Top 15 Maui Ocean Activities

Whether you are seeking relaxing ocean activities or planning a challenging ocean sport adventure, we have the best ocean activities for you to do on Maui. By analyzing Hawaiian Island visitor statistics and researching Maui’s ocean activity companies, we’ve made it easy for you to choose between them. Plan a laid back or a venturous vacation on the most popular island in Hawaii.

Best Maui Vacation Ocean Activities

When visiting the magical island of Maui, take advantage of all the awe-inspiring offerings this paradise offers. Chill out beachside with a novel, and decompress with breathtaking scenes of the Pacific Ocean and the outer islands of Kaho’olawe, Lana’i, and Moloka’i as your backdrop. Just imagine the comfort of having a valuable insider’s perspective; you can rest at ease knowing that all the hard work of vacation planning is already done.

All that is left is for you, your family, and your friends to experience the best Hawaiian vacation possible. With the spirit of aloha, we welcome you to read a handful of the most inspirational island pastimes.


Whale Watching

There is absolutely no doubt that the #1 ocean activity on Maui is whale watching. If you are visiting Maui during the winter months, give yourself one of the biggest gifts of your life and take advantage of the chance to see the humpback whales during their annual migration to Hawaii. Words cannot even begin to describe how fabulous this activity can be, especially because Maui is regarded as the best place in the world for whale watching.

No matter their age, participants will be amazed after seeing firsthand the beauty and grace of whales breaching the glistening Pacific Ocean. Commonly accompanied by playful Spinner Dolphins, male Humpback Whales will make you smile and gasp as you watch them try to impress the females during breeding rituals. Watch the baby whales excite spectators with their childlike skips and leaps across the ocean surface. Marvel in the beauty, innocence, and natural behaviors of the ocean wildlife while experiencing this honored and humbling ocean activity on Maui.

This is one of those lifetime must-do activities, one that should not be missed and one that will never be forgotten. Enjoy this glorious ocean activity for the first time or introduce it to your family and friends. This is definitely a Maui memory that will be fondly cherished forever in the minds of those who experience it.

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Pride of Maui Whale Watching Tour

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The second best ocean activity on Maui is a fun-filled snorkel tour with Pride of Maui. Explore the underwater world and watch Hawaiian green sea turtles tread water through the luminescent Pacific Ocean, frolicking around bustling volcanic and coral reefs. Witness vibrant schools of tropical fish, sea anemone, and a variety of unique reef animals endemic to the Hawaiian oceans alone. Molokini snorkeling is widely considered a must-do while on the Valley Isle.

Whether an amateur or a novice, child or adult, every guest is sure to enjoy this fabulous Maui ocean activity. Pride of Maui snorkel tours are outfitted with the best equipment and follow the strictest safety measures. They are well-renowned for their exceptional customer service, making comfort a priority while accommodating guests and sharing their knowledge of Hawaiian reef life. For over 30 years, Pride of Maui has remained at the forefront of the best ocean activity companies on Maui. The morning Molokini Snorkel Tour includes a complimentary breakfast, lunch, and an open bar. The afternoon Turtle Town Snorkel Tour includes lunch and an open bar. No matter your preference, you and your loved ones are sure to be pleased, inspired, and very likely to become return visitors.

Experience the oceans around Maui as you never imagined possible. Explore Molokini Crater, Turtle Town, Fantasy Reef at Olowalu, and Coral Gardens. Create vacation memories that will last a lifetime on a snorkel tour with Pride of Maui.

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Pride of Maui
snorkel tour

Discover amazing undersea life

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snorkel tour

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One of the most popular ocean activities in Hawaii is surfing. Residents and visitors alike have always been drawn to the waves surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. Each island offers a variety of surfing possibilities depending on your ability, but Maui is the best island to learn how to surf year round.

Since Maui was built upon two volcanoes and its topography is so diverse, surfing at any time of the year is possible with a handful of surf break locations from which to choose. Whether you are at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level, surf lessons on Maui can provide you with the skills and experience necessary to strengthen your surfing foundation.

Allow your surf culture fantasies to come to life! Create bonding memories with your family by spending a day learning together in the sun, or motivate your children to gain valuable and safe surf instruction in Maui. Help your children along a path to confidence and good health that they can continue to follow for the rest of their lives. Don’t just watch people surf for on your trip to Maui—take the bull by the horns, get in the water, and ride the wave!

