Kalaupapa Peninsula Snorkeling
The 9th most popular snorkel dive spot in Molokai.
Thursday 21 September 2017 07:00 GMT
Off the north coast of Molokai, the Kalaupapa Peninsula has several beautiful beaches that offer protected snorkeling opportunities. The entire peninsula is a protected National Historic Park and requires a permit to access. But, once you get the permit, you can either hike down into the peninsula or fly into its private landing strip. The best snorkeling can be found off the two northwest beaches including the one directly off from the cemetary.
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.
Overall, Kalaupapa Peninsula is the 9th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 11 snorkeling dives in Molokai.