou Harbor at 7:30am so we could beat the rush hour traffic of other tour boats. We headed directly over to Kealakekua Bay and we were able to snorkel without the disturbance of other tour boats. Our ride on the boat was relatively smooth.

Kealakekua Bay is my favorite spot to snorkel on the Big Island. Nick provided masks and snorkels for us which fit and worked fine. We saw an abundance of colorful fish and explored the beautiful reef. I was able to shoot a short video of an eel swimming between nooks. Then Nick spotted some dolphins and got us close so we could jump in and swim near them. There were dozens of them.

Nick allows his passengers to dictate how they want to spend their time. If they want to spend the entire time snorkeling, so be it. If they want to head out and see dolphins, he can do that too.

Then Nick took us to another snorkeling spot called 2 Steps, which is next to the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park also known as the Place of Refuge Heiau. This spot is not as exclusive as Captain Cook Monument since it's easily accessible from the shore. There were quite a few fish here - the area was beautiful, but somewhat crowded. There were a lot of snorkelers.

After snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay, Nick told us the story of Captain Cook and tragic demise at the hands of the Hawaiians. Nick gave us fresh fruit, including a pineapple he carved up for us in unique way (check out the photo).

Later that evening, we met with Nick to experience the Manta Rays near the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay at Keauhou Harbor. Nick brought another captain with him and we headed out a few hundred yards off shore near the bright lights that shine on the water at the Sheraton Hotel.

Erik G
Joined: Jul 2016
Reviews: 32
Likes Received: 1
Captain Nick and his crew are amazing. It was our last night in Kona and we wanted to end the trip with one last adventure. The manta ray snorkeling trip did not disappoint. Within three minutes of being in the water we were surrounded by large manta rays swimming so gracefully below us. This was a great way to end the trip for sure. We will definitely be booking this adventure on the trip next year.
Sue E
Joined: Oct 2016
Reviews: 27
Likes Received: 3
Knowledgeable guides, beautiful tours.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
Nick does a really good job driving the boat, sharing stories, finding the fish, and feeding us.

The ride on the boat was really smooth. We had one gal who had the propensity to get seasick, and she felt just fine. The cool thing about My Kona Adventure is that Nick will take you wherever you want and spend as much time as you'd like. We weren't on a tour boat's schedule - we were on our schedule. We allocated the time the way we wanted to.

Nick told us stories in an entertaining way about the history of Captain Cook and the Islands. I've heard different versions of the story, but his was pretty unique. He showed us the spirit of Aloha in the way only a local Hawaiian could.

I've been on 2 manta ray experiences previously, and I thought they were great. At that time we experienced a single manta ray doing loops around the wakeboard we were on. But this time, there were about 10 rays looping below us. It was unreal. In fact, it was surreal. These huge creatures swimming right next to us, yet they are harmless. These manta rays are closely related to the shark family, but I felt no fear being in the water beside them. Swimming with manta rays should be on everyone's bucket list.
Debra L
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 4
Likes Received: 0
Captain Nick is the best!

The couple I was traveling with arranged this personalized water activity for our small group of 4. They knew we wanted adventure but yet wanted a personal experience. We met our Captain 'Nick' bright and early the day of our excursion.

The excursion started with motoring over to Captain Cook's Monument for morning snorkeling. Since we had an early morning start on this clear and sunny day we began our snorkeling being the only snorkelers in the 75-78 degree water. We adventured all around this area with our captain keeping a close watch out. We saw (no kidding) hundred's of tropical fish varying in size, shape, and color. We even saw an eel at a safe distance. At our leisure, we then motored about 10 minutes until we came to a group of Spinner Dolphins what looked like playing in the water. Our captain quickly positioned us and we all jumped over to catch a glimpse of these magnificent beauties underwater. What a treat!!! We then enjoyed island fruits and a third snorkel adventure at a place called Two Steps. What I enjoyed about each of these snorkel stops was that they were all unique on sea life and terrain and offered this adventurous group a bit of everything we were hoping. I appreciated the individual attention we received from our captain. He provided island history, sea life information and you could easily see this was not just a job to him - he wanted to share his love of this island.

