Beautiful coral reefs, lots of colorful fish, and sea turtles: in this article, you’ll read all about the best Maui snorkeling spots & tours.
Best Maui Snorkeling Spots
In many places, you can walk straight from the beach into the sea to go snorkeling. Before you know it, you’re swimming in the clear waters over beautiful coral reefs and seeing brightly colored fish. These are the best Maui snorkeling spots.
It has a bit of a weird name, but this beach in northwest Maui is one of the best snorkeling spots in Maui. You have to go down some hefty steps to get there, but then you’re on a beautiful quiet sandy beach overlooking the nearby island of Moloka’i.
Both to the left and right of the beach is a reef, but also in the middle are plenty of rocks where you can see tropical fish. You might even see some Hawaiian green sea turtles swimming around. An amazing sight!
Right next to Slaughterhouse Beach, there’s another great spot for snorkeling called Honolua Bay. There’s a tiny parking lot. After you’ve parked your car, you can reach the beach by walking down a short forest trail.
It’s a secluded bay with a coral reef that is home to beautiful tropical fish. If you’re (really) lucky, you might even see a manta ray or octopus!
DT Fleming Park
A little to the west of Slaugterhause Beach you can find the DT Fleming Park in Kapalua Bay. This is a beach park and it has plenty of parking spaces, outdoor showers, picnic tables, and restrooms.
There is also a grassy area where you can lie down if you are not so keen on lying in the sand. Although it is a larger beach, it is still not very crowded. On the right side of the beach, you will find some rocks where you can snorkel well.
Within walking distance of the beach is a little restaurant called Burger Shack, where you can eat hamburgers on the large terrace and drink very tasty milkshakes.
This place is located in the town of Kapalua and it is one of the most popular beaches on Maui. Don’t expect to see lots of coral or turtles, but there is definitely a lot of colorful fish.
Black Rock Beach
Black Rock Beach is located in the resort town of Kaanapali on the western side of the island. This is one of the most popular spots to go snorkeling. It’s really easy to find the best snorkel locations, it’s right next to the rocks.
Are you snorkeling for the first time and would you like to ease into it? There’s a place called “Coral Gardens” near Olowalu Beach Park. It has shallow waters and it’s easy to hop in here. You’ll see many fish species and an incredible coral reef.
‘Ulua Beach is located in Wailea, a town filled with large resort hotels. It’s for a reason that this area is so popular since it has many beautiful sandy beaches that are surrounded by palm trees. ‘Ulua Beach is definitely one of the most beautiful Maui beaches and it is also a fantastic place for snorkeling.
On the coast between Kihei and Wailea-Makena are all the major resorts. Not a bad place to stay, you have spectacular sunsets here every night, the beaches are beautiful and it’s bursting with great places to snorkel. One such place is Maluaka Beach.
You walk into the sea and before you know it you are at a large reef with lots of beautiful coral and even more fish. Like swimming in an aquarium, beautiful! It is a bit busier than at the other beaches, but there are plenty of parking spaces across from the cute little church.
Five Caves/Five Graves
In the area of Maluaka Beach, you’ll find many awesome snorkeling spots, and Five Caves (also known as Five Graves because of a small cemetery) is a great spot for more experienced swimmers.
This place does not have a beach, but you can get into the water near a tiny cove. You have to swim for a bit to find the best spots, but you’ll definitely be rewarded with lots of tropical fish, turtles, and maybe even a (small) shark.
Turtle Town is a famous snorkeling and diving location, just off the coast from Makena Landing and very close to the Five Caves. If you want to be sure to see some of the famous Hawaiian green sea turtles, this is the best place to go.
Near Maluaka Beach, I struck up a conversation with a local, who pointed out Chang’s Beach to me. It is not visible from the road because there is a large apartment complex in front of it. Search Google Maps for Chang’s Beach Parking Lot, which is a parking lot with only eight parking spaces. Here is a gate that gives you access to the public beach behind the apartments.
And it is picture-perfect! A lovely sandy beach and lots of palm trees. Also, along the black rocks on the left, you have a beautiful coral reef, a wonderful place to go snorkeling.
Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve
In the south of Maui, you can visit Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve and this is one of the best snorkeling places on Maui. It’s covered in volcanic rock (be careful, there are many sharp rocks!) and if you walk from the parking lot to the ocean, you can just hop in the water to start your adventure. Expect to see beautiful coral reefs, turtles, and tropical fish.
Ok, this snorkeling spot is definitely harder to reach than the others since the Molokini Crater is located in the middle of the ocean between the town of Wailea-Makena and Kaho’olawe Island. But I just have to include this place in this list because it’s certainly one of the top spots for snorkeling in Maui.
