Discover the top 10 snorkel spots in Maui with our quick reference guide. Famous for its stunning beaches with crystal-clear water, sun-kissed sands, and thriving marine life, Maui prides itself in being one of the best Hawaiian Islands for snorkeling. While the place offers a ton of other activities like hiking, sailing, zip lining, and fishing to name a few, snorkeling is by far the best thing to do in Maui – and for the right reasons, too.
Peaceful beaches combined with a diverse life underwater, Maui’s top snorkeling spots are the places to go if you want the experience of a lifetime.
Compared to all other Hawaiian islands, Maui boasts of the greatest number of accessible beaches. The temperature on this isle remains between 75 and 85F year-round , providing cool, temperate water that invites you to just dive straight in. Free of strong winds and big ocean waves, the series of sheltered bays provide the top snorkel spots in Maui.
Another thing that makes this water sport such a popular activity in Maui is the fact that the place offers a range of snorkeling spots that are ideal for beginners and experts alike.
So, if you are looking for the best snorkeling locations, look no further than this amazing island. Here are the top 10 Maui snorkeling spots you should conside.
1. Coral Gardens
Coral Gardens is a true winner and deserves to be on the list of top 10 Maui snorkeling spots! Want to witness what the underwater world really looks like? Book a snorkeling trip to Coral Gardens.
Located on the coast of West Maui, the crystal blue water in Coral Gardens is home to abundant aquatic life. Needless to say, this predominantly comprises of coral reef formations that are brimming with various species of brightly colored fish as well as green sea turtles.
When visiting the Coral Gardens, you get to observe a wide variety of tropical marine life that includes Angel Fish and Parrot Fish as well as crabs, octopuses, eels and even a glimpse of the humpback whales if you are lucky.
2. Makena Landing
There are numerous underwater marvels to admire, but the green sea turtle or honu, as it is locally called is one of the most sought-after creatures that visitors want to witness up close. And their large population in Makena Landing is what makes the place a popular snorkeling spot in Maui.
The coral formations and rocky underwater terrain provide the ideal habitat for these sea creatures. They love feeding on the algae that grows on these surfaces. Plus, there are several caves, arches, and caverns where they can rest in solitude. So, if you are diving under the cool blue water at Makena Landing, make sure to peek inside nooks and crannies to say hello to the Green sea turtles (in case a bunch of them don’t greet you first).
3. Olowalu Beach
Drive a few miles away from the Lahaina town and you reach one of the best snorkeling spots in Maui. With pristine water that offers great visibility, Olowalu Beach is where you will be thrilled to see spectacular rock formations and giant coral gardens lining the seabed.
Olowalu is quiet spot where you can truly relax and rejuvenate and have fun with lots of tiny reef fish. However, note that the Olowalu Beach is a bit more exposed than other snorkeling spots in Maui. So, if you want to visit this tranquil beach, it’s recommended to do so in the morning as the afternoon winds tend to get stronger and a bit unsafe for diving underwater.
How can you talk about the best snorkeling spots in Maui and leave out Molokini Crater? That’s simply impossible.
Around 3 miles away from the south shore of Maui, you will find Molokini Crater, which is an islet of an underwater volcano. Shaped like a crescent moon, this place can be marveled at from afar, but you will miss out on what the water surrounding it has to offer. From the common tropical fish to more distinct creatures like manta rays, butterfly fish, moray eels, and even reef sharks, the brilliant life underwater will simply blow you away.
5. Honolua Bay
Plenty of tropical reef fish, green sea turtles, and large coral formations make Honolua Bay a fantastic location for snorkeling in Maui. The bay features a depth of up to 30 feet, so experienced or more adventurous divers can explore farther areas as well. The fact that locals have fought hard to protect the place from modern developments proves the uniqueness of Honolua Bay. It is a real paradise for snorkelers that will make you yearn to visit it time and again.
6. Black Rock
Located on Ka’anapali Beach, the Black Rock is where you can quench your thirst for adventure as well as relax and unwind at the same time. Although the name sounds like it’s some thrilling cliff-diving spot, the place actually features not-so-large rocks. However, there is a whole universe of aquatic life thriving around these rocks. The weather at Black Rock is always favorable, and you can easily swim your way around the edges to find green sea turtles and swarms of fish like the hawk Fish, Surgeon Fish, Neede Fish, and even the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, which is the state fish of Hawaii.
7. Turtle Town
As is evident from the name, Turtle Town is the ultimate place to go if you or your little ones want to see green sea turtles up close. The place is usually accessible by a boat tour and is packed with tourists. So, book your snorkeling trip in advance if you don’t want to miss the chance.
8. Napili Bay
Napili Bay is not only great for snorkeling but also a feasible location to practice free diving. Head here early morning to avoid the crowds and easily grab a parking spot at the nearby carpark.
9. Honekeana Bay
In case you are unable to visit Turtle Town, then Honekeana Bay is the next best option if your main objective is to view the Hawaiian turtles. However, remember that this bay is open, so snorkeling can be quite unsafe during the winter season (due to the swell).
10. Airport Beach
If you are short of time or unwilling to travel more for snorkeling, Airport Beach – also called the Kahekili Beach Park, is a promising place to visit. Besides snorkeling, you can also treat yourself at the nearby restaurants or bring a picnic basket along for additional fun.
No matter which snorkeling spot in Maui you choose to visit, rest assured that the place will not disappoint.
Grab your tickets now!