Planning a trip to Maui and want to see tropical fish? Find out where to find the best snorkeling in Maui. Scroll for all the spots!
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Maui is a fun Hawaiian vacation destination because there’s really something for everyone. There are fabulous places to eat, incredible beaches, stunning waterfalls, adventurous hikes, awesome luaus, and more!
One of the most popular things to do in Maui is go snorkeling.
Getting started can be overwhelming, so I’m outlining the best snorkeling in Maui destinations, where to get your gear, and Maui snorkeling tours you might want to check out.
Read my 15 genius Hawaii snorkeling tips!
Maui Snorkeling FAQs
Absolutely! There are tons of great snorkeling beaches and tours to book. One of the best places to snorkel on Maui is Molokini Crater, which is only accessible by taking a boat tour.
It’s not more dangerous than snorkeling anywhere else in Hawaii. Just be sure to follow basic safety measures and check the ocean conditions before getting in the water.
Yes, there are several types of sharks near Maui. But, shark sightings close to the beach are pretty rare and you shouldn’t worry about shark attacks while snorkeling on your Maui vacation.
7 of the Best Snorkeling in Maui Spots
At the top of this list sits Molokini Crater, an uninhabited islet that is the most visited snorkeling site in all of Maui.
Most people love Molokini because it is located off the shore of Maui, but that is only one of the great things about it. Within its ultra-clear waters swim hundreds of beautiful fish and other creatures of the sea.
This crescent-shaped volcanic crater has been inactive for a long time and is now, not only a protected Marine Life Conservation District but also a Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary.
Snorkelers are always ecstatic about going down into the deep by the crater and exploring the underwater life that exists therein.
2. Black Rock
Located on the northern end of Ka’anapali Beach, Black Rock offers fun lovers a diving spot into the ocean and the pleasure of deep swimming with many amazing sea creatures.
The rock itself was formed as a result of lava flows coming down on the side of Maui and it divides Ka’anapali Beach from the quieter and private Kahekili Beach Park.
Cliff jumping from Black Rock is not a new pastime. Old Hawaiian folktales tell the story of spirits jumping off Black Rock in order to rejoin the spirits of the ancestors.
While you may not be heading to your ancestors, you can definitely enjoy the water and the fish as you dive.
3. Honolua Bay
Honolulu Bay is one of the only sheltered bays on Maui that you can snorkel in. It offers beautiful views as you hike through its magnificent forest towards the water, and an exotic and diverse set of underwater creatures.
This snorkeling haven is located on the northwestern end of Maui, meaning you’ll either have to take a long drive or find your way by boat. It is, however, worth the effort of figuring out transportation.
The bay is pretty calm when the rest of the coastline is inaccessible and there is a lot to see.
Explorers who want to look at the whole bay will find that it is fairly big and covers about a half-mile while swimming.
4. Turtle Town
Whether you call it Turtle Town or Maluaka Beach, which is the spot’s actual name, the important thing is that this snorkel spot is one of the most popular snorkeling spots that can be accessed from the coast of Maui.
Most people get to visit it when they join a guided snorkeling tour and are usually overwhelmed by the number of green sea turtles that inhabit the beach and its waters.
Although the turtles gave the beach its nickname, it also invites snorkelers with its perfectly preserved coral and the schools of fish that live within them.
5. Kapalua Bay
Kapalua Bay sits sheltered and beautiful with its beach of white sand, nestled on the northwestern end of Maui.
Its sheltering is part of what makes it so perfect for snorkeling, provided by reefs that form a horse-shoe cove as they extend from both sides of the bay.
Thanks to these reefs, the water on the bay is amazingly calm and is a favorite among beginner snorkelers. It is also a great spot to take children.
6. Ahihi Bay
Located in the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve, Ahihi Bay is known to be one of the best snorkel spots in Maui.
It is a great place that anyone can snorkel at, regardless of skill level and has a plethora of beautiful fish that snorkelers can observe in awe.
Also known as Waiala Cove, this snorkel spot is best visited in the early hours of the day before the winds pick up and the waves follow suit.
However, the Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve is open between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. so you can visit at your convenience.
7. Mokapu Beach
Situated at the Wailea resort complex, Mokapu Beach is soft and sandy, surrounding exposed beach rock that juts from its center.
The water lopes gently as it heads towards the ocean, making it great swimming for beginner swimmers on a calm day.
Most snorkeling usually happens earlier in the morning, around the lava rock formation that sits between Mokapu and Ulua Beach – which is nearby.
The Best Maui Snorkeling Tours for Families
Sometimes it’s more fun to join a snorkeling tour and learn from locals than go snorkeling on your own. Maui has some incredible boat tours for snorkeling:
Join the Pacific Whale Foundation for one of the most family-friendly snorkeling tours on Maui. There are tons of onboard activities (like a water slide and glass-bottom viewing windows) and entertainment.
This catamaran leaves from Ma’alaea Harbor and goes to Molokini Crater and Turtle Town. You’ll get food, drinks an lot of great snorkeling.
Book your Molokini Family-Friendly Snorkel Tour
If you are up for a little adventure, this Redline Rafting snorkeling trip is a total blast. They limit it to 24 guests and you’ll head to 3 or 4 of South Maui’s best snorkeling spots.
You’ll also hear about Hawaii’s history, geology, and marine life while you enjoy breakfast and lunch on board this customized raft.
Another great small group snorkeling excursion is this Molokini Wild Side tour put on by the Pacific Whale Foundation.
You’ll enjoy a continental breakfast as well as a fresh lunch grilled on the boat. See unparalleled views of Maui’s coast from this single deck catamaran.
Heading on a Maui honeymoon? You’ll want to book this romantic Lahaina sailing trip aboard a luxury catamaran. This excursion includes a unique guided snorkel tour of Honolua Bay, lots of onboard amenities, and plenty of food and drink options.
Book your Luxury Honolua Sail & Snorkel tour
If you are staying in Wailea, this kayak and snorkel tour is just minutes away. Hop in a kayak for a 3-hour experience for all ages and fitness levels. You’ll even see local Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles!
Book your Makena Kayak & Snorkel tour
What to Bring to Go Snorkeling on Maui
If you aren’t doing a tour that provides all your snorkeling gear, you’ll want to bring a snorkel set and fins.
There has been a bit of a debate about the safety of these full face snorkel masks. It sounds like most people don’t have any issues, but there have been a few news articles about people having accidents while using them
Also, when the weather is colder (especially if you are going to Maui in the winter) I recommend wearing a wet suit top over your swimsuit for an extra layer.