There are so many things to do on Maui! A main attraction for tourists is the amazing underwater landscape in Hawaii. Snorkeling has been a popular hobby for years and has become a “must do” activity for all those who are visiting. There are places to snorkel all around the island from Maui’s North Shore to along the Road to Hana, to Ka’anapali, and more! When you are snorkeling, be aware that the coral reefs are alive and are a delicate ecosystem. Please do not walk or stand on the coral if you go from shore or are in shallow reef areas. Also, use reef safe sunscreen that does not contain the chemical oxybenzone or octinoxate. There are many places to snorkel on Maui, but here are the best:
Molokini and Turtle Arches Snorkeling
Experience some of the clearest water around Maui at Molokini Islet, then make a second stop at Turtle Town. Maui stands about 3 miles off of Maui’s south shore allowing exceptional water visibility due to lack of runoff. On the inside of Molokini, you may snorkel in anywhere from 50ft-30ft of water, being able to see the bottom the entire time. The further you are along the edges or on the backside is where you will see a dropoff to a depth of 300 feet. Molokini is only accessible by boat. After spending an hour to hour and a half at Molokini, the vessel will make its way to the shoreline where you will snorkel with an abundance of sea turtles and fish. Your boat crew knows a ton about the areas you’re snorkeling in, so be sure to ask questions and use them as a resource!
Lanai Island Dolphin Watch and Snorkel Adventure
Leave from Lahaina Harbor and take a journey to the Private Isle, previously known as the Pineapple Isle, where you may see resident spinner dolphins off the coast. Spinner dolphins are the most common type of dolphin you may see around Maui. They hang out in huge pods, usually between 100-300 dolphins in total. Spinners typically hunt at night and make their way closer to shore during the day to rest. Swim among yellow tangs, butterfly fish, groupers, and more. Numerous snorkeling spots make Lana’i an ideal spot for boat companies as your group may be the only ones in the area, making it much more personable with plenty of space to swim.
West Maui Snorkeling
Typically departing from Lahaina Harbor or Kaanapali beach, you will journey along Maui’s western coast and snorkel in the Marine Life Conservation area of Honolua Bay or near Kapalua where you can see plenty of fish and turtles. The views of the West Maui Mountains are a real treat when traveling along the coast. The West Maui Mountains are actually an extinct volcano called Kahalawai which means the meeting of fresh water. Honolua Bay is north of Kapalua, home to some of the best snorkeling on the island with giant old coral formations, Hawaiian green sea turtles, and fish. Sometime you may even spot a ray! During the winter it provides some of the best surfing in the world. Most trips leave in the morning and are back early in the afternoon.
Makena Kayak and Snorkel
The ultimate eco-tour! Take a double kayak or single and paddle out for a unique snorkeling experience. You don’t have the engines running from a larger vessel, and you are typically with a smaller group with a personal guide. Makena is a great place for snorkeling year round with plenty of turtles and unique underwater lava flow formations. During whale season you can see humpback whales from water level, and sometimes you may even hear them before you see them! Kayak guides are trained to keep you safe and trained to give you some information about the area. Kayaking in windy weather can be a challenge to be sure to double check ocean conditions before going out.
La Perouse Bay Snorkeling
One of Maui’s forgotten gems is La Perouse Bay. Known for its ancient lava flows, caves, and spinner dolphins, you won’t want to miss these zodiac tours with your closest friends and family! Bigger vessels typically don’t make it down to La Perouse Bay. Learn about the unique geology and the history of early settlements around the bay. La Perouse is home to Maui’s most recent lava flow, and also some protected marine areas. Many visitors don’t make it all the way down south, so taking this tour on a zodiac is a unique way to see south Maui.
About the Author: Experience the natural wonder of the Hawaiian Islands, via a zipline tour with Skyline Eco-Adventures. Enjoy the Hawaii, Maui and Kauai landscapes through an unforgettable tour. Book your adventure at www.zipline.com, today!