The Maui Snorkeling Experience
Voted as one of the best Islands in the World, Maui is one of the best places in the world to explore snorkeling. Beyond its extravagant beachfront mansions and million-dollar luxurious condos, the underwater life of Maui takes on a life of its own. Brimming with electric-hued fish, exotic marine life, and rare corals, underwater Maui snorkeling is sure to be an experience you will never forget.
Maui has 120 miles of coastline, covering some 30 miles of beaches. Its shores are secluded from trade winds by the Maui mountains, keeping the water clear and calm for perfect snorkeling. Year round temperature of 75-85°F and the crystal clear blue water of the Valley Isles produces world-class experiences in snorkeling, windsurfing, and diving.
Top Snorkeling Beaches in Maui
#1 Molokini Crater: Known as Sub-zone A, the Molokini crater thrives with a variety of ocean life due to marine conservation efforts. Molokini has a Sub-zone B area which allows some fishing. A wall dive on the back side of its crater makes Molokini a world renown spot for scuba diving.
#2 Black Rock: West of the Maui at the north end of Ka’anapali, Black Rock can be identified by a large rock hill. High-end resorts along the beach are just a walking distance away from Black Rock. Traditional festivities can be seen each night, as a Hawaiian torch lighting ceremony is performed with tiki torches that illuminate the beach coastline all the way up to Black Rock. Snorkelers are advised to stay clear of cliff divers.
#3 La Perouse: La Perouse Bay is the home of several exciting archaeological sites including canoe hale, salt pans, heiau (ancient temples), fishing shrines, native coastal plants, and much more. Snorkeling here may bring you up close and personal with Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. La Perouse is also known as Maui’s forbidden coast.
#4 Honolua Bay: If swimming in the sight of dolphins, exploring a variety of colorful coral reefs and volcano craters sounds like the snorkeling adventure you are looking for, Honolua Bay is your best bet. This is one of the few sheltered bays to snorkel on Maui. With its waters located within the Honolulu-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation, the Honolua Bay offers an exploratory hike through stunning forest and diverse sea life.
#5 Coral Gardens: Located just south of the West Maui Mountains, the Coral Gardens is a great snorkeling spot for swimming with the Hawaiian green sea turtles. With high cliff lines surrounding the cove, it is protected from wind and rough seas. The crystal-clear waters here have visibility reaching 40 feet, contributing to an awe-inspiring visual display of coral formation and marine life. Only accessible by boat, this location is more elite and private.
#6 Ahihi Bay: With a coastline made up of Lava rock, the Ahihi Bay’s seafloor makes for a spectacular snorkeling experience with its array of hiding places for aquatic life to flourish. Most of the snorkeling is done from a small protected cove and its calm waters make it a great spot for kids to snorkel.
#7 Kapalua and Napili Bays: Shaped in the form of a horseshoe, the Kapalua Bay is located off of the lower road in Kapalua. The left side of the bay features a dazzling display of rock and coral formations. Snorkelers are advised to keep an eye out for octopus, crustaceans (crabs, etc) and trumpet fish. Swimming further out introduces snorkelers to more varieties of fish and coral. Snorkelers should keep the trade winds in mind so as not to get swept further along than planned. Submarine volcanoes produced a unique series of underwater lava formations that makes Turtle Town a snorkeler’s paradise filled with an array of tropical fish and unique marine animals.
#8 Turtle Town: Widely contested because of the controversy surrounding its location at the time it was founded, Turtle Town has been named as 20-30 different places by dozens of captains. The most agreed upon location for Turtle Town is located in front of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort.
Make Your Maui Snorkeling Experience a Memorable One
These are just eight snorkeling spots in Maui that are sure to make for an experience that you will never forget. Be sure to adhere to all the safety procedures and share your experience. Happy snorkeling.