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If you’re in Maui, you can bet you’ll be in the water. With some of the most diverse marine life available in Hawaii, here you’ll find world-class beaches with pristine waters and lots of beautiful surrounding nature to enjoy on land. You can see why it’s been voted best island in the world multiple times!
Maui also boasts the longest stretch of swimmable coastline in Hawaii, making it a prime spot for a snorkeling holiday. The snorkeling sites in Maui will either be in the west or south of the island – here are the best spots.
Fish in Maui:
Corals in Maui:
Best places to snorkel in Maui
Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve
Where: 10km south of Wailea
Details: If you’re after healthy vibrant coral life immersed in nature, this is your spot. One of Maui’s youngest and most delicate eco-reef zones, this conservation district features jagged lava rocks and lots of colourful coral life to explore. The calm, peaceful waters make this snorkel spot great for newbies and kids, and you’ll be able to spot lots of the usual sea life as well as turtles! The waters here start knee deep and gradually gets deeper but you don’t have to go very far to see the fish and coral life.
Where: Ka’anapali Beach
Details: This award winning beach stretches for over 4.5 kilometres of pristine white sands, crystal clear waters, and a perfect surf. It’s a must visit in Maui for more than just snorkeling, but if you want to do that then Black Rock at the northern end of the beach is your spot. As expected, this spot is pretty popular but offers great visibility and lots of sea life to explore. The water starts at around 2.5 metres and gets as deep as 7.5 metres, and you’ll be swimming with lots of fish including Moorish idols, porcupine fish, and needlefish.
Where: 20 mins north of Lahaina Town
Details: The diversity and density of sea life in Honolua Bay is the best in Maui, making the snorkeling here second-to-none. A beautiful beach and Marine Life Conservation District area, fishing here is banned so the waters are crawling with an incredible number and variety of different fish. You’ll find humuhumunukunukuapua’a, peacock bass, eels, and turtles if you’re lucky. Most of the corals and sea life are concentrated on the right side of the bay, so try to enter that way for the best views.
Where: Northwest Maui
Details: One of the most picturesque beaches in Maui, Kapalua Bay is a C-shaped cove lined by palm trees, white sands, and pristine blue waters perfect for snorkeling. The calm waters make it perfect for novice snorkelers and kids, and there are two reefs to explore on either side of the bay. You’ll find lots of sea life to discover and some beautiful rock and coral formations on the left hand side. With depths of about 3 metres you’ll be swimming with huge schools of fish including scorpionfish and maybe octopus.
Maluaka Beach/Turtle Town
Where: 5km south of Wailea
Details: This is the best spot in Hawaii to swim with green sea turtles. The name ‘Turtle Town’ refers to a stretch of coastline, but Maluaka Beach is the hotspot. Less visited than other snorkel spots, you’ll get to enjoy white sands, calm blue waters, and an abundance of sea turtles and other marine life. To enter the snorkel site, walk to the rocks on the southern end of the beach. This is where the reef begins, and if you continue swimming south you’ll be surrounded by green sea turtles, squirrelfish, trumpet fish, eels, octopus, and more.
Where: 4km off the coast of Maui
Details: You can’t snorkel in Hawaii without visiting Molokini. A one-of-a-kind snorkelling experience you can’t have anywhere else in the world, you’re basically snorkeling inside a volcano crater. Molokini is a crescent-shaped volcano island with some of Hawaii’s clearest waters and a huge abundance of marine life to discover. Visibility is excellent, and the waters within the crater are protected from ocean swells making it a safe spot for novices and kids. There are 250+ tropical fish species here – people have even spotted humpbacks, whale sharks, mantas, and Hawaiian monk seals.
Loved the complete set. I even used the waterproof phone pouch to take photos and videos underwater. It made my Fiji experience so much better than using the free snorkel set that hurt your face after 2hours and leaving a sun/mask mark. The ninja leaves no marks and gives great vision under water in comparison. It did take some getting used to but it definitely paid off! Only frustration is that the tightening straps are quite basic; they should be much simpler to loosen and tighten both in and out of water.” – Jock