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What are the best snorkel spots on Maui?

OK, I know about the big crater where all the tourists go. Tell me more! Where can we just show up with snorkels, fins and masks and walk into good snorkeling? We're willing to hike.

I would prefer to avoid dangerous locations -- i.e. "great snorkeling if you don't get smashed against the rocks" or "it's awesome after you dive off the 50' cliff."

There will be 2 of us traveling by Jeep.

This is in August.

We're also open to guided snorkel trips. We're willing to pay for a great experience.


7 Answers

top answer by

The best snorkeling is Molokini Island Preserveaccessible via Snorkel cruise. I highly recommend booking the morning trip. Most of the times the afternoon trade winds pick up and prevent the boats from making it to Molokini. 

If you are not up for making the snorkel cruise here are 3 spots that I highly recommend that are accessible via jeep for great snorkeling that won't put your life in danger. 

  1. Ahihi Bay. The best place to enter is Ahihi cove. It's shallow and filled with a ton of fish and the occasional sea turtle. If you want to guarantee a sea turtle sighting, swim out of the cove and head north there are some rock outcroppings where I've ended up swimming with 3-4 turtles.
  2. Hāna Bayhas the most diverse species of fish in a very small area. The best spot is in the south end of the bay just before heading into open water. You can get to this spot via kayak or hiking along the south side of the bay to the very end. This is a good way to take a break after the Road to Hana. If you want real insight book a kayak snorkel tour with Hana Bay Kayaks. The guide will take you to the all the right spots in the bay and share some Maui History.
  3. Honokeana Bay is a great place to swim with multiple families of turtles but other than that you won't spot many fish. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Molokini Island Preserve (attraction)
  2. Ahihi Bay (attraction)
  3. Hāna Bay (attraction)
  4. Honokeana Bay (attraction)
7 thanks

answered by
Trevor from San Francisco, California

Ulua Beach is great for beginners. And Makena Landing Park is a good place to spot Sea turtles. My favorite is definitely the preserve at Honolua Bay

I found this article that had some great recommendations from a local that I used during my last trip.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ulua Beach (attraction)
  2. Makena Landing Park (attraction)
  3. Honolua Bay (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
mark from United States

I've snorkeled to various places around Maui and while I personally like Black Rock(Kaanapali) my absolute best experience was to try snuba on my last trip.

We've used Trilogy tours in the past for sails to Lanai island but never used them for a sail to the North side of Maui.  This trip I wanted to do more than snorkel so I booked an early morning tour with them leaving Kaanapali Beach around 7:30am, returning around 1pm.  Their customer service and value and friendliness on the boat are second to none in my book. Within the first 20 minutes each of the crew are calling you by your first name (how they remember each day is a feat unto itself) and they are constantly checking on you to make sure your trip is memorable and fun. Plus the home-made breakfast buns, juice, etc. is worth 1/2 the trip :)

We get to the bay about 1 hour later and early in the morning it's mostly empty.  I added the snuba dive on and the instructor takes me in the water to give me the basics but I catch on very quickly.  So I'll sum it up by saying that I've now 'crossed over' from snorkel to snuba and while I didn't know what to expect or if it'd be worth the extra $, it was far beyond my expectations.  The amazing fish and 11+ turtles we saw, and swam around, the beautiful reef and the clarity of the water made me think that snorkeling will never be the same.  I'm totally hooked and will do it again, more than once when I go back to Hawaii.

I had just bought a new Olympus underwater camera and the pictures I took were beyond anything I've ever done snorkeling.

They serve you a grilled chicken lunch with trimmings, cokes, tea, etc.  I hope you consider this particular tour and the snuba add on.  I really think you will love it if you like snorkeling.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Black Rock (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
April from Pukalani, Hawaii

My favorite has always been Honolua Bay - it is second to none! This sheltered area surrounded by rock cliffs may not be the easiest to get to, but it is SO worth it!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Honolua Bay (attraction)

answered by
Chris from Maui

The guys at Maui Kayak Adventures wrote a really great guide to snorkeling. Definitely recommend a trip out with them while you're here. Aloha!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Maui Kayak Adventures (attraction)

answered by
ross from Chicago

Redline Rafting Co. in kihei! Outstanding time!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Redline Rafting Co. (attraction)

answered by
ross from Chicago

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Wailea Beach (attraction)
  2. Four Seasons Maui at Wailea (hotel)

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