Best Maui Snorkeling: Top 16 Spots

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best Maui snorkeling! Whether you're a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, we'll help you find the perfect spots to explore the underwater wonders of Maui.

Exploring Maui's Best Snorkeling Spots

Maui has some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii, from the famous Molokini Crater to the hidden gems like Honolua Bay and Napili Bay, each spot on our list promises a unique and unforgettable snorkeling adventure.

Best Maui snorkeling spots map locations
Dive into Maui's underwater wonders with our ultimate Maui snorkel map, featuring 16 of the best spots to explore. Get ready for an adventure like no other!

Whether you prefer snorkeling from sandy beaches in calm waters or thrilling currents teeming with vibrant fish action, this guide will help you navigate Maui's underwater paradise and create memories that will last a lifetime. So grab your snorkel gear, and prepare to be mesmerized by the beauty beneath the waves.

Just a friendly heads-up before you visit these spots in Maui. Coral reef conservation is a big deal here! So, when you go snorkeling, please be mindful of your fins to avoid harming the corals. And when observing marine wildlife, give them some space to keep their natural behavior intact.

Oh, and here's a helpful tip! Maui now only allows mineral-based reef-safe sunscreens to protect the coral reefs. So make sure to pack the right sunscreen for your adventure. Let's all do our part to keep these delicate ecosystems thriving!

1. Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater is truly a breathtaking sight. This crescent-shaped volcanic crater is one of the seven volcanoes that formed Maui and the surrounding islands. It has been a beloved snorkeling destination for many years.

Molokini Crater best snorkeling location map
The unique shape of Molokini Crater provides excellent protection from currents and winds, making it an ideal spot for snorkelers. The best snorkeling spots within the crater range from 20 to 50 feet deep.

For the best experience, we recommend choosing a morning snorkel trip to Molokini. The winds tend to pick up in the afternoon, which can make it challenging to reach the crater. The early morning hours offer calm waters and optimal conditions for snorkeling.

Marine Life: The waters inside the Molokini Crater are renowned for their pristine clarity, benefiting from protection against the ocean's influence. However, it is important to note that when compared to other reefs in Maui, Molokini may exhibit a slightly lower diversity of marine life species.

While the outer side of the crater may not boast the same exceptional visibility as the inner side, it compensates with a greater abundance of marine life. Snorkeling outside the crater is only recommended on the calmest days, when the ocean conditions are favorable.

Getting There: Visitors typically take guided boat tours or charters from nearby harbors or resorts to reach Molokini Crater. These tours usually include transportation to and from the crater, snorkeling equipment, and experienced guides.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Boat
Snorkeling Ability Beginner-intermediate

2. Honolua Bay

Snorkeling at Honolua Bay is a fantastic experience. As one of Maui's rare sheltered bays, it provides a serene and picturesque setting for underwater exploration. Embark on a scenic hike through lush forests before immersing yourself in the diverse marine life that thrives in these protected waters, designated as the Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.

Honolua Bay best snorkeling location map
While the reef closer to the shore may have some areas in poor condition, the key to optimal snorkeling lies on the right (north) side of the bay, where you'll discover much better conditions.

Snorkeling entry at Honolua Bay in Maui is typically accessed from the rocky shoreline on the left side of the bay (facing the ocean) and is known for having a deepwater start. You'll need to swim out a short distance from the rocky shoreline to reach the prime snorkeling areas. It's important to be comfortable in the water and having neoprene socks or snorkel booties would help greatly.

Marine Life: Honolua bay is a haven for vibrant tropical fish species. Keep an eye out for the mesmerizing schools of colorful butterflyfish, surgeonfish, tangs, and wrasses as they gracefully navigate through the coral formations.

Parking: There is a small parking lot located near the entrance to Honolua Bay. However, it's important to note that Honolua Bay is also a popular surfing spot, so parking can be particularly challenging during days with good surf conditions.

Along the shoulder of Honoapiilani Highway (Highway 30), which runs adjacent to Honolua Bay, you may find some roadside parking spots. Be sure to park in designated areas and avoid obstructing traffic or blocking any driveways.

