Snorkeling at Coral Gardens
Coral Gardens has some of the best snorkeling on Maui. Whether you’re looking for colorful tropical fish or a chance to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Coral Gardens has it all. Located just south of Olowalu and fronting the gorgeous West Maui Mountains, this lush environment allows marine life to thrive.
Coral Gardens is located near the coastline, along the Pali Highway Mountain Pass. Cliff lines surrounding this cove protecting it from wind and rough seas. This snorkel spot is only safely accessed by boat. It is truly special, because of what lies beneath the surface. With only a few boats at this location, this snorkel spot is more elite and private.
Over 500,000 years ago, lava from the Mauna Kahalawai Crater flowed down into the ocean creating lava fingers. Now, you can find incredible marine life thriving off the volcanic formations. Coral Gardens is one the best Maui snorkeling locations, radiating color and life along the ocean floor.
Coral Gardens is home to a wide variety of colorful tropical fish and marine animals. Prepare to see a breathtaking variety of tropical fish, including: triggerfish, angelfish, parrotfish, trumpet fish, yellow tangs, unicorn fish, butterflyfish and more. Some of the marine animals you may encounter during your snorkel trip are: Hawaiian monk seals, Hawaiian green sea turtles, crabs, octopus, and moray eels. Unlike Molokini Crater, Coral Gardens is located closer to the shoreline. Due to its shallower location and proximity to shore, Coral Gardens provides a much higher chance of seeing the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles!
***The Four Winds II is proud to assist in conservation and protection of the coral reefs surrounding Maui. We strive to help educate everyone we take snorkeling. We encourage guests to use Reef Safe Sunscreen (also offered onboard all our vessels) and ask you to not touch marine life as it can be damaging to the fragile coral and ecosystem.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
- Hawaiian green sea turtles, also known as honu in the Hawaiian language, have a lifespan of approximately 60-70 years. These turtles can weigh up to 700 pounds, which makes them one of the largest sea turtles in the world.
- The green sea turtles primarily feast on algae, although juvenile green turtles have been known to eat invertebrates like: jellyfish, crabs, and sponges. This is one of the reasons we typically see turtles close to the shoreline.
- Hawaiian green sea turtles are listed as an endangered species and were in steep decline during the 1970s because of harvesting both turtles and eggs by humans. The population has greatly increased over the last thirty years. Green sea turtles are the most common species of sea turtle found in Hawaiian waters.