Kealakekua from the air

Kealakekua, Big Island

The historic town of Kealakekua is most famous for being the landing spot of Captain Cook, who sailed into Kealakekua Bay in January 1779 and was killed here a month later. A monument on the shore memorializes his death.

The town is surrounded by the 600-foot (183 m) high Pali Kapu o Keoua sea cliffs, where the royal ali'i (high chiefs) were buried in ancient Hawaii. At the base of the cliffs is Kealakekua Bay, one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in all of Hawaii.

A declared Marine Life Conservation District, the bay is home to dolphins, sea turtles and a wide variety of other tropical fish. Kayaking and snorkeling to explore the bay are the two most popular activities here.

Kealakekua Overview

  • Town overlooks historic Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook first set foot on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1779
  • Snorkeling and diving are the two main attractions
  • Captain Cook Monument located on the shoreline
  • Population: 2,019 (2010 Census)
  • Zip code: 96750

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Reviews and Comments:
There are two roads down to the bay, one windy, the other not so much. My wife couldn't handle the first so we came back on another day and she had no problems. Once there the views are spectacular. The next day I took a rigid rafter to the bay and did some amazing snorkeling. Also not to be missed is the national park, the Place of Refuge, just up the road.
Tom Campbell, Tue May 14, 2019