In the evening that same day, we met Captain Nick again for a swim with manta rays. I had snorkeled before but never in my wildest dreams would think that I would swim and view safely from a floating surface (surfboard) that we held onto witness these majestic acrobats of the sea. This was truly an adventure of a lifetime. Our Captain shined a bright light that shows the food particles that mantas eat. The mantas then surface and perform amazing acrobats within arms reach of you – HOWEVER, we are carefully instructed not to touch the mantas. They come so very close but are 100% harmless. Very thrilling and I could not have thanked Nick enough for this wonderful day!
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 168
Likes Received: 4
We took the private charter snorkel tour with Nick. He recommended that we leave before 7:30 AM ahead of all the other tour boats. And he knew what he was doing! When we got to the Captain Cook Monument for our first snorkel stop, there was nobody. We were the only ones swimming and snorkeling. The water was clear and pristine. I’ve been there when there were multiple tour boats and close to a hundred people snorkeling. It’s no fun snorkeling with that many people. I’ve heard that during the peak season, there could be over 600 people snorkeling at the Captain Cook Monument. Anyway, we had the whole place to ourselves. There were so many bright colorful fishes everywhere I looked. We even saw a Whitemouth moray eel swimming around the coral. The great part of doing the tour with My Kona Adventures is that we are not restricted to a set schedule. If we wanted to stay longer snorkeling at one place, then we could stay longer until we were ready to leave the area.

As we were heading to the second snorkeling site, Nick told us the history of Captain Cook. Since Nick was born and raised near Kealakekua Bay, it was interesting to hear the Hawaiian version of the history. I’ve heard the whitewashed version of the history from other tour companies before. While we were enjoying the history lesson, we saw a pod of spinner dolphins in the Kealakekua Bay. Because our tour is flexible, we stopped and jumped in to swim with the dolphins. There were dolphins everywhere. When we didn’t see them anymore, we just popped up our head and Nick would tell us where the dolphins were. Most of the times, he would tell us to stay put and wait for the dolphins to come towards us and invariably, they would swim towards us. I could see a mom swimming with a baby dolphin and other family members swimming close by them. It’s obvious they are a close-knit family. They were very playful and some of them were spinning out of the water. It was thrilling to be in the water with them and witness how playful and joyful they were.

After swimming with the dolphins, Nick took us to our second snorkeling site, The Place of Refuge or Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park also known as Honaunau Bay / Two Steps. I’ve heard how great snorkeling was at The Place of Refuge so I was really excited to go there. Nick told us the area we should stay in for the best snorkeling and not to go near the rocks where the waves could push us into the reef and get hurt. The water was clear and the visibility was amazing. The water was teeming with colorful fishes. I found the fishes here were larger than at the Captain Cook Monument.

While we were back on the boat, Nick provided us with fresh papayas, pineapples, chips, and cookies. They tasted so good after a great day of snorkeling and swimming with dolphins.
I think My Kona Adventure is great for people who want to spend as much time snorkeling as possible.

We went back that evening to the Keauhou Bay 7:30 pm to experience the Manta Ray Night Snorkel. The Manta Ray snorkel has always been my favorite activity so I was really looking forward to it. Nick provided us with wetsuits to keep us warm. We went on a short boat ride in front of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Nick put a modified surfboard with a bright light pointed at the bottom of the ocean into the water. The surfboard had handles attached on the top. We swam to the surfboard and held on to the handles and lay flat on the water face down. The bright light attracts the plankton towards the light and the manta rays come to feed on them. There were several tour boats and floating devices with lights in the water.

