by Crystal Beran
With its beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine and welcoming locals, Hawai’i is a popular travel destination year-round. On the Big Island of Hawai’i (not to be confused with what many people refer to as the “main island,” Oahu, where Honolulu can be found) by far one of the coolest activities is swimming with the dolphins.
Swimming with dolphins is an incredible experience, and if you’ve got an adventurous streak then there’s a pod of wild dolphins about a half an hour south of Kona that I’d like to introduce you too. Most mornings, you’ll find a group of 20 or so people bobbing up and down off shore, waiting for the pod to swim by. Of course, these are wild dolphins, so there’s no way to be sure they’ll show, but one of the best snorkeling spots on the island is just four miles further south, so if the dolphins are a no-show, you can easily jump in the car and see some amazing corals and fishes.
For this day or half-day adventure, you’ll want to make sure you pack the following: swim suits, towels, masks and snorkels, swim fins (a must!), and a positive attitude. You may also want to bring: beach chairs, a picnic lunch (alternatively, there are some restaurants about 15 minutes from these two spots), a wet suit, and a boogie board (to float on top of, not to surf on).
Head out on the road early if you hope to see this pod of wild spinner dolphins. Ideally, you want to be in the water no later than 7am, so be sure to have a good breakfast in the car and give yourself plenty of time to get there. In my experience, most of the dolphins have usually headed out to sea by about 8am, but you never know. The dolphins often hang out on the south side of Kealakekua Bay, at a park called Kealakekua Bay Park, which can be accessed by taking Napoopoo road down the mountain.