Featured SNORKELING SPOTS
South of Maalaea and west of Makena off Maui, the Molokini crater snorkeling is popular for the water clarity and diverse marine life. The crescent-shaped Molokini Island Reserve is a partially submerged extinct volcanic crater, of which, only a semi circle is still above water. While snorkeling, you'll encounter abundant marine life including reef sharks, parrot fish, moray eels, butterfly fish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish), hawk fish and snapper. Molokini is by far the best snorkeling in Maui and is located within the ‘Alalākeiki Channel about three miles off Maui's southwestern coast. The water depth in the crater drops off swiftly, so most of the good snorkeling is within 15 feet of the edge of the crater rim.
North of Lahaina and Kapalua on Maui, the snorkeling in Honolua Bay is popular due to spectacular marine life and is considered the best on Maui. The best time for snorkeling at Honolua Bay is on calm days especially if there hasn't been much rain in the past couple days. The Honolua Bay is part of the is part of the Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.
North of Lahaina on Maui, the snorkeling at Napili Bay is popular with beginners for its protected calm waters. When snorkeling in Napili Bay, you may encounter green sea turtles, yellow trumpetfish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish), parrotfish and Christmas wrasse. There are three public access paths leading to the beach at Napili Bay.
North of Lahaina and south of Napili Bay on Maui, the snorkeling Honokeana Bay is popular with beginners for its protected calm waters. Honokeana Bay is kind of a hidden bay with a rocky beach. The best snorkeling is along the north edge of the cove. When snorkeling at Honokeana Bay, you may encounter turtles, humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish) and wrasse.
South of Kihei and Makena in the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, there is good snorkeling at the remote Keawanaku Beach. This a challenging place to snorkel, even when the usually high winds are calm. When snorkeling at Keawanaku Beach, you may encounter a pod of spinner dolphins that frequent the waters here.
South of Kihei and Wailea on Maui, the snorkeling at Makena Landing Park is popular for green sea turtles. It is part of the region that some call turtle town, but most consider Maluaka Beach Park as THE Turtle Town. While snorkeling the rocky Makena Landing Park, it is likely to see a couple sea turtles eating, especially early in the morning.
South of Kihei and Wailea on Maui, the snorkeling at Five Caves is known for its diverse marine life and green sea turtles. This snorkeling spot is considered part of the “turtle town” region. Many divers consider Five Caves to be one of the best snorkeling dive sites on the island. It is best for experienced snorkelers and is definitely not a great place if there is south wave action.
South of Lahaina and west of Maalaea on Maui, the snorkeling at Coral Gardens is known to be excellent. Coral Gardens is for experienced snorkelers only due to long swim from shore.
Southeast of Lahaina and west of Maalaea of Maui, the snorkeling at Papalaua State Wayside Park is known for its coral gardens on the eastern end. The Papalaua Wayside Park snorkeling is best early in the morning before the winds kick up. Snorkelers are treated to a bountiful display of butterfly fish and humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish) along the shallow coral.
South of Kihei and north of Wailea on Maui, the snorkeling at the Kamaole Beach Park is popular with families. There are three distinct beaches here separated by rocks, which provide interesting habitat for marine life. Keep in mind that the afternoon winds tend to kickup the wave action. Also, there is limited parking available, so make sure to arrive early at Kamaole Beach Park for snorkeling. While snorkeling here, keep in mind that over the years there have been numerous shark attacks on snorkelers.
North of Lahaina on Maui, the snorkeling at Kahekili Beach Park (aka Old Airport Beach) is popular with families due to its usually calm waters and numerous reefs. The best Kahekili Beach Park snorkeling is straight out from the pavillion where there is good coral and diverse marine life. You may encounter butterflyfish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaiian state fish aka rectangular triggerfish), octopus and turtles.
South of Kihei and Wailea on Maui, the snorkeling off Polo Beach Park is known for its coral reefs and diverse marine life. The best snorkeling at Polo Beach Park is off to the right. Keep in mind that the afternoon winds tend to kickup the wave action.