Taking a trip to Maui can be a top bucket list adventure all in itself, but if you are taking a special trip to snorkel you will be fully satisfied in your choice of destination. There are so many things to see off the shores of Maui that it is difficult to put it all into words. From Turtles to Tropical Fish, you can come to the beaches of Maui to see all there is to see while snorkeling. There are a lot of places for you to snorkel off the coast, but some are better than others. Here is a small list of the top 13 bucket list snorkeling sites in Maui.
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Honolua Bay is another one of those bucket list snorkeling spots that you have to catch when the sea is calm but it’s worth the wait. Long favored as one of Maui’s best snorkeling spots, it has no facilities and it is only good for scuba diving or snorkeling due to the rocky beaches and lack of sand.
Honolua Bay is in the Kapalua area in West Maui. This beach is part of the Marine Life Conservation District. This makes for magnificent snorkeling, the tropical fish are high in number and the coral reef is untouched by humans, giving you a spectacular view. The right side of the bay provides the best scenery for snorkeling and diving expeditions. You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times, there could be some possible strong currents and high surf depending on the season. This place has wonderful adventures waiting for you.
This bay is also part of the Marine Life Conservation District, making this a wonderful place to explore the depths of the sea. Ahihi Bay is located 5 miles from Kihei and a mile from Makena Beach. The fish are not afraid of snorkelers or divers, making this an amazing top bucket list expedition. You will want to arrive early to find a parking place, and enter the bay on the west side. There is a cement slab that makes it easier to enter here rather than at the east side. There are a lot of Turtles in this bay along with Eagle Rays.
La Perouse Bay
Another Bay that is within the Marine Life Conservation District is that of La Perouse Bay. This is the sight of the last lava flow on Maui that occurred in the 1790′s. You will not want to miss the coral formations that lie on the east end of the bay. The fish that reside here are a bit skittish and won’t let you get too close, but there are spinner dolphins that visit the bay in groups of 30 or more, this is a magnificent bucket list sight. This is a remote beach without lifeguards and if the waves are breaking hard onshore you shouldn’t try to go out.
Molokini Crater sits firmly at the top of the bucket list as the best snorkeling spot in Maui. No other Maui snorkel spot can compare to this underwater volcano, one of only three on the planet. In order to visit the Molokini Crater, you will have to board a tour vessel and travel to the site. There are many hotels that offer this service. This is the most amazing adventure that you will ever experience. This is the sight of a non-active volcano and home to over 250 species of fish. This site is also a part of the Marine Life Conservation District, which allows you to see many fish. The water surrounding the island is filled with schools of vibrantly-colored fish and is crystal clear down to 200 feet. The water here is of the clearest in Maui and you can see into the depths of the ocean. No words can describe the awesome feeling you’ll get while snorkeling here. Molokini is a once in a lifetime bucket list experience for both the beginner and the expert.
Papalaua Park and Coral Gardens
Maalaea/Lahaina (20-minute drive from Lahaina) Papalaua Park and coral gardens is truly one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. Just North of the tunnel on the “pali”, this spot boasts some nice beach area, acres of hard coral, some of the clearest water we’ve ever seen, lots of colorful fish and lots of turtles. There are only outhouses that are just bearable.
Coral Gardens is a place for the more advanced snorkelers to visit. This is located just below the west Maui Mountains on the Western coast of Maui, and has an astounding amount of colorful tropical fish in thousands of feet of coral reef. You could also see turtles, dolphins, rays and many other species while snorkeling here and it is occasionally visited by Hawaii’s remarkable humpback whales. This is part of the Princess Alexandra National Park and is patrolled by the National Parks Service, so be sure that you follow all the rules.
This bucket list challenge is a bit far from the beach so it is suggested only for expert snorkelers or scuba divers. However, it is one of the most unique snorkeling spots in Maui. The reward for the long swim is an amazing selection of sea life and mysterious swim-through caves that can be experienced with little interruption from tourists.
You guessed right! This is home to one of the largest populations of sea turtles in Hawaii. This is a family-friendly oasis with tons of other sea life and a once in a lifetime bucket list chance to swim with these much-loved creatures of Hawaii.
Truly this is one of the more accessible Maui bucket list snorkeling spots for less experienced snorkelers. The calm waters are shallow, making it a great place to teach or practice snorkeling. However, Olowalu’s several acres of beautiful reef have much to offer even to experts, within its several acres of beautiful reef.
This bucket list beach is an ideal spot for families because it is right in front of the Kea Lani Hotel and is good for snorkeling or simply relaxing in the sand. Waters are clear and there are plenty of facilities and accommodations nearby.
Ahihi Keanau Reserve
This bucket list spot has a great bay for first time snorkelers, although it has no facilities so it isn’t recommended for families. If you are looking for a romantic hang out under the water this is a great choice. There are several opportunities to practice right along the beaches, but be careful because the beaches are rocky.
This bucket list beach offers great facilities and plenty of parking. It has a smooth sandy beach, great for relaxing after enjoying the beautiful patches of coral under this lava outcrop. One word of caution: the waters are sometimes murky, so you’ll need to go on a day when seas are calm. Black Rock is a great place for both the beginner and intermediate snorkeler to gain some experience in the water without sacrificing the comfort of beach facilities.
Also known as Kahekili Beach Park, it is visited frequently by families and is a hot spot for scuba instructors to train their pupils. The water is calm enough for beginners and young kids to learn and there are plenty of facilities. This local favorite might be one of the calmest and safest dive spots, but it’s by no means boring.
Many of these spots can be safely experienced by beginners, but if you would like a guide or some instruction or you would just enjoy going with a group, then Pride of Maui would be love to show you the best Maui snorkeling experience you’ll ever have.