On the west end of Molokai, the snorkeling at Kepuhi Beach can be good if the water is exceptionally calm. Since there is no fringing reef to protect the beach, the surf is high most of the year, except a couple summer months. If you can hit it right in July or August, the water will be calm enough to enjoy a good snorkel over the coral formations. There are rocks at ...
On the west end of Molokai, the snorkeling at Kepuhi Beach can be good if the water is exceptionally calm. Since there is no fringing reef to protect the beach, the surf is high most of the year, except a couple summer months. If you can hit it right in July or August, the water will be calm enough to enjoy a good snorkel over the coral formations. There are rocks at both ends of the beach that are fun to explore if the water is super calm. Definitely check the surf report since the surf can be high even in the summer.
To reach the snorkeling at Kawakiu Beach from Kaunakakai, head west on Highway 460 past the airport turnoff towards Maunaloa. Turn right heading north on Kalua Koi Road. Turn right heading west on Kepuhi Place road into the former resort to the end. There is designated parking for public beach access. Continue walking through the closed resort past the pool and down the stairs to the beach. The best snorkeling spot is the northern beach just north of the resort beach access.
While Molokai does have several good shore-accessed snorkeling spots, the best Molokai snorkeling is found off-shore along the 25 mile fringing reef. This coral reef crests about a half-mile off the southern and eastern coastline; the northwest wavefronts are too powerful for fringing reefs along the northern and western coastline. There are extremely healthy corals and excellent water clarity just outside the crest. The reef consists of green lobe coral, antler coral, cauliflower coral, finger coral and blue rice coral. From the Kaunakakai Harbor on the south coast, there is a snorkel boat tour that regularly heads out to one of 25+ dive sites on the fringing reef, usually in the morning when the winds are calms. It is a 20-35 minute boat ride out to the snorkel spots where the mooring is in 8-12 foot deep water. The water clarity ranges from 50 to 150 feet and the water temperature ranges from 70 to 80 degrees. The best time of year is from May through September. During Molokai snorkeling, you may encounter spinner dolphins, green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, octopus, butterflyfish, parrotfish, wrasse, surgeonfish, triggerfish and the occasional monk seal.
To reach the snorkeling on Molokai, you'll need to arrive on island by an interisland flight from Oahu provided by Hawaiian Airlines. There are several flights per day. While there used to be a ferry boat service from Lanai and Maui, it was discontinued in October 2016. It is best to rent a car to explore the various snorkeling spots, but keep in mind there is only one national rental car agency at the airport and one locally run rental car company. When planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands, be aware that the State Of Hawaii has banned all sunscreens that oxybenzone, which has been proven to kill coral reefs.
Overall, Kepuhi Beach is the 10th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 11 snorkeling dives in Molokai.
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