Top 10 Best Snorkeling Spots in Maui
Sandy beaches. Crystal clear waters. Fresh tropical beverages whenever you please.
No matter how you decide to spend your days in Maui, it’s difficult — some might say impossible — to have a bad time. While you’re bound to enjoy any of the many excursions the Central Pacific island has to offer, there is one crucial opportunity you can’t miss, no matter how filled your itinerary already is: Snorkeling!
The island is renowned for its gorgeous, one-of-a-kind snorkeling spots located throughout its many beaches. Whether you’re a snorkeling newbie or a long-time veteran, you simply can’t leave Maui without taking in the sights for yourself.
Here's the top ten best snorkeling spots in Maui to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.
The most deserted areas of the world are often the most beautiful, as is evident when one visits the Molokini Islet. An isolated islet right off the coast of Maui, the Molokini Islet is only accessible by boat. However, you can find various tour guide companies that will deliver you straight to this aquatic wonderland.
While known to be a small, often quiet portion of Maui, Napili Bay is an island staple every traveler should experience at least once. With smooth, clean sand and peaceful waters, Napili Beach is a well-rounded snorkeling spot for all kinds of swimmers. Regardless of your skills in the water, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of fish, plant life and more.
Placed near the West Maui shoreline, this snorkeling spot is famous for — you guessed it — incredible coral reefs and breathtaking scenery. The reef’s natural shape makes it a natural habitat for aquatic creatures, protecting them from predators. As such, during your excursion, you can expect to see a variety of fish, marine plant life and even the rare Hawaiian green sea turtle or two.
Five Caves is a snorkeling spot suited more for the snorkeling and swimming expert, as its entrance is particularly rocky — not to mention its location near the ocean’s open waters. For experienced travelers, however, it is an essential experience. Like the rest of Maui’s snorkeling spots, visitors will find a plethora of oceanic wildlife, crystal clear waters and gorgeous reef formations underneath the surface.
This reef may very well be one of the most unique, as Hawaiian sea turtle sightings are a regular and delightful occurrence. Also known as Turtle Town, this popular spot, located near Maluaka Beach, offers a variety of natural wonders for your snorkeling pleasures.
Want the beauty of crystal-clear waters ripe for snorkeling but also prefer some form of civilization nearby? Kapalua Bay may be just right for you.
Located on the north end of Kapalua Bay’s beach, this snorkeling spot is centered right next to a thriving community and gorgeous resort buildings. This spot may not be for beginners, though, as the beach does not have a lifeguard.
Honolua Bay is, essentially, a more remote version of Kapalua Bay. Snuggled in the middle of two large cliffs, this cove experiences incredibly smooth waters and excellent snorkeling conditions year-round. As with any rocky oceanic area, one should have a partner with them to help them descend the slippery path.
A hidden gem surrounded by a bustling resort, ‘Ulua Beach is a popular spot for travelers as well as scuba divers, though even casual snorkelers can fully enjoy the natural beauty the site has to offer. While the location may be a bit harder to get to than others, it is still a place worth the effort — you might even see a turtle during your time there!
Black Rock Beach
Made popular thanks to its excellent cliff diving opportunities, Black Rock Beach also contains incredible underwater scenery and a collection of unique wildlife, including fish, coral and more. Beware of rip currents, though, as they are known to occur in the area; as long as you stay close to shore, you should have nothing to worry about.
Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve
Located near Makena on Maui’s south coast, Ahihi Kinau boasts a unique combination of coral and lava rock reefs, making for an incredible snorkeling experience. Furthermore, thanks to its status as a marine life conservation district, the area contains an astonishing number of fish who call these reefs home.
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