The best surfing instructors on Maui can book up quickly. Plan out and book your surf lessons before arriving on the island so you can ensure that you are receiving the best instruction possible. The most popular surf lesson companies are:

Hawaiian Paddle Sports – Maui Surf Lessons
Visit Hawaiian Paddle Sports

Blue Soul Maui Private Tours
Visit Blue Soul Maui

Best Maui Surf Lessons
Visit Maui Surf Lessons

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SNUBA Diving

Maui is the ultimate location for SNUBA diving in Hawaii. SNUBA is a unique hybrid of snorkeling and scuba that is easy to do. The underwater coastlines boast an abundance of sea life, lava rock reef formations, coral gardens, and ideal locations to explore. Here you can safely and easily travel across the reef while awestruck from examining Maui’s perfectly balanced ecosystem of colorful schools of fish, marine animals, caves and Cauliflower Coral.

Enjoy a morning SNUBA adventure at Molokini and Turtle Town aboard Pride of Maui, the premier SNUBA diving vessel on Maui. Experience the best underwater locales for exploration, photography, and discovery.

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Sea Scooter Snorkeling

Scooter Snorkeling Tours are perhaps one of the most innovative ways to snorkel in Maui. While accompanied by professional guides and assisted by underwater scooter devices, visitors travel throughout the South Maui waters to explore vibrant reef formations, tropical fish, and marine life.

The tours start from a beach in Wailea. After learning basic snorkeling safety information and reviewing how to operate the sea scooters, explorers will move to a remote underwater location that is away from the crowds.

Operated by a button, sea scooters travel up to 3 miles per hour. Moving faster than most people can swim, sea scooters allow users to venture underwater comfortably without having to work too hard. Sea scooter snorkelers can cover more ground and maximize their time enjoying Maui’s underwater sights while alleviating the need to fight the tides.

While scooter snorkeling, guests have the opportunity to view a variety of marine life in their natural environment: a multitude of tropical fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles, manta rays, spinner dolphins, and even the possibility of watching humpback whales swimming gracefully in Maui’s oceans during the winter season. Provided gear includes an underwater sea scooter, mask, snorkel, fins, life jacket, and boogie boards.

With Sea Scooter Snorkeling, guests of all ages can choose from a Group Snorkeling Tour (2 hours), First Time Snorkeling Lesson and Tour (2.5 hours), or a Private Guided Snorkeling Tour (2 hours).

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Scuba Diving

The Island of Maui is a world-renowned destination for many reasons, and scuba diving is undoubtedly on that list! From beginner to professional levels, there’s an incredible array of Maui scuba diving companies with which to explore.

On the Valley Isle, it’s possible to get scuba certified (PADI), add depth certifications to your repertoire, and free dive at a variety of amazing locations. No matter your purpose and goal, one thing is for sure: scuba diving is one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in Maui’s incredible marine life.

The majority of Maui dive companies depart from South Maui: Kihei, Wailea, or Makena. Visitors and residents can venture out to Molokini Crater, Reef’s End, Back Wall, Enenu’i, Turtle Town, St. Anthony Wreck, WWII Tank, Landing Craft, and more in-the-know Maui dive spots.

Maui scuba diving companies also offer a variety of services to fit the unique needs of their divers. It’s possible to book Maui private charters, morning dives, night dives, solo trips, family trips, group guided scuba adventures, and private scuba lessons. Some vendors also offer videography services so make sure to inquire about them before you book your tour.

For more information about Scuba Diving in Maui:
Visit Maui Scuba Mike
Visit Maui Dreams Dive Co.

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Stand Up Paddling

Stand Up Paddling is rapidly becoming one of the most popular ocean activities in the world. Available to the masses and easy to learn, this is a great way to spend a day “sweeping the ocean,” relaxing and enjoying gorgeous sunshine and shoreline views. Strengthen your core, find your balance, and feel a true sense of achievement learning stand up paddling in Hawaii.

Not only is “SUP” is a super fun Maui ocean activity for children and adults alike, but it is gaining particular popularity as a growing women’s sport. You can practice learning on flat water, attempt small wave riding, and finally gain the confidence to take this sport home with you. All across the world, water sports enthusiasts are taking stand up paddling to oceans, lakes, rivers, and even reservoirs. Stand up paddle lessons and workshops on Maui are a great day adventure, and will definitely offer you valuable instruction and skill sets that you can take home with you.

