Best Maui Snorkeling Spots
[ Insider Tips ][ Maui ]

5 of the Best Maui Snorkeling Spots

Snorkeling is one of the best (and most affordable!) activities in Maui. You can explore a vibrant underwater world just about anywhere off the coast of Maui. However, we recommend these five Maui snorkeling spots for an under-the-sea experience that’s truly unforgettable.

Maui Snorkeling Spots
Molokini Crater is an iconic place to snorkel in Maui.

Top 5 Maui Snorkeling Spots

1) Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater is a volcanic crater marine preserve teeming with a host sea life.  Colorful tropical fish, abundant corals, manta rays and even the occasional shark can be seen during snorkeling tours.  The clear water makes it underwater viewing excellent.  Plus, several companies – including the Pacific Whale Foundation and Maui Classic Charters – offer charters to Molokini so you can easily visit this hot Maui snorkeling spot.

Maui Snorkeling Spots
You can easily conquer Molokini and Turtle Town during one snorkeling excursion.

2) Turtle Town

Located on the southern coastline of Maui, near Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach, Turtle Town is the place to snorkel if you want to see a large population of gorgeous green sea turtles.  One of the reasons sea turtles like this area so much is the underwater lava arches which provide numerous nooks and crannies to call home.  You can reach Turtle Town via a boat charter with Pacific Whale Foundation or drive to Makena Beach and swim out the underwater arches.

Maui Snorkeling Spots
Vibrant fish and colors amaze at Coral Gardens.

3)Coral Gardens

Coral formations are the highlight of this snorkel spot in Maui.  Large, unique coral formations form the perfect place for marine life to thrive.  When you snorkel here you’ll see hundreds of species of Hawaiian fish like Parrot Fish, Angel Fish, Trigger Fish and Butterfly Fish as well as Crabs, Octopus and a variety of Eels.  The occasional sea turtle can be spotted too.  The best way to access this western Maui snorkeling spot is by boat, although you can do some snorkeling from the shoreline.

The clear blue waters of Honolua Bay are ideal for snorkeling. Image via Hawaii Savvy, flickr

4) Honolua Bay

Snorkeling Honolua Bay is popular with visitors as it is one of the few sheltered bays to snorkel on Maui.  The waters here are part of the Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.  There is good snorkeling evident on both sides of the bay, but the best coral patches on the right-hand side of the bay are a bit of a swim.  Make the swim, though, as the visibility is clear and butterfly fish and parrotfish are abundant as are coral species like blue rice.

You never know what sea creatures you might stumble upon at Five Caves.

5) Five Caves

Some of the best Maui snorkeling is available at Five Caves near Nahuna Point, although good swimming skills and snorkeling experience will aid your adventure.  A host of caves and crevices provides plenty of places for sea life to hide. As a result, sea life such as turtles, sharks, and tropical fish are in abundance. The interesting underwater formations are quite the sight too but don’t be tempted to swim through the caves. This is recommended for experienced scuba divers only – not snorkelers.

Experience the Best Maui Snorkeling Spots

As you can see, Maui is teeming with spectacular spots ripe for exploring. Reserve a snorkel cruise through Reserve Hawaii or rent some gear from a local shop like Snorkel Bob’s. Either way, you’re sure to discover some of the best, most vibrant underwater worlds this tropical island has to offer.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Hawaii to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.
Tags: , , , , , , ,