Location North West Maui - View map
Entrance Rocky beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

3. Ka'anapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is located on the western coast of Maui. It is situated in the Kaanapali resort area and boasts over three miles of soft golden-white sands, making it one of the longest beaches in Maui.

Ka'anapali Beach best snorkeling location map
Beginner snorkelers should beware that strong currents can occur at the north end around Black Rock (flag location above), especially if you leave the protection of Ka'anapali's cove.

The best snorkeling here can be found at Black Rock, a rocky outcrop at the far North end of Ka’anapali Beach. The water around Black Rock starts at about 8 feet deep and gradually gets to about 25 feet or more as you head North around the point. The visibility is good even in the deeper parts around the point.

Marine Life: Ka'anapali Beach is frequented by Hawaiian green sea turtles. Occasionally, manta rays and spotted eagle rays can be spotted gliding through the waters of Ka'anapali Beach. Their graceful movements and impressive size make for an unforgettable sighting.

Keep an eye out for the huge variety of colorful reef fish as you snorkel around Black Rock. You may encounter butterfly fish, parrot fish, damsel fish, surgeon fish, moorish idol, tang, wrasse, box fish, cardinal fish, perch, chub, trigger fish, porcupine fish, and many more.

Parking: There are public parking lots available near Ka'anapali Beach. The Whalers Village Parking Lot and the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel Parking Lot are two common options. Please note that parking fees may apply, and availability can vary depending on the time of day and season.

In the Whalers Village area, there are paid parking garages available for visitors. These garages offer convenient parking options, especially if you plan to explore the shops and restaurants in the Whalers Village complex.

Location North West Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

4. Napili Bay

Napili Bay features an expansive and shallow reef, extending approximately 150 feet from the beach. The depth of the reef ranges from 5 to 20 feet, offering an excellent snorkeling experience. Although it requires some swimming to reach the prime snorkeling areas, the effort is truly rewarding.

Napili Bay best snorkeling location map
The primary entry point for snorkeling in Napili Bay is located towards the southern end of the bay, near the rocky outcropping on the left side of the beach (when facing the ocean).<

Marine Life: The coral reefs in Napili Bay are teeming with vibrant tropical fish species. Look for colorful butterflyfish, angelfish, parrotfish, surgeonfish, and tangs swimming among the coral formations.

Look closely at the rocky areas and coral crevices to spot a variety of invertebrates. This can include beautiful sea stars, sea urchins, crabs, and shrimps.

Parking: Parking at Napili Bay in Maui can be limited due to its popularity. There are a couple of public parking lots near Napili Bay, such as the Napili Plaza Parking Lot and the Napili Village Parking Lot. These lots are located within walking distance of the beach and provide convenient parking options.

Along Lower Honoapiilani Road and the surrounding streets, you may find street parking spaces available. However, be sure to follow any parking regulations, such as parking in designated areas and avoiding blocking driveways or fire hydrants.

Location North West Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

5. Mala Wharf

Mala Wharf, also known as Mala Pier, was once a bustling wharf and now offers one of the best Maui snorkeling sites. Adjacent to a shallow beach, the collapsed wharf has transformed into a thriving reef with abundant marine life.

Mala Wharf best snorkeling location map
If entering from the beach, it is recommended to do so during high tide to avoid damaging the reef or encountering hazardous debris that may be present. Exercise caution and prioritize the safety of both yourself and the marine ecosystem.

For the best spot at Mala Wharf, venture out to the furthest wharf support post. You can scramble over the rocks near the wharf to reach deeper waters more quickly, as the beach area remains shallow for a considerable distance.

Marine Life: The marine life at Mala Wharf is truly impressive, with an abundance of fascinating species to discover. Snorkelers can encounter numerous turtles, moorish idols, rock fish, frog fish, various types of rays, and occasional sightings of white tip and gray reef sharks.

Night snorkeling at Mala Wharf presents a whole new experience, as different species become more active under the cover of darkness. The illumination from the pier enhances the underwater scenery, making it a must to bring your underwater camera and capture the magical moments.