For more information about stand up paddling lessons and workshops on Maui:
Visit Hawaiian Paddle Sports
Visit Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding

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Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Paddling

When seeking out the best ocean activities on Maui, make sure to look into a Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe tour. Canoes have been paddled for thousands of years by Polynesians and exploration by canoe is how the Hawaiian Islands were first discovered. With many options for canoe tours available, guests can start their day with a morning departure from Makena/Wailea or from various entry points out of West Maui including Olowalu and Honolua.

Outrigger canoe paddling on Maui can be the ultimate adventure for whale watching, snorkeling, or learning about Hawaiian Culture while experiencing it firsthand. Beginner and experienced paddlers alike can feel safe with guides who are CPR and First Aid Certified, trained extensively in ocean safety measures, and certified marine naturalists.

Experience a cultural paddling adventure with your family and friends aboard a traditional Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe. Revel in the innate beauty of Maui, Lanai, and outer island scenes. Watch a magical sunrise cast down upon you, and smile with glittering Hawaiian Island coastlines as your backdrop.

For more info about Outrigger Canoe Paddling
in Maui, please visit Hawaiian Paddlesports.

Visit Hawaiian Paddlesports

For info about private tours,
please visit Blue Soul Maui.

Visit Blue Soul Maui

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Kayaking on Maui is one of the best ways to see the beauty of the island, learn about the points of interest, and explore Maui the right way—from the ocean! At Maui Kayak Adventures, a knowledgeable guide will take you on a tour of some of the best snorkeling areas on the island, including West Maui’s Olowalu Turtle Garden, Makena’s Turtle Town, Honolua Marine Preserve, and for the experienced paddlers, Molokini Crater.

Guides will provide information about what you’re most likely to see, including a variety of tropical fish, eels, sea turtles, humpback whales (during whale season), and for the lucky few, Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins and monk seals!

Maui Kayak Adventures is on a mission to bring the beauty of Maui and spirit of adventure that the ocean possesses to as many people as possible. Their staff of experienced guides will introduce you to Maui’s ancient history, vibrant culture, and unique marine life. Their kayak tours are the best in the business, and are a great Maui ocean activity that should not be missed!

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Explore Maui’s majestic oceans on a rafting tour with Redline Rafting. On their recognizable 35-foot red customized ocean raft, guests can enjoy unique snorkeling and whale watching tours. Embarking from Kihei, this activity is an especially fun Maui adventure for small groups.

Redline Rafting’s goal is that all guests experience the beauty of Maui’s ocean in an eco-friendly way; their expert guides will take you to in-the-know locations along Maui’s southern coastline. While pointing out ancient Hawaiian historical sites and sharing mythology and geological information, they will make sure that you have a super enjoyable experience. Redline rafting focuses on thrilling and ecologically conscious activities that allow guests to view Maui’s marine life in a friendly and respectful way.

Redline Rafting offers Molokini Crater & South Maui Coast Tours, Maui Whale Watching Tours (January 15th-March 31st), and Private Maui Rafting Tours. During their tours, it’s possible to see Hawaiian green sea turtles, humpback whales, spinner dolphins, lava-ridden coastlines, and ancient Hawaiian archeological sites.

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Kitesurfing is one of the most popular ocean activities internationally. For the past 10 years, kiteboarding on Maui has become increasingly popular here, putting Maui on the map for kitesurfers all around the world. As it is a favorite pastime for residents, visitors, and an international watersports crowd, it is common to see kites flying over the Maui coastlines on a daily basis.

To be great kitesurfers, athletes have to stay up to date on the ever-changing board and kite technology to ensure that they are practicing in the safest way possible while learning new skills. Learning how to kitesurf or trying to book the best kitesurfing lessons and instructors available can be tricky. You must ask yourself these questions: who is the best, who teaches fundamental and advanced skills, and what equipment is best and safest with which to practice? With so many variables to consider, do not fret; the hard work and research are already laid out for you right here.

