Our second day on the big island brought us to the port of Kona. We didn’t have any specific plans for this day; all we knew was that we needed Kona coffee, shave ice, and snorkeling time, in no particular order. And our parents had booked a tour for Kona, so we were going to have a sisters day! So we took the tender from the ship to the shore, and hit Kona on foot.
Kona! I was instantly in love with this port. This one reminded me of being in the Caribbean.
Kona coffee! First item crossed off the Kona checklist. My review: it was definitely tasty coffee, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. But still, you can’t go to Kona and not drink Kona coffee.
The second you step off the boat you are met with a swarm of vendors trying to sell you various tours and excursions. Which is normally kind of irritating, but since we actually did need to find a way to get snorkeling, it proved most useful. We found a shuttle operator that would take us from the port to Turtle Beach, and we could take the shuttle back to port whenever we were ready. Then we found a shop that rented snorkel gear, and we were all set!
This was a great beach for snorkeling! The water was calm near the shore and had awesome visibility. My youngest sister had never snorkeled before, and is definitely not a strong swimmer, but she was able to learn how to snorkel well enough to see lots of cool fish and feel comfortable in the water. So, this is a good beach choice for first timers!
The farther you got from shore, the rougher the water became. Waves threatened to go inside your snorkel, and currents felt stronger. If you don’t pay attention, you will find yourself far away from where you started without even noticing it happening.
However, snorkeling away from the shore has one huge advantage: SEA TURTLES!!!
After snorkeling we were able to enjoy the beach for a bit before heading back into town. There are lots of facilities available at this beach, including lockers, restrooms, and a food truck selling fun snacks.
It was almost time to get back on the cruise ship, but before we did, we had one more thing to do: eat shave ice!!
And of course we had to get it legit Hawaiian style, with ice cream in the middle. It was soooo good!
All in all, Kona was my favorite port in Hawaii. There was so much to do here, and it was all easy to get to. You can just walk right off the boat and be on beaches surrounded by awesome restaurants and shops. No rental cars or tours needed here- there is plenty to do that is easily accessible on foot. Though of course there is even more to do if you want to travel farther from the port.
Snorkeling, shave ice, and coffee. What more do you need for a perfect day in Hawaii?