San Leandro, CA
All I can say is WOW! If you only do one tour in Hawaii, make it a manta dive! Our group seriously lucked out and had the canoe to ourselves, just 7 of us, and Eko and Rabbit from Anelakai Adventures, the group that Bayside contracts with for manta dives, we’re so awesome! We rowed out into the bay in a canoe, they dropped a big light in the water, and we jumped in and hung on to a bar in the middle to watch the mantas feed on the plankton that are attracted to the light. One 9 ft manta, Amanda, kept somersaulting around us for quite a long time. We’ll never forget it, and we were so glad we got a small private tour like this, rather than going out on a big motor boat with throngs of people all tied together like a floating human city, which we saw on either side of us. This felt way more personal, and I trusted that our guides would know where to go to get a good experience for everyone.
I let Bayside know that my younger son, who is autistic, didn’t like to wear the mask and snorkel and was saying that he was not going to get in the water. Eko and Rabbit were really patient and helpful with him, and eventually he got in with his goggles and saw the mantas, then when he got tired, they brought him back up and Eko caught little needle-nosed blue bait fish with his bare hands and let my son touch them before throwing them back. He loved it!
After the dive, they served up hot chocolate and cookies for everyone from the back of their truck. As my older son said on the way home, “These little mom and pop operations are killing it with the food service!” In other words, nice touch!
Los Angeles, CA
We had a great time. Guys were so professional, knowledgable and friendly with us. They gave us a dry bag which kept everything dry for the trip, and lots of safety pointers. We felt very safe going out, and they directed us coming back in as to navigate the waves. This was my first time kayaking and everything went smoothly. The monument & snorkeling experience was amazing. This was the highlight of our trip! Thank you, Bay Side!
Salt Lake City, UT
Family run shop. Totally loved it! Down to earth local boys who know their stuff. Aaron put me at ease with the surf coming in and gave us great instructions on how to push straight into the waves and how to get back in through the surf using his hand signals. Great snorkeling experience, will do it again!
We’ve gotten so lucky with businesses run by such warm and helpful people! Anela was so sweet, starting with the first phone call to book our tour, then when I called to tell her we were running late, her greeting us, and then hanging out with us after our tour while we waited for our ride. She walked along the shore with our keiki showing her how to feed the sea turtles. She’s just a lovely person.
Our guide Justin was nice and chill. He gave us some guidance, and was helpful when we needed it, but let us go at our own pace.
I’m glad we went with the guided tour for our first time. But I think we have enough confidence to just do a rental next time. I will definitely use Bay Side Adventures when we do a rental, too. They help with getting the kayak in and out of the water, so you’re not completely on your own like you are with some other outfits. I could definitely spend all day floating in the cove admiring the beauty.
Here’s my Useful: Despite the business location shown on Yelp, the loading area is 30-40 minutes south of where we were in Kona, so plan for that. After you book your tour, they’ll send you a text with all the directions, which was really useful. Pack water, snacks, and sunscreen… and you’ll have a lovely day!
We had a great time exploring the bay, kayaking with the dolphins, etc. They let you stay out as long as you like, give you detailed directions to their launch, and are super friendly and laid-back. Don’t forget to ask them to tell you some of the best lunch spots on the island!!
Suggestions: Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen — don’t forget the legs and feet!! Bring boat shoes or similar — the sea urchins are SPIKY. Bring a waterproof camera for the dolphins, extra water, and food. Leave plenty of time, don’t schedule something else to do. The drive south from the major hotels can be a while — people just drive slower in Hawaii and the roads are mostly one lane.
Great fun for a day!!
San Francisco, CA
This kayak tour was great. Justin was on our tour guy, very personal. There were 8 of us and we all had a great time. Not a swimmer and it was my first time kayaking; ended up enjoying it. Rocky and his family are really nice; they are very professional and easy going. I would highly recommend this tour if you are a beginner.
I chose this excursion as a surprise birthday present for my gift finicky husband. We are in Kona celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary, his birthday and my son’s 12th birthday. We arrived at 8 am (which is ideal for not only seeing Dolphins, which we did! But also for having the cove somewhat to yourself before all the boats filled with snorkeled show up.) it’s the best snorkeling around, the price is great, and the service was friendly and very accommodating. I recommend packing a lunch that you can put in your wAterproof bag they provide, and you strap it to your kayak. My only regret is not renting a GoPro for the trip. Mahalo!!