Aqua Sports Maui is the best Kiteboarding School in Maui. Their instructors are professionally trained and experienced water athletes. They have an innate passion and commitment to the best wave riding training possible. They consider the weather, the individual, and the skill level before matching clients with instructors. They offer an exceptional value for the services they offer, always keeping the client’s interests & comfort at top priority.

Aqua Sports Maui instructs guests from beginner to semi-pro levels, using only the best water sports equipment possible: top quality kiteboarding gear from Naish, Cabrinha and North Brand.

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In 1948, the windsurfing sport came to life. Since its inception, windsurfing has transitioned into an internationally popularized sport, with Hawaii taking the reigns as the place to windsurf. Since the early 1980’s, Maui alone has been considered as the worldwide recognized epicenter for windsurfing. With gorgeous weather, the best wind conditions, and most immaculate north coastline advantages of all the Hawaiian Islands, Maui is unquestionably the place to be for windsurfing.

Whether you are a longtime professional, beginner or at a comfortable intermediate level, there will always be new skills and experiences to be gained. It is a sport with consistent innovation and technological growth.

For the best child and adult windsurfing lessons on Maui, seek out instruction from Alan Cadiz’s Hawaiian Sailboarding Techniques, more commonly known as HST. HST is Maui’s largest and oldest windsurfing school, with more than a handful of the best windsurfing instructors on Maui. All of HST’s instructors are certified professionals and experts in their field, and they embody the patience and consistency necessary to teach safe windsurfing practices.

The team at HST are well known for setting high standards for windsurfing instruction, making their quality unbeatable by any other companies on the island.

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Become a Mermaid

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a mermaid? We have too. So we’d be hard-pressed to not mention one of the fastest growing activities on Maui and one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the ocean. Slip into a mermaid tail and learn how to become a mermaid with the help of expert instructors. It is a truly immersive and incredible experience!

Hawaii Mermaid Adventures is really for everyone as it promotes a deeper connection to the ocean while teaching you all about life as a mermaid, various marine animals and coral, and mermaid mythology and sailors’ tales. The instructors are lifeguard certified so it’s not only easy to learn through good teaching but it’s also safe. They also offer free digital photos!

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Sport Fishing Tours

Sport Fishing in Hawaii is one of the most sought-after ocean activities by visitors. Fishing tours are a great way to take advantage of this opportunity if you do not have access to a fishing boat or the proper certification and licenses for fishing in Hawaii. All around the island of Maui, the ocean is full of a variety of Billfish and Hawaiian game fish including; Striped Marlin, Blue Marlin, Spearfish, Sailfish, Black Marlin, Mahi-Mahi, Ono, Ahi, and Aku. Throughout the year, the season is open, so fishers can always find a good catch pending the game type and time of year.


UFO Parasail

UFO Parasail offers Hawaii parasailing tours on Maui and the Big Island. Without a doubt, parasailing is one of the most exciting water sport activities in Maui!

Founded in 1985, UFO Parasail is owned and operated by Greg VanderLaan. VanderLaan is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, has a BS Degree in Nautical Engineering, is a U.S. Coast Guard 3rd Mate Unlimited, and holds a 1600-ton Captain’s License. UFO Parasail has six boats on Maui, and in fact, they also manufacture and sell winch boats to over 35 countries in the world. As you can see, VanderLaan and UFO Parasail are quite knowledgeable on the water!

UFO Parasailing tours are available seasonally from May 16th to December 14th. Please note that parasailing tours are not available during Maui’s winter whale watching season. It’s an exciting ocean activity for those five years and older, and guests are permitted to ride solo if they weigh more than 160 lbs.

Embarking from Kaanapali Beach, this top-rated Maui activity allows guests to soar above West Maui at heights ranging from 800 to 1200ft (with the option to get dipped!). Each tour is approximately 1 hour, and the boat is U.S. Coast Guard certified to hold up to 12 passengers. If a guest doesn’t want to parasail but wants to take the boat trip to join a buddy, they can book the tour as an observer.

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Mahalo for reading the Top 10 Ocean Activities to do in Maui. Feel free to share this article with your friends! A hui hou (until we meet again)!

Alexandra Mitchell

Alexandra is a marketing professional with a passion for writing about travel to the Hawaiian Islands, vacation rentals, and luxury real estate. She exposes readers to glimpses of 'Old Hawaii,' new destinations to explore, local events, and all the best things to do on Maui.