Parking: Near Mala Wharf, there is a small parking area accessible from Mala Road. You'll find free parking spaces on both the left and right sides, along with a restroom facility on the left. If the parking lot is full, you can also explore street parking options along Front Street or nearby side streets, but make sure to adhere to any parking restrictions or time limits in place.

Location North West Maui - View map
Entrance Rocky beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner-Intermediate

6. Olowalu Reef

Olowalu Reef holds the title of being the Mother Reef of Maui, known for its expansive size and pristine condition. The reef remains relatively untouched due to its distance from the shore, resulting in a limited number of divers and snorkelers.

Olowalu Reef best snorkeling location map
The better parts of Olowalu Reef are further out from shore and easier accessed by boat or kayak.

The waters near the shoreline of Olowalu Reef may sometimes be mucky or disturbed by surf, but they are shallow and protected, perfect for young children. However, as you venture further towards the reef, the conditions improve with better visibility and continued shallow depths.

Marine Life: Olowalu Reef boasts large coral heads that have thrived for hundreds of years. These impressive structures serve as a testament to the longevity and resilience of the reef ecosystem.

For decades, Olowalu Reef has been home to a thriving black tip reef shark nursery. Pregnant females are known to return generation after generation to give birth in the calm and protected waters of Olowalu, making it one of the few such nurseries in the entire state of Hawaii.

Parking: Along Honoapiilani Highway (Highway 30) near the Olowalu Beach area, there is no formal parking lot but there may be roadside parking available. Look for areas where parking is permitted and be mindful of any parking restrictions. Park as close as possible to mile marker 14, the snorkel entry point is exactly across from the mile marker sign. No amenities nearby so come prepared.

Location West Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

7. Ahihi-Kinau Marine Preserve

The Ahihi-Kinau Marine Preserve, situated on Maui's southwest corner, holds the distinction of being the first designated Natural Area Reserve in 1973. This stunning location is an absolute must-visit for snorkelers.

Ahihi-Kinau Marine Preserve best snorkeling location map
Entry to Ahihi-Kinau Marine Preserve's reef is relatively easy, and the fish, well aware of their protected status, are friendly and curious.

To access the reef, follow the short quarter-mile trail from the parking lot. Look for the fish logo sign marking the correct entry point to avoid damaging the delicate coral. The beach and path can be rocky, so wear sturdy water shoes or booties until you're ready to don fins. The water deepens quickly, so exercise caution.

Marine Life: Ahihi-Kinau Marine Preserve tops our list of favorite Maui snorkel spots due to its abundant marine life. Prepare for an underwater spectacle as you encounter massive schools of fish swimming in water as shallow as 0-2 feet right near the shore.

Sea turtles are a common sight, and keep your eyes peeled for rare sightings such as Hawaiian monk seals, eagle rays, and other extraordinary marine creatures that occasionally grace the area.

Parking: Parking at Ahihi-Kinau Marine Preserve can be limited, as it is a protected natural area with limited facilities.

Ahihi-Kinau Marine Preserve has a small parking lot available for visitors. However, the number of spaces is limited, and it can fill up quickly, especially during peak times. Along Makena Road (Highway 31), you may find some roadside parking spots near the reserve.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Rocky beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner-intermediate

8. Ahihi Cove (Ahihi Bay)

Ahihi Cove, also referred to as Ahihi Bay, is a prime snorkeling spot located north of the parking lot at Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. With depths ranging from three to ten feet, it provides an accessible option for snorkelers of all levels, offering an abundance of fish to observe near the shore.

Ahihi Cove best snorkeling location map
Due to its cove shape, Ahihi Cove offers remarkable wind protection, resulting in calm waters with minimal waves. This makes it an ideal snorkeling spot for all skill levels. Advanced snorkelers can venture further out to explore the outer reefs of the bay.