It is kind of unique since it’s one of the few volcano islets on the planet and it’s surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. You will see a lot of marine life here for sure! You can only go to the Molokini Crater by boat, so it might be smart to book a tour to visit this incredible spot. You’ll read all about the best snorkeling tours later in this article.
Hana Bay Beach Park
On the east side of Maui is Hana. It is quite quiet here, as the road to Hana (which is a sight in itself) is full of sharp turns, so it takes a while to get there. There are many beautiful beaches here (including Hāmoa Beach), but if you want to snorkel, Hāna Bay Beach Park in the village itself is a good place.
There is a pier on the right side, and below it is a beautiful coral reef. It’s a little deeper, so you’ll see some bigger fish as well.
Honokalani Beach, Waianapanapa State Park
Near Hana is Waianapanapa State Park with a beach of black sand: Honokalani Beach. You won’t really find a coral reef here, but because it’s in a small bay, there are lots of sea turtles. So chances are you will see them here when you go snorkeling.
Best Maui Snorkeling Spots Map
This is an image. Click here to open the map. Then you can zoom in on the snorkeling spots.
Best Maui Snorkeling Tours
Some of the best Maui snorkel sites are hard to get to by yourself. In that case, it might be smart to book a Maui snorkel tour and explore the waters with an experienced tour guide. With these boat tours, you usually travel further off the coast, and you might even see bottlenose dolphins!
These are some of the best Maui snorkeling tours.
West Maui Half-Day Snorkel from Ka’anapali Beach
This snorkeling tour focuses on the Western part of Maui. The excursion starts at Ka’anapali Beach. Depending on the water and the weather conditions, you’ll stop at Mala Wharf, Oluwalu, Cliff House, or Honolua Bay for snorkeling.
- Duration: 4 hours
- From $154
- Including the use of snorkeling equipment, breakfast, lunch, and (nonalcoholic) beverages.
Book the West Maui Half-Day Snorkel trip on Viator.
Maui Snorkeling Molokini Crater Uncrowded, Unhurried
If you don’t like to do tours with large groups, this amazing snorkeling tour is definitely worth checking out. You’ll depart on a spacious 50-foot yacht from Maalaea Boat Harbor and travel to the extraordinary Molokini Crater. Within the crater, you’ll visit multiple snorkeling spots. An unforgettable experience
- Duration: 5 hours
- From: $173
- Including the use of snorkeling equipment, lunch, and drinks (open bar with beer and cocktails).
Book Maui Snorkeling Molokini Crater Uncrowded on Viator.
Maui Whale Watching & Snorkeling Tour from Ma’alaea Harbor
With this tour, you get two amazing experiences: you go snorkeling and you also go looking for Humpback whales!
- Duration: 4 hours
- From $130
- Including the use of snorkeling equipment, bottled water, BBQ lunch, and (alcoholic) beverages.
Book your Maui Whale Watching & Snorkeling Tour on Viator.
Eco-Raft Maui Snorkeling Tour & Dolphins, Lahaina to Lanai
With this eco-friendly tour, you’ll explore the waters between the town of Lahaina and the island of Lanai. You’ll visit multiple beautiful snorkel spots, and if you’re lucky you’ll also see some dolphins.
- Duration: 4 hours
- From $148
- Including the use of snorkeling equipment, flotation devices, breakfast, snacks, and (nonalcoholic) drinks.
Book your Eco-Raft Maui Snorkeling Tour on Viator.
Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour from Makena Beach
Don’t mind doing a little workout during your snorkel tour? With this tour, you explore the (hopefully) calm waters of Hawaii in a Kayak. You’ll visit multiple beautiful coral reefs along Makena’s coastline and will definitely see some tropical fish and turtles.
- Duration: 3.5 hours
- From $120
- Including quality kayaks, experienced guides, use of snorkeling equipment, and light refreshments.
Book the Maui South Shore Premier Kayak and Snorkel Tour on Viator.
Snorkeling Tour for Non-Swimmers in Kihei
Are you nervous about your skill level when it comes to snorkeling and do you want to learn snorkeling from the best guides? Make sure to book this trip!
This Snorkeling Tour is for beginners. There’s an experienced guide that will tell you how to use the snorkeling gear and you get to practice in shallow water using floating devices. This is the best way to enjoy the clear blue waters and create amazing memories.
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- From $145
- Including snorkeling gear, floating devices, a life jacket, and a wetsuit top.
Book this Snorkeling Tour for Non-Swimmers on Get Your Guide.
