The Best Snorkeling in Maui

The best snorkeling in Maui lies waiting for you in the coral rich waters of western Maui. There you will witness colorful sea life, bright coral reefs & the noble, majestic sea turtles (Honu).

Nestled just off the coast of west Maui are a variety of coral reef configurations that provide a tremendous home for the brilliant and beautiful sea life that surrounds the island, including the famous sea turtles of Hawaii.

Within the waters around these reefs is where the best snorkeling in Maui can be found.

What to Look For

Before we ever got our toes in the water and looked for the best snorkeling in Maui, we were told to look for three very distinct sea creatures while swimming around:

  • The large and graceful sea turtles
  • The beautiful and unique unicorn fish
  • The Hawaii state fish – humuhumunukunukuapua'a!

Where to Look

These are the locations that give you a good chance at enjoying anddiscovering your own best snorkeling in Maui:

  • Ahihi Kinau Reserve (1)
  • Black Rock (2)
  • Five Caves (3)
  • Oneloa Bay (4)
  • Kahekili Beach Park (5)
  • Kamaole Beach Parks (6)
  • Kapalua Bay (7)
  • Maluaka Beach (8)
  • Mokuleia Bay (9)
  • Molokini Crater (10)
  • Olowalu (11)
  • Polo Beach (12)
  • Turtle Town (13)

What's the Best Place to "Sea" Turtles?

Two places that are known to have sea turtles to experience are turtle town and Molokini Crater.

If you are interested in snorkeling right off the shoreline, turtle town might be your destination.

If you are interested in a snorkeling tour that takes you out a little further by boat, you will truly enjoy Molokini Crater. Sea Turtles abound in this distinctive locale. But BRING A WET SUIT! The water at the crater is (((cold ))) year-round.

No Gear? No Problem!

Kim and I had assumed that we were going to be responsible for renting our own gear. So we did our homework and a bit of shopping and found a couple of great places.

And since we already knew what to look for, we figured it would be a good idea to KNOW HOW TO SNORKEL.

That's where the very helpful people at Boss Frog's Shop came in. Being a long established rental shop and experienced snorkelers, they graciously took us under they wings. They not only showed us what we'd need, they showed us how it all worked. They were a big help and that's why we would go back to them again and again!

Regardless of where you choose to shop, know that the best shops are where the action is. There, you can rent by the day or by the week (the weekly rental can be very economical depending on the amount of time you plan on spending in the water).

Packages start as low as about $6.00 and go as high as $15.00 per day. A package includes a mask, a pair of fins and the snorkel. If you plan on snorkeling for more than one day, the weekly rates are as little as $15.00 per package and go up from there.

It doesn't end there, though. There are all kinds of gadgets and gizmos to enhance your experience. Float belts, float vests, body boards, view boards, even digital underwater cameras and recorders. What you choose depends on what you want your experience to be, what you envision your best snorkeling in Maui looks like.

Kim and I are “basic” folk, but had we had floats, we might have been able to stay out longer each time.The views are worth it!

Boss Frog's is a cute, eclectic shop that has 8 locations on Maui. The prices are great and every person we dealt with was helpful and friendly! If you need to rent or buy some gear, we happily recommend them!

The Day that Changed My Life

When we went out for our first snorkeling trip, we chose Kahekili Beach Park which was very close to where we stayed.

Mere feet from the shore, we pulled down the masks, popped in the snorkels and off we went.

Once in, I found myself drawn to coral formation to the north. The water was between 20 and 25 ft deep there. As I looked at the gorgeous fish that swam in and out of my field of vision, a large mass caught my eye....I turned quickly to see what it was. My heart skipped and then sang as I realized that what was in my peripheral was, in fact, a very large sea turtle.

He (I knew it was a "he" from the "hooks" on his front legs) was moving from under his hiding place at the bottom of the reef, towards the surface to breathe. I was stunned.

What I saw wasn't a clumsy, slow creature. He looked more like a graceful, glider. It was amazing. He was so big. I was fascinated.

That experience shaped my decision for the one and only tattoo I have. It so moved me that I have a permanent reminder of the time and space I had the pleasure of sharing with only tattoo. (this ends the useless, personal information portion of the program).

I believe there is a life-altering moment for everyone on Maui. For many, snorkeling the coral reefs provides just the environment for it. If you do have the chance to visit and snorkel Maui, make sure you give yourself the treat of enjoying the best snorkeling in Maui!

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Old Lahaina Luau

Deep Sea Fishing


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Mama's Fish House

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