A guide to the best places to snorkel on Maui, Hawaii.
General: Kid Friendly
|Guide Series: Best Snorkeling Beaches
Molokini Crater is one of our favorite places to snorkel in Hawaii. The crater was once a vent to a volcano, but today it's an underwater Marine Preserve. There are several tour boat operators that will take you on 45 minute trip from Maalaea Harbor. The snorkeling visibility is up 140 feet with ideal conditions. It's a wonderland of crystal blue water and colorful fish. More at: Molokini Crater
Waiala Cove / Ahihi Cove / Kanahena Cove is part of the Ahihi Kinau Natural Reserve on the southwest side of Maui. Lava rock from Haleakala National Park covers most of the area in the cove along with beautiful coral. The cove is relatively shallow, about 15 feet deep as you snorkel out as far as 100 feet.
Turtles (Honu - The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle) and brightly colored parrotfish, triggerfish, and the beloved Humuhumunukunukuapua'a can all be enjoyed here. More at: Waiala Cove / Ahihi Cove / Kanahena Cove
Polo Beach Park is located directly in front of the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui hotel. There's an abundance of fish near the rocky reef outside, with beautiful coral to check out. You may see a turtle or two here as well. More at: Polo Beach Park
Black Rock Beach (Pu'u Keka'a) is located at Ka'anapali Beach near the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. A large rock wall extends into the ocean creating a small region protected from wind with plentiful fish. It's a popular spot with the resort crowd, but definitely worth checking out. More at: Black Rock Beach (Pu'u Keka'a)
The short hike to Honolua Bay is half the fun as you walk through a lush tropical forest with vines Tarzan would love. The bay is picturesque and protected from surge during the summer months. Large corals with lovely fish decorate this underwater oasis. More at: Honolua Bay
Kapalua Bay Beach is a great place for beginner snorkelers. The bay is very calm and sheltered from the open ocean. The water is clear blue and the variety of fish is diverse. The beach is located is in front of Montage Kapalua Bay. If you're lucky enough to stay here, enjoy one of Hawaii's most accessible family friendly snorkel spots. More at: Kapalua Bay Beach
Napili Bay Beach is great for snorkeling during the summer months. When the waves are up, the sand gets churned up mucking the visibility. If you're staying at one of the nearby resorts such as Outrigger Napili Shores or Napili Kai Beach Resort, you're sure to have a great time. More at: Napili Bay Beach
Don't forget to bring your mask, fins, snorkel. Of course, you may want to first read Should I Bring My Own Snorkel Gear To Hawaii? along with How To Snorkel if you're new to snorkeling. Finally, and this is a huge one, don't forget to bring sunscreen with you to Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer and read Hawaii Dangers - Read Before You Go.
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