Molokini Crater and South Maui Coast Adventure from Kihei
Looking for a fun snorkeling adventure? With this small group tour, you’ll go snorkeling at the famous Molokini Crater where the water is extremely clear. In addition, you’ll also make a stop in La Perouse Bay where you’ll be snorkeling between the beautiful Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles in “Turtle Town”.
- Duration: 5 hours
- From $208
- Including the use of snorkeling equipment, breakfast, lunch, and a local guide.
- Please note: this trip starts really early in the morning. This way, you’ll be one of the first to reach the best snorkeling spots.
Book Molokini Crater and South Maui Coast Adventure on Viator.
Guided Sea Scooter Snorkeling Tour
Have you ever heard of sea scooters? These make it really easy for you to move underwater! With this Sea Scooter Snorkeling Tour, you’ll learn how to work with a sea scooter and see the most beautiful fishes while you use them.
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- From $145
- Including the use of a sea scooter, snorkeling gear, and a wetsuit top.
Book your Guided Sea Scooter Snorkeling Tour on Get Your Guide.
Lana’i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip (from Lahaina)
If you want to travel on a luxurious catamaran during your snorkeling tour, this is the one for you! You’ll sail along the coastline of Lana’i, exploring the best snorkeling spots. You’ll definitely have a great time!
- Duration: 4.5 hours
- From $ 193
- Including the use of snorkel gear, reef-safe sunscreen, fresh fruits, beverages, a continental breakfast, and a deli-style lunch.
Book the Lana’i Coast Maui Sail and Snorkel Trip on Get Your Guide.
West Maui: Self-Guided E-Bike, Hike, and Snorkel Excursion!
You don’t necessarily have to hop on a boat to go snorkeling, you can also choose to go on this self-guided bike excursion. With this tour, you get an e-bike and you can explore the beautiful bays on West Maui in your own time. You don’t need to hurry and you can stay in your favorite snorkeling spots as long as you like.
- Duration: 1 to 6 hours
- From $69
- Including directions, an e-bike with a helmet and a bike lock, snorkeling equipment, and a saddle bag.
Book your Self-guided E-Bike and Snorkel Excursion on Viator.
Snorkeling on Maui – a few tips
What do you need to know before you go snorkeling on Maui? A few tips:
- Wear water shoes to protect your feet. The rocks and coral can be very sharp! Also, the sand on the beaches can get very hot from the sun.
- Check the ocean conditions before you go out. If the sea is rough, it’s wiser to go surfing instead of snorkeling.
- Make sure to wear the right sunscreen. Many sunscreens contain a substance that degrades the coral, and that should not be used when you’re snorkeling in Hawaii. The sunscreen they sell in the Hawaiian Islands often has a sticker on it indicating whether it is suitable for the reef or not.
- Head out early morning. The water is calmer then, allowing you to see more. There are also very few parking spaces at some beaches that easily fill up halfway through the morning.
- Snorkeling is a great way to view the underwater world, but whatever you do, don’t touch the fish or the turtles.
- Are you planning to go snorkeling more often? Then get your own snorkel gear.
Book a trip to Maui
Are you excited to go on a Maui snorkeling adventure? These are some useful websites to book your trip to Maui.
✈️Travel to Maui
- The main airport on Maui is called Kahului Airport and it has good connections with the other Hawaiian Islands and some cities in mainland USA and Canada. Check WayAway to find the best deals on tickets.
- Getting a rental car is the easiest way to travel around Maui. This way you can visit all the best beaches. Check Rental Cars and Discover Cars to find the best deals.
🛏️Best places to stay on Maui
There are many hotels and other accommodations in Maui, and most of them are in the luxury segment. If you’re traveling on a budget, make sure to book as early as possible to find a good deal. These are some of the best hotels in Maui:
- The Plantation Inn (3⭐) – Beautiful Inn with an outdoor pool in the heart of Lahaina. Includes a free breakfast.
- Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas (4⭐) – Aparthotel on the beach with tropical gardens and two outdoor pools.
- Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux – Adults Only (5⭐) – One of the most luxurious and best hotels on Maui.
Check Booking.com for more options, availability, and prices.
Before you travel, it’s smart to get travel insurance. This way, you don’t have to worry about unexpected events during your trip. Check Insubuy to find the perfect travel insurance that fits your needs.
🎡Tours & activities
Would you like to read more about Hawaii?
These are all my Maui snorkeling tips! Would you like to read more about Maui and Hawaii? These are a few excellent travel guides:
In addition, you can also read more about a trip to Hawaii on this website. You might like to read these articles as well:
- Visiting Hawaii for the first time: tips & tricks
- Perfect itinerary for Hawaii: exploring Oahu, Maui & Big Island
- How much does a trip to Hawaii cost?
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