Hilo Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Hilo Safaris & wildlife activities

Hilo: Sea Turtle Lagoon and Black Sand Beach Snorkel

1. Hilo: Sea Turtle Lagoon and Black Sand Beach Snorkel

This is your opportunity to swim in a lagoon full of abundant sea life. Join your hosts on a fully guided and narrated beach snorkel tour along the pristine Hilo coastline. Make 2 snorkeling stops and also enjoy island snacks and juices. The volcanic beaches are renowned for their abundant sea turtle population, and the brackish water bays and lagoons are home to a wealth of sea life including octopus, eagle and manta rays, eels, corals, and tropical reef fish. Your experienced snorkel guide will teach you about the beautiful and lush surroundings, how the beaches and volcanic islands are made, and about the abundant marine world which lies below. Newcomers to snorkeling and children are welcome. Your trained guide will teach you the basics and be with you every step of the way to make sure you feel safe and comfortable. Children will be introduced to nature in a spectacular way.

Hilo: Small-Group Humpback Whale Expedition

2. Hilo: Small-Group Humpback Whale Expedition

Prepare for an awe-inspiring whale watching trip offering you intimate wildlife encounters off Hilo's shoreline. Begin your journey at Wailoa Boat Harbor where you will set sail aboard the Moana Mea a'a (Hawaiian for "Ocean Adventurer").  Venture out of Hilo’s breakwall in search of these majestic creatures for an up-close and personal, once in a lifetime experience. Throughout your tour catch glimpses of Hawaii’s gentle giants and its winter visitor, the Humpback Whale. These fascinating mammals come to the warm Hawaiian waters every year to breed and give birth to new calves. While in search of whales, be delighted by pods of dolphins following and frolicking near your vessel. Before you know it, you will see one of these 40-ton giants breach the water for an unforgettable sight. Learn from your knowledgeable captain about the nonstop 6-8 week and 6,000-mile migration from Alaska, while encountering a few of the 12,000 North Pacific Humpbacks that arrive in the Hawaiian Islands each year for a season of mating, birthing, and nurturing their newborns.

Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

3. Big Island: Volcano National Park Tour with Lunch and Transfer

Start your day with guided visits to some of the most majestic waterfalls on the Big Island. Stop at the Waipio Valley lookout, where you can admire a dramatic backdrop of lush cliffs that drop into the sparkling blue ocean. Continue riding along the Hamakua coast as more postcard-worthy views pass by your window. Take a short walk through the rainforest for an up-close view of Akaka Falls and the famous Rainbow Falls. In the afternoon, explore the wonders of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Explore steam vents and the Halema’uma’u and Kilauea Iki crater lookouts, and take a short hike along the crater rim trail. Then relax and take it all in at Punalu’u Beach, where you can spot marine life from the black-sand shore.

Hilo: Dolphin Adventure and Tropical Reef Snorkel Boat Tour

4. Hilo: Dolphin Adventure and Tropical Reef Snorkel Boat Tour

Make the most of your time in Hilo and discover Hawaii’s abundant coastline, bursting with diverse sea life including sea turtles, octopus, manta rays, eels, tropical reef fish, and much more. Meet your crew and board the vessel in Wailoa Boat Harbor, then venture onto the open waters where scenic views and coral reef await. Enjoy a guided adventure along the coastline and explore coves where pods of dolphins hideaway and often play in the wake of the boat. Stop off in one of these idyllic coves and snorkel in search of colorful marine life as you swim through untouched reef structures and sand patches. Continue your tour to your second snorkeling location and learn about the exotic sea creatures that lurk within the reef's ecosystem and along Hilo's coastlines including tropical reef fish, eels, and manta rays. Take in the breathtaking views of the ocean as you ride along the Hamakua Coast. Discover a hidden world under the surface of the water as you snorkel, raft, and lookout for dolphins. Throughout the trip, listen to your captain and crew share information about Hawaii’s sea life and underwater world.

Hilo: Historic Hawaii Hamakua Cruise

5. Hilo: Historic Hawaii Hamakua Cruise

Grab your camera and get ready for a sightseeing cruise that will provide you with stunning photographs and beautiful memories for years to come. During this small and intimate tour, spend 2 hours viewing lush tropical landscapes, secret coves, beautiful waterfalls, and visiting ancient Hawaiian villages. You will see the remains of Hilo's plantation-era sugar mills including the 1900s-era Papaikou Mill that is now a popular spot with surfers. Be sure to capture majestic photos of Mauna Kea, the world's largest volcano, as well as Kilauea, the world's most active one. The two tallest and most active volcanoes in the world, all visitors should be sure to make time to see these mountains of fire, which are both located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While on the waters keep an eye out for playful spinner and bottle-nose dolphins; these crowd favorites love to put on an acrobatic show next to the boat. Throughout the tour, your guides will share insightful stories and fascinating facts about the history and culture of Hilo and Hamakua. Reserve your spot in the boat today.

Hilo: 1-Tank Certified Beach Dive at Sea Turtle Cove

6. Hilo: 1-Tank Certified Beach Dive at Sea Turtle Cove

After gathering at the meeting point, you will begin your one-tank shore dive along the lush and iconic East Hawai‘i coast. Your tour departs from the Hilo Ocean Adventures shop, ventures a few miles along the beautiful shore to the breathtaking dive site. Hilo is especially unique as the cool fresh water springs that enter the sea along the coast regulates ocean temperatures and prevents coral bleaching. You can dive the untouched reef walls and spectacular rock formations, and immerse yourself in East Hawaii's thriving and diverse sea life. The coastline is renowned for the abundant sea turtle population, and the brackish water is home to a wealth of diversity including octopus, eagle and manta rays, eels, coral, and tropical reef fish. Your dive master will guide you on an incredible journey through the abundance of sea life below, and will ensure you have a fun and memorable experience. Leave your gear at home and dive using top-of-the-line equipment which includes 2018 Atomic Z3 regulators and Oceanic BCD's.

Hilo: Introductory Boat 2-Tank SCUBA Diving Course

7. Hilo: Introductory Boat 2-Tank SCUBA Diving Course

Learn the basics of SCUBA diving from one of our professionally-trained instructors. You’ll then be taken on an introductory tour of the reef to experience the marine life underwater.  Take a tour that includes a 45-minute course, where you'll get a safety briefing, learn underwater breathing techniques, and gain insight on how your equipment works from an expert SCUBA instructor. Enjoy a light snack and fruit juice alongside two 45 minute SCUBA diving sessions. Then, head to two different dive spots, where you'll see double lava arches, sea turtles, parrotfish, manta rays, and more. This experience is perfect if you have wanted to try SCUBA diving but have not been certified yet, or for those who have already been certified, but have family members who haven't been.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hilo

Want to discover all there is to do in Hilo? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Hilo

Great please to see turtles. We saw plenty before snorkeling. Went to 2 locations. The first was my favorite, on a black sand beach. The second was a bit colder temp for the water and very shallow. We saw turtles at both locations

It was a great time! The captain & guide we mellow & knowledgeable about the island & the wildlife. The tour isn’t rushed & the conversation is great. Would definitely recommend.

Small group. Kelsey was super accommodating to any of our needs. The experience was like being inside an aquarium. Very meaningful time we’ll spent!

Our tour was amazing. Our guide is extremely knowledgeable and made us feel very comfortable through the entire trip. He is great!

Our guide, Brooke, was friendly, helpful and patient. We enjoyed our experience!