Marine Life: Ahihi Cove is a marine life preserve, so fish, shells and coral are protected. Prepare to be amazed by the sheer numbers and diverse array of fish at Black Sand Beach. Look out for bullethead parrotfish, convict tang, yellow tang, ringtail surgeonfish, and an abundance of other species of reef fish.

While exploring, you'll also encounter large trumpet shells gracefully foraging through the sandy bottom, and eels gracefully moving amidst their surroundings. Additionally, keep a lookout for occasional appearances by majestic eagle rays gliding above and playful spinner dolphins frolicking nearby.

Parking: Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve has a small parking lot available for visit. Along Makena Road (Highway 31), there may be some roadside parking spots near Ahihi Cove and Bay.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Rocky beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner - Intermediate

9. Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay, known as one of the premier snorkeling spots in West Maui, offers calm and protected waters, providing a tranquil environment for snorkeling right off the beach. The bay's crescent shape helps to shield it from strong currents and waves, creating ideal conditions for snorkelers.

Kapalua Bay best snorkeling location map
Kapalua Bay is not only a beautiful beach but also offers excellent snorkeling right from the shore.

For the best snorkeling spot, stick close to the rocks on the northern side of the bay and venture past the shallow coral areas. As you make your way towards the center of the bay, where the water gets deeper, keep an eye out for honu, green and olive sea turtles have been seen resting on the sandy bottom in this area.

Marine Life: Prepare for encounters with an abundance of colorful reef fish, as well as graceful sea turtles, fascinating octopuses, elusive eels and majestic eagle rays.

While less common and harder to spot, snorkelers at Kapalua Bay occasionally see sightings of the rare spiny seahorse.

Parking: Kapalua Bay has its own parking lot located near the beach, it's just past Napili Kai Beach Resort, look for the “Kapalua Bay Beach Parking” sign. This dedicated parking area is the most convenient option for accessing the bay and includes showers and restrooms.

Alternatively, if the parking lot is full, street parking is available on Lower Honoapi’ilani Rd. You can also park in the lot located off Bay Club Pl, near the Kapalua Coastal Trail, for a fee of $10.50. The parking pass obtained is valid until 3pm.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

10. Black Sand Beach (Wai'anapanapa State Park)

Black Sand Beach, nestled within the enchanting Waiʻānapanapa State Park, offers a remote and untamed beauty. Please note that an advanced reservation is now required to access this area. Time slots of three hours are available, and reservations are in high demand, so it's recommended to arrive early to secure your spot or prebook in advance.

Black Sand Beach best snorkeling location map
Black Sand Beach may look intimidating, but is undoubtedly rewarding. Snorkeling here is only advisable on calm days, primarily during the summer months.

The black sand at this stunning beach consists more of small rocks or pebbles rather than sand. It's recommended to wear water shoes or rubber flip flops as the beach can be challenging to walk on otherwise.

Marine Life: While Black Sand Beach may not have an abundance of coral, the presence of black rocks on the ocean floor creates a distinct and memorable snorkeling experience. Close to the shore, you can encounter Hawaiian green turtles, zebra and whitemouth moray eels, vibrant squirrelfish, elegant pipefish, and even the occasional sighting of a white tip reef shark.

Parking: Wai'anapanapa State Park has a designated parking lot available for visitors. The parking lot is located near the beach and provides convenient access to Black Sand Beach.

There is a parking fee of $10 which is typically paid upon entry or at a designated pay station within Wai'anapanapa State Park. An entrance fee of $5 per person is also required to enter the park.

Location East Maui - View map
Entrance Rocky beach
Snorkeling Ability Intermediate - Advanced

11. Slaughterhouse Beach (Mokule'ia Beach)

Slaughterhouse Beach, also known as Mokule'ia Beach, is a picturesque bay framed by dramatic cliffs. It is part of the Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District. The name originates from the Honolua Ranch slaughterhouse and tanning/storage shed that once stood on the cliff's edge.

Slaughterhouse Beach best snorkeling location map
Unlike its rocky neighbor, Slaughterhouse Beach boasts a sandy beach for relaxation, and during the calm summer months, around the north point and into Honolua Bay offers fