Top 10 Snorkeling Spots in Maui

Local ExpertLast updated: November 29, 2017

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best maui snorkeling spots

If you are in search of the best snorkeling in Maui, you will not be disappointed during your visit to our island paradise. Maui is surrounded by hundreds of hot spots for snorkelers and divers; it just depends on where you want to go and what you want to see. Awesome Maui snorkeling opportunities can be just about anywhere on the island, but we’ve compiled the top 10 places to snorkel in Maui that should definitely not be missed.

maui snorkeling spots

Molokini Crater

Located approximately 2.5 miles off of Maui’s south shore, Molokini Crater is an underwater volcano islet. Listed as a Marine Life Conservation District Seabird Sanctuary, this partially submerged, crescent shaped volcanic crater is like no other snorkeling location in the world. It’s also one of the very few volcano islets in the world!

  • Location South Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 0/3
    • 3/3
  • Area size Large
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 40´
  • Exposure Open
  • Entrance Vessel
Turtle Town snorkeling

Turtle Town

Aptly named, Turtle Town is the best place to go snorkeling on Maui if your goal is to see the Hawaiian green sea turtles in action! Thanks to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), this stretch of ocean is home to a particularly dense population of the beloved Hawaiian green sea turtle.

  • Location South Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 2/3
    • 2/3
    • 2/3
  • Area size Small
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 30´
  • Exposure Open
  • Entrance Vessel
snorkeling at coral gardens
coral reef snorkeling

Coral Gardens

Coral Gardens in Hawaii is located near the center of the West Maui shoreline. This awesome snorkeling location is home to a large number of brightly colored fish, breathtakingly gorgeous coral reef formations, and the occasional Hawaiian green sea turtle.

  • Location South Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 1/3
    • 3/3
  • Area size Large
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 12´
  • Exposure Partial
  • Entrance Sandy
Honolua Bay snorkeling

Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay is located about twenty minutes North of Lahaina Town on Maui’s North-West Shore. It’s one of the most incredible locations on Maui, providing plenty of remarkable underwater and out -of -water scenery for residents and visitors.

  • Location West Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 3/3
    • 2/3
  • Area size Large
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 30´
  • Exposure Partial
  • Entrance Rocky
Five Caves snorkeling

Five Caves

If you are a good swimmer and a relatively experienced snorkeler, Five Caves is another amazing spot for some of the best snorkeling on Maui. Also known as ‘Five Graves’ (because it’s near a graveyard), it is also a super popular location for experienced Maui SCUBA divers.

  • Location South Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 1/3
    • 3/3
    • 1/3
  • Area size Medium
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 25´
  • Exposure Open
  • Entrance Rocky
black rock snorkeling

Black Rock

Black Rock is located on Ka’anapali Beach in West Maui, and has won numerous awards as one of the best places to go in Maui. Ka’anapali Beach encompasses over 3 miles of white sandy beach, a boardwalk, resorts and hotels, restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

  • Location West Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 1/3
    • 1/3
  • Area size Medium
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 10´
  • Exposure Partial
  • Entrance Sandy
Napili bay

Napili Bay

Located between Kahana and Kapalua is the legendary Napili Beach area. Napili is surrounded by a quiet community of residents and vacation rentals, but still remains to be one of the sleepiest little areas on Maui. Napili in itself is a true Hawaiian gem.

  • Location West Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 0/3
    • 1/3
  • Area size Medium
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 10´
  • Exposure Partial
  • Entrance Sandy
Kapalua bay

Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay is one of the most remarkable beaches on Maui, a perfect West Maui locale to explore while on vacation in Hawaii. Kapalua translates to kapa and lua in the ancient Hawaiian language, meaning “two borders.” Kapalua Bay is perfectly positioned between Oneloa Bay and Honokahua Bay, which explains its centrally located namesake.

  • Location West Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 0/3
    • 2/3
  • Area size Medium
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 10´
  • Exposure Partial
  • Entrance Sandy
Ulua beach

Ulua Beach

Once known as “Kaula’uo Beach,” this concealed South Maui beach is now more commonly recognized as Ulua Beach, named after a popular Hawaiian fish. Ulua Beach is definitely a hot spot for residents and experienced SCUBA divers, but it’s more frequented by resort guests.

  • Location South Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 1/3
    • 2/3
  • Area size Medium
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 10´
  • Exposure Partial
  • Entrance Sandy
Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve

Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve

Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve is believed to be one of the most delicate and youngest eco-reef zones on Maui. This small cove is a great place to snorkel if you are with a small group, especially with young children or those who don’t feel comfortable in open water.

  • Location South Maui
  • Marine life density
    • 3/3
    • 3/3
    • 3/3
  • Area size Medium
  • Depths (ft) 0 – 10´
  • Exposure Partial
  • Entrance Sandy

Mahalo for reading our Top 10 Snorkeling Spots in Maui article! We know that this list of ‘Best of Maui Snorkeling Spots’ is only skin-deep for all the amazing snorkeling locations Maui has to offer. We hope that you seek out these locations and remember that Maui’s unique reef-zones are important to respect and protect! We invite you to go underway and share our list and your experiences with your family and friends.

What are your favorite places to snorkel on Maui? We’d love to hear all about them. Please let us know in the comments below. Maui No Ka Oi!

Written By  Local Expert

We are local Maui guide experts and Hawaii enthusiasts who love to share the Aloha spirit and our favorite things to do on Maui.