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Book with Confidence
Our flexible booking conditions include a 14-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.
Terms and Conditions apply.


6 days
Coaching Camp

Trip Dates

21 May - 26 May
1 Space
28 May - 02 Jun
3 Spaces

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Tour Highlights

  • Gain confidence in the open water with this once-in-a-lifetime swimming holiday in Hawaii

  • Familiarise yourself with important open water skills, tutored by our seasoned guides, and make a smooth transition from pool to sea

  • Improve your technique with one-to-one and group coaching sessions in the pool - dive into in-depth video analysis sessions in a local 50-metre Olympic pool

  • Enjoy your first safe open water swims in the lush and tropical coastline of Kona and discover historic Hawaiian treasures, including the paradise of Kealakekua Bay with myriad coral reefs

  • Share clear waters with fish, turtles and spinner dolphins

If you are looking to make the transition from pool swimming to swimming outdoors, this introduction to open water swimming coaching camp is the perfect way to do it. Under the expert guidance of our qualified swim coaches, you will have the opportunity to discover the joys that come with taking part in a swimming adventure in the great outdoors.

Based on the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, our coaches will work with you in a local 50-metre training pool using in-depth video analysis to help you improve your swim technique and open water swimming skills. You will have the chance to take part in open water swim coaching in the many local and famous swim spots to familiarise yourself with the conditions and skills that you’ve learnt, before graduating to a boat-escorted swim at Captain Cook Bay.

Big Island is a beautiful location to begin your adventure into open water swimming. Dotted with volcanic rock, the result of frequent volcanic activity over the years, the waters are clear and feature a never-ending aquarium of marine life to swim with. Sea turtles, manta rays, spinner dolphins and monk seals are just some of the species that we may well meet during our journey. To make sure you thoroughly enjoy the transition from pool to the open water, our qualified swim coaches run one-to-one and group sessions. Combining these sessions with a healthy dose of encouragement, patience and, most importantly, fun, your time with us is sure to be an incredible stage in your journey to becoming a true open water swimmer.

Who is this camp for?

This camp is designed to suit swimmers who can comfortably swim at least 500m in a pool and want to make the transition to swimming in the open water with a focus on swim technique, open water swim skills and endurance. Whether you are relatively new to pool swimming or have been following the black line for years, this coaching camp will provide you with the skills and reassurance that you need to make the move into the sea with confidence.

We have given this trip a ‘Beginner’ grading designed for people new to open water swimming.

If you’ve already got some open water experience but would like to develop your technique, work on open water skills or build your endurance, you may like to consider our Open Water Development trips.

What's Included

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in Hawaii
  • In-depth support from seasoned swim coaches and full safety escort on all swims
  • Three pool sessions with expert technique advice and video analysis
  • Five nights' accommodation
  • All five breakfasts at a local restaurant
  • Four simple lunches

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Evening meals (an opportunity to explore local cafes and restaurants)

Related Trips

Daily Itineraries

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during the course of your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilot will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: The Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

Start Time: 14:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: The Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 6

Day 1

We will meet outside on the pool deck of our hotel. There we will hold our welcome meeting and safety briefing, before hopping into the waters nearby for a refreshing acclimatisation swim in the sea at the hotel’s private beach. After your swim we head back to the hotel to prepare for our first dinner.

Day 2

In the morning, we will take our first swim in Kailua Bay, a sheltered clear water bay just outside of our hotel. Our coaches will guide you through a safe introduction and entry to open water. Late morning, we will then walk approximately 10 minutes to the local 50-metre pool at the community aquatic centre, where we film your stroke above and under the water for video analysis and detailed coaching advice later in the day. We will then have lunch before sitting down to review the morning’s video footage. In the evening we will return to the pool to work on the key points for efficient stroke technique and open water confidence. After your swim we head back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 3

Our first swim this morning again starts right outside the hotel in Kailua Bay. Depending on conditions, we may traverse along the Pawai Marine Reserve where there are a series of calm, turquoise tidal pools normally full of local fish species. Alternatively we may head out from the pier towards Ōneo bay.