Soon we started seeing manta rays come to feed. I finally got to see Big Bertha who is the biggest manta ray in the area with the wingspan of 16 feet. There are about 250 manta rays living in the Kona Coast and they all have names. They are identified by the dark spots on the white belly. Big Bertha was magnificent. Then we kept seeing more and more manta rays. We saw about 10 manta rays that night. It was like watching a ballet dance with multiple dancers. It was amazing how they didn't run into each other. They would come toward each other and at the last minute, they would do a somersault and go the opposite way. They would also come right at you from the bottom with their mouth open and scoop up the plankton and do a somersault beneath your face. Sometimes they came so close, I had to lift my head not to touch them. We were screaming in delight whenever they came inches from our faces.

It was a beautiful and joyful experience. They are such gentle and elegant creatures. We couldn’t stop smiling even after we were finished and coming on to the shore. I think the Manta Ray Night Snorkel is a must for anyone visiting the Big Island. It’s one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced.
Kathryn L
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 8
Likes Received: 0
We hired Nick to take our small group of 4 out for a private snorkel trip. We wanted a more personalized experience without all the crowds and his trip definitely delivered!

First off, Nick is a friendly and gracious captain. He warmly welcomed us aboard showing us where to store our snorkel gear out of the way. His boat is very clean and well maintained. It holds 8 with bench seating along the sides in the aft or you can sit up on the forward deck for the best view. We were off the dock by 7:45, well ahead of the group boats so we could beat the crowds.

We headed to Captain Cook’s Monument first and were the only ones there. We had the whole area to ourselves for quite awhile. It was so peaceful and the conditions were perfect. It was sunny and clear and the visibility was incredible. This was my favorite area we snorkeled in that day. It had the most variety of fish. I saw the Yellow Tang which the area is known for, various versions of Butterflyfish including the Pennant and the Raccoon and my favorite, the colorful blue Parrotfish. I also saw a yellow Moray Eel flutter out of a crevasse and slither back in. The sun just sparkled on the fish, showing off their glorious colors. To me, it was the perfect snorkel experience.

Once we were back on board, Nick had fresh Hawaiian papaya with lime for us which was delicious and refreshing.

Next, Nick took us over to Kealakekua Bay which is known to be frequented by dolphins during the day. After feeding at night farther out in the ocean, the dolphins come into the bay during the day to rest and play. As we approached we could see a few swimming about. Again, we arrived ahead of any large boats and there were just a few snorkelers and kayakers around. We got into the water and floated around slowly. It didn’t take long and this large pod of dolphins was swimming past and around us. Underwater, I could both see them and hear their chatter.

They made all sorts of clicking and squealing type sounds. I have no idea what they were saying but I felt their joyful energy as they swam passed, dipping and spinning and twirling around like joyful children. I felt so happy just to be in the water near these amazing creatures and to feel their joyful playful energy. It is an experience I will always treasure.

The last stop of our day trip was at the Place of Refuge (aka 2 steps). This reef which has a more rocky appearance had larger schools of fish. Sea Urchins and Sea cucumbers are plentiful and I watched a green sea turtle with yellow tangs feeding on its back. Altogether a fabulous day of snorkeling!

To top off this exceptional day, we returned a few hours later for a night swim with the Manta Rays. This is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. In snorkel and mask, you lay flat in the water and hold onto a surfboard equipped with handles all around and each person grabs hold. A light shines in the water which attracts plankton. When an abundance of plankton accumulates, the Manta Rays come to feed.

They slowly swam around below us, getting closer and closer until they were right below us. They swirl and tumble doing somersaults coming upside down within inches of our faces! You can’t help but laugh as they swim so near without touching. These giant creatures are so gentle and graceful. It's a true gift to be able to experience them in their natural habitat.

For a truly exceptional experience, I recommend going out with Nick to snorkel and swim with the dolphins and night swim with the Manta Rays. Just do it!
Consensus Guy
Joined: Jul 2013
Reviews: 11148
Likes Received: 27
My Kona Adventures has an overall 5 star average rating from over 200 reviews online.
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