Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in Maui

posted by Tyler Bliss   |
August 12, 2010

If you are in search of the best snorkeling in Maui, you will not be disappointed in your visit to this island of paradise. Maui is surrounded by hot spots for snorkelers and divers, depending on where you want to go and what you want to see. Snorkeling can be just about anywhere on the island, depending on where you go and what you want to see. These five diving hot spots are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to underwater adventure in Maui.

Molokini Crater

molokinicrater Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in MauiThis underwater volcano has been listed as a Marine Life Conservation District Seabird Sanctuary. Within the volcanic walls you will find a host of tropical fish, manta rays and even the occasional shark. The clear water makes this one of the best Maui snorkeling locations, because you can easily see the underwater life that calls Molokini Crater home. It is a popular location for beginning and experienced snorkelers alike. Molokini Crater is located just three miles off the Maui coast and is accessible by boat.

Turtle Town

turtletown Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in MauiThere has been some question as to precisely where Turtle Town is located, but the general consensus is that Turtle Town is located on the southern coastline of the island, between Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach. This stretch is home to a particularly dense population of sea turtles, thanks to current government protection. Turtle Town is well known for providing some of the best snorkeling in Maui, particularly if these large lumbering creatures are your sightseeing target.

Coral Gardens

coralgardens Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in MauiCoral Gardens is located in the center of the western Maui coast. This location is also home to a large number of brightly colored fish, as well as some breathtaking coral formations and the occasional sea turtle. Keep your eyes open for crabs, octopus and eels as well. The location occasionally provides a glimpse of humpback whales between the months of December and April, in the National Marine Sanctuary.

Honolua Bay

honoluabay Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in MauiHonalua Bay is located on the northern end of Maui, and provides plenty of great underwater scenery for visitors. The bay offers a small, sandy beach where you can access the water directly. Because the area is a marine reserve, snorkelers can enjoy spectacular coral formations, sea turtles and large schools of tropical fish. Honalua Bay is not the best snorkeling on Maui due to North swells, when surfing becomes the preferred activity off of this beach.

Five Caves

fivecaves Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in MauiIf you are a good swimmer and relatively experienced snorkeler, Five Caves is another spot for some of the best Maui snorkeling. This area offers a host of caves and crevices where sea life can hide. Located just north of Turtle Town, Five Caves provides glimpses of harmless reef sharks as well as sea turtles. The beach at Five Caves is small and no facilities are offered.


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14 Responses to “Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in Maui”

  1. Maui Guy Says:

    You have to keep in mind that any of these spots can have low-visibility if there’s a lot of swell in the water, or if it’s been raining like it has been lately.

    Honolua Bay is a great spot, but when waves are breaking, it can be dangerous. Luckily for snorkelers, this is a fickle surfing spots except for in the winter.

    Turtle Town is a myth, in my opinion. Every spot on Maui is Turtle Town. I always see turtles when snorkeling on Maui. Though, I’ll agree that the location you mentioned does have quite a lot of turtles due to protection.

    Mahalo for the excellent posts!

  2. Telluride Forge Says:

    I am sooo looking forward to such a dream recovery getaway. the oceans awaait me!

  3. Telluride Forge Says:

    I am deffinately gonna snorkel this location come January 17th! join me if you dare….

  4. Lee Rizzo Says:

    Any and all those spots work. Molikini is great ride and the water do blue u think your dreaming. I wanna move there so bad. Aloha

  5. Irene Hennings Zigler Says:

    Mahalo…be there Monday:)

  6. Robert Stahl Says:

    Molokini is the best spot, blaze out to Molokini at sun rise in 2 seconds, then a bone jarring ride back to Kam 3.

  7. Michael C. Martino Says:

    Snorkeling along black rock at far edge of kaanapali beach is very nice too

  8. Bill Parker Says:

    I can smell the salt in the air and feel the sun on my back

  9. Carol L. Cooper Says:

    Personally, Molokini doesn't have enough colorful fish…go to Napili Beach, Ulua Beach, Kapalua Beach for gorgeous brightly colored fish…Been there 24 times.

  10. Tricia Blazy Says:

    Ahi hi cove! Natural, legally protected fish bowl!

  11. Michael C. Martino Says:

    And the sea turtles…..

  12. Janet Petrowsky Says:

    Fishbowl is pretty fun, if you get there early and take lots of water…a little semi-adventure.

  13. Gary L. Knapp Says:

    My wife and I had the blessing of snorkeling at Molokini, Honolua, and Turtle Town. My son and I had the privilege to SCUBA dive off Molokini where we saw a shark and its symbiotic fish friend swimming in the distance at about 80' to 100' down. What a wonderfull experience!

  14. Excellent Maui Snorkeling - Maui Bloggers Zone | Maui Bloggers Zone Says:

    [...] There are many spots around Maui that require a boat to snorkel.  Many snorkeling locations are remote and pure, and the captains of the Pride of Maui no where they are.  Take advantage of their experience and knowledge and snorkel at some of the best snorkeling spots in Maui. [...]