Maui is known as “The Valley Isle”, the second largest and third-highest population Hawaiian island. It is beloved for the world-famous beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (during winter months), farm-to-table cuisine and the magnificent sunrise and sunset from Haleakala. Maui is voted as “Best Island in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler readers for more than 20 years. Maui has been voted “Best Island in the World” thanks to its nice weather condition and many available beaches to swim.
Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities on Maui. Over 30 beaches and bays are available to snorkel all around the island. Snorkeling can be done at almost bay along the Maui coast, but because of trade winds, the most popular destinations to snorkel are located on the south and west shores of Maui where the water is clear and peaceful.
Where to snorkel in Maui?
The most popular snorkeling spots are mainly located at the west and the south of Maui, so in the following part, I will introduce you the Top 5 popular snorkeling spots.
Honolua Bay is one of the island’s most lovable and fabulous spots in the Maui area. Honolua means “two harbors” in Hawaiian. It is located on Maui’s northwestern coast just five minutes past Kapalua. Every summer, people flock in the beautiful and peaceful cove. There are
Nearby Honolua Bay, you can visit Kapalua Bay, which means “two borders” in Hawaiian. It is located between Oneloa Bay and Honokahua Bay. There is a white sand beach and a C-shaped cove making it ideal for snorkeling. The shallow and peaceful water is good to children and new snorkelers. It’s a great family beach. You can find various fish, such as butterfly fish, parrot fish, surgeon fish… Public showers and restrooms can be found on the beaching parking, although the parking is not big enough in tourist peak.
If you want to find a less crowed, low-key resort beach, Napili Bay is your option. Napili Bay is surrounded by a quiet community of residents and vacation rentals. Comparing with Ka’anapali resorts, it’s more economic and less commercialized. It attracts families and European travelers. At most time, the water is mellow and crystal. Sometimes the waves are large. If you’d like to snorkel, you should avoid such conditions.
Kaanapali Beach – Black Rock
Black Rock was formed of the lava and now is famous for “the rock you jump off” on West Maui. The water is clear and calm. The best area of snorkeling is along the lava rock edge. Turtles frequently hang over round the ledge. You can see coral fish, colorful coral, and other creatures. You don’t need to stray very far or deep see marine creatures. You can access to Black Rock if you live in Hotel resorts or not. Black Rock is only five minutes walk away on Kaanapali Beach.
Molokini is one of the only three volcanic calderas in the world, located at 3 miles off Maui coast. It’s an island marine sanctuary. Molokini Crater formed about 150 thousand years ago. There are about 250 species of endemic fish and marine life including yellow tang, manta rays and whitetip reef sharks, and etc. The water has super visibility up to 150 feet. The sunshine can penetrate into the water and feed the algae. The coral reef is extraordinarily healthy and lively.
Honu is the Hawaiian word for turtle. Turtle Town is at Maluaka Beach about 20 minutes south of Kihei. It’s the best spot to see turtles on the island without crowds. There are high population of Hawaiian green sea turtles. Snorkeling in the calm water makes people feel relaxed. The best area for seeing green turtles is 10-16ft/3-5m. Since it’s a popular snorkeling destination, you should be alert with excursion boats and divers.
General Maui Snorkeling Travel Tips
The coolest month is February with an average temperature of 21.6°C. The hottest month is August with an average temperature of 26.1°C. Because of trade winds, which is a little stronger in the afternoon, it’s suggested to schedule snorkeling or other water activities in the morning.
Tourist Peak Season
The most popular season to go is during the summer and winter holidays. If you want to avoid the high season crowds, you can visit Maui in May and October. The weather is also great.
United States Dollar
There is Maui Bus, a pubic transportation service of the island of Maui. Maui Bus has 13 regular local bus routes and 4 commuter routes.
|1/2||Wailuku Loop||Kahului-Wailuku||630AM-830PM every 60 minutes|
|5/6||Kahului Loop||Kahului||630AM-830PM every 60 minutes|
|10||Kihei Islander||Kahului-Maalaea-Kihei-Wailea||530AM-730PM every 60 minutes|
|15||Kihei Villager||Maalaea-Kihei||605AM-805PM every 60 minutes|
|20||Lahaina Islander||Kahului-Wailuku-Maalaea-Lahaina||530AM-730PM every 60 minutes|
|23||Lahaina Villager||Lahaina||800AM-1000PM every 60 minutes|
|25||Kaʻanapali Islander||Lahaina-Kaʻanapali||230PM-500PM every 60 minutes|
|28||West Maui Islander||Lahaina-Kaʻanapali-Kapalua||530AM-830PM every 60 minutes|
|35||Haiku Islander||Kahului-Paʻia-Haiku||530AM-830PM every 90 minutes|
|39||Kula Villager||Pukalani-Kula-Makawao||700AM-900PM every 90 minutes|
|40||Upcountry Islander||Kahului-Pukalani-Makawao-Haliʻimaile||600AM-900PM every 90 minutes|
|Haiku-Wailea Commuter||1 rush hour round trip|
|Kihei-Kapalua Commuter||1 rush hour round trip|
|Makawao-Kapalua Commuter||1 rush hour round trip|
|Wailuku-Kapalua Commuter||4 rush hour round trips|
Source: Maui Bus, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fare (all routes)
Per person per boarding – $2
A day pass, per person – $4
Monthly pass – $45
Student and senior monthly pass – $30
There are three airports providing air service to Maui.
Hana Airport – regional service to eastern Maui.
Kahului Airport in central Maui is an international airport and the island’s busiest.
Kapalua Airport – regional service to western Maui.
There are two other airports on Maui’s adjacent islands:
Lanai Airport – regional service to Lanai
Molokai Airport – regional service to Molokai