Maui has some of the best snorkeling in the world. This Hawaiian island, known for its crystal clear blue water and pristine beaches, makes it the perfect spot to see some of the best fish, marine life and coral while snorkeling. After numerous trips to Maui and snorkeling all over the island, here is our guide on the top 3 Maui snorkeling spots.
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#1 Top Maui Snorkeling Spot: Molokini Crater
Molokini Crater is hands-down the best snorkeling spot on Maui. This crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater is an uninhabited islet located 3 miles off the west coast of Maui. The crater shape keeps the waters near it calm and great for snorkeling/visibility. There are over 250 diverse marine species here, including many different colorful fish and over thirty types of coral. Further, the water in the crater is very clear and you often afforded 150 feet of visibility. We saw so many variable bright and colorful fish as well as tons of different pretty coral during our time. We snorkeled here longer than at any other spot because the fish, coral and viability was astounding.
To get to Molokini Crater, you need to take a boat. We highly recommend taking the Four Winds Maui Morning Snorkel to Molokini Crater tour. We recommend the morning tour over the afternoon tour as the waters are the best for snorkeling in this area before the afternoon trade winds come in. On this boat tour, on our way to/from Molokini Crater, we also got to see about 5 different whales (outside of whale season) and this was an added bonus to this trip.
Looking for great yet affordable snorkel gear? This is the snorkeling gear we used snorkeling on our own in Hawaii.
#2 Top Maui Snorkeling Spot: Makena Landing
Makena Landing Beach Park is another great snorkeling spot on the southern coast of Maui near Wailea. The water is clear and relatively calm here in the small protected bay area making for awesome snorkeling through the coral not far off the shore. Also, you will likely not only see fish here but there is a high likelihood you will see sea turtles while snorkeling at Makena Landing Park. If not snorkeling, you will likely see them on a rocky beach in a roped off area just north of the main sandy beach. We also were lucky enough to see an octopus snorkeling here. Snorkel in the morning to avoid washing machine waters that can develop in the afternoon.
Pro-tip to prevent goggle fogging: Smear a very light coat of baby shampoo on the inside of the goggles and do not put them in the water after that (put goggles directly on your face) to prevent fogging. Inexpensive and works like a charm!
#3 Top Maui Snorkeling Spot: Mile Marker 14
Mile Marker 14, aka Olowalu beach, is a bit of a local hidden snorkeling gem. It is not far from the popular Kaanapali beach area, yet most people do not know to stop here for great snorkeling. The waters off shore here are shallow, relatively calm and clear which make it a great spot for beginners to start to snorkel. Here, we saw a lot of different pretty fish, colorful coral and even a sea turtle. Snorkel here in the morning for the best experience as waters can get more choppy in the afternoon and the area becomes more busy.
We hope this guide helps you plan where to go snorkeling on your trip to Maui. Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions. Please leave us a comment!
For more tips on Hawaii travel, see other Hawaii guides including:
- Top 5 Hikes on Maui
- Maui with a Baby or Toddler
- Visiting Maui, Hawaii on a Budget
- 5 Stops on the Road to Hana
- Haleakala National Park Quick Guide
- Visiting Big Island, Hawaii on a Budget
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quick Guide
- Oahu, Hawaii Quick Guide
- Kauai, Hawaii Quick Guide
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