If time permits, our coaches will carry out additional filming whilst coaching you throughout the swim. After a well earned break for lunch, we will complete a short video playback session before we head back to the pool to work on drills. We’ll then take dinner back at the hotel.

Day 4

Today, we travel north on our main boat to a stunning reef which lies offshore of Mahai’ula Bay. The reef is plentiful and full of character and home to countless species. This area will be the location for our first swim towards Makalawena and you can see the sea bottom along the entire swim route. Monk Seals have been spotted here in the past.

Lunch will be taken at The beach at Puu Alii Bay and after some time to rest and relax and maybe even explore on land, our second swim is just up the shore as we have the option to explore one of the three stunning bays, Kahoiawa, Kua or Kakapa Bay, before finishing at Kikaua Point, which has stunning views over to the distant island of Maui. Large volcanic boulders are present over the course of the swim and seem to be an attraction for the local fish populations. The sandy bottom, interspersed with detailed reef formations, offers an idyllic afternoon swim.

Day 5

This morning we travel down to the southern section of the Kona coast, which is sure to be one of the highlights of the week. Here you have a chance to explore the beautiful Kealakekua Bay. The bay is surrounded by steep cliffs which makes access from land difficult, so the water is undoubtedly the best way to explore. Manta rays were spotted here during our recce and if you come across them on this swim it is sure to be a mesmerising experience. The swim culminates at the Captain James Cook monument, where he fell, in 1779. It’s a unique way to arrive at such a significant monument! If that is not enough, after lunch, we start the return north with our second swim taking us towards Keawekaheka Bay, which contains one of the Big Island’s most beautiful reefs. Lava-formed bays can offer natural stopping off points along the way.

Day 6

After the exertions of the week, it is time for a relaxing swim on the beach just by Kailua Pier, directly in front of our hotel, before the trip finishes later in the morning.

Location Summary


The lush and tropical coastline of Kona spans almost two-thirds of the entire west side of the island of Hawaii, from just south of Anaehoomalu Bay to Kau. Along this section are dotted coffee farms and historic Hawaiian landmarks. In fact, King Kamehameha actually spent his final years in Kona.

Mahai’ula Bay

Home to fish, turtles and herds of goats in the surrounding lava fields, this secluded area offers white sands and if you are lucky, you may spot a group of Hawaiian monk seals basking in the sun.

Kealakekua (Captain Cook) Bay

Kealakekua Bay is a piece of paradise, both on land and underwater. The bay holds one of the most abundant coral reefs on the island and is located on the lush and tropical Kona coast. The centre of the bay is deep and you can often find a pod of spinner dolphins that use the bay as resting grounds. The bay is where Captain James Cook was killed following an argument with the local inhabitants. We will swim directly up to the Captain Cook Monument, which is situated where he fell all those years ago.

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Beginner’ grading designed for people new to open water swimming.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance Swim Distance
Kailua Bay 1km Pool swim (x2) n/a
Kailua Bay - Pawai Marine Reserve 1km Pool swim n/a
Mahai’ula Bay 1km Kikaua Point 1km
Captain James Cook 1.5km Keawekaheka Bay 1km

Please note that these swims are an example of what may take place during the course of your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and sea conditions.

Swimming Conditions

Hawaii’s isolation means that roughly 25 percent of its fish species are endemic, which means they are found in Hawaii and nowhere else in the world. Swimming here is a fantastic experience with warm crystal-clear waters bursting with underwater flora and fauna. You need to be aware that certain marine life, such as jellyfish, sharks, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In the areas that we swim, there is a long history of snorkelling and swimming, so sea life is used to human interaction. If you suffer from anaphylaxis please consult the office prior to booking.

Walking Conditions

The west coast of the Big Island benefits from the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail which runs in many places along the coast. While the focus of the trip is undoubtedly the swimming, there may be some opportunities to walk small sections of this historic trail, should you wish to do so.

Most walks take place on designated paths and tracks. Please note that comfortable shoes or sturdy sandals are recommended for all walks and treks.


Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
May 24-26˚C / 76-79˚F 23-25˚C / 74-77˚F
  • Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Camp Information

Group Size and Boat Support

This coaching camp has a maximum group size of 14 with a maximum coach : swimmer ratio of 1:7. On open water swims, the group will be split into a maximum of two groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort.

Boat support on this trip includes two support craft crewed by your SwimTrek guides and two local kayak support as well as one main boat on two days. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Extra Activities

Around Kailua Bay there are plenty of facilities and activities to keep you busy when not swimming. Take part in rejuvenating paddle board or sit-on-top kayak tours paddling around the bay. Try scuba diving too. Speak to our boat skipper about diving and snorkelling with the manta rays. Visit a Kona coffee farm or live the Hawaii Five-0 opening credits and paddle a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe.

Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x2) Towel
Swimming Goggles (x2)* Light Sweater/Fleece
Sun Hat and Sunglasses Walking Shoes / Sandals
Waterproof Sun Cream Aqua Shoes / Sandals
Small Daypack Insect Repellent
Waterproof Jacket Personal Drink Bottle (x2)

For more information, please visit our Packing List page on the website

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats, water and electrolyte drinks. The guides will no longer distribute shared drinks bottles, but rather will fill up each individual guest’s personal drink bottle. Please ensure these are clearly marked to help our guides identify yours. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest, snorkel or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to the start of your trip is to fly into Kona International Airport (KOA). It is important to remember that the Big Island has two international airports, Kona is on the west coast and Hilo (ITO) on the east coast. For this trip, Kona International Airport (KOA), also known as Keāhole, is the most convenient option for you. Of course, if you are looking to spend time in Hawaii before or after your SwimTrek, then flying into one airport and out of the other may well work.

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don't currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check so check out our SwimTrek Flight Tips page on the website.

Transfer from Kona International Airport to Kailua-Kona

Our accommodation, the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, is located on the bay at Kailua-Kona. It is around 9 miles south of the airport ad a taxi will cost around $35. For more information on Ground Transport from the airport visit the Kona Airport Website


For the duration of our trip, we stay at the Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, ideally located within a few metres walk of Kailua Pier and the waters of Kailua Bay. The waterfront hotel benefits from an infinity pool, surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

All rooms at Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel are en suite with air conditioning and either two queen beds or one king bed with balcony. The majority of our rooms are Standard Rooms (Guest Rooms) with a balcony. It is possible to request Superior Rooms (Resort View) with a balcony and superior view; Deluxe (Ocean View) have a partial ocean view from the balcony. Whichever room type you choose we can offer them on twin share, double occupancy or for single occupancy. All rooms and occupancy types are subject to availability.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

If you wish to extend your stay at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel before or after the trip please contact the hotel directly via email to and let them know that you are part of the SwimTrek group.

Food and Drink

All five breakfasts are included on the trip. Four simple lunches are also included. Dinners are at your own expense, which gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip.

For more information, please visit our food and drink page on the website.

Travel Advice

For more information on any of the following sections please visit the Travel Advice page of our website

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as dinners, entertainment, souvenirs, and drinks. The local currency is US dollars (US$).

In some countries tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture. In others, it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is done entirely at your discretion. If you have been provided with excellent service, it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters, or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek guides, but many groups like to present something to the guides at the end of the trip.

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

Passports and Visas

Non-residents of the United States require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. The majority of visitors to the US require a visa to enter the country. Many nationalities can apply online for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program by visiting For further information about US visas, please visit Please note that visa regulations are subject to change, and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays. Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference. For further information, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Here at SwimTrek we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However we ask that you read our Travel Health page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

Internet Access, Electricity and Travel Plugs

Wireless internet access is available in the lobby, public areas and guest rooms of our hotel. Many bars and restaurants around town also offer access but signals off-shore may be limited.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit

  • This is a new trip in 2023. Testimonials coming soon!

Book with Confidence
Our flexible booking conditions include a 14-day refund guarantee and free trip changes.
Terms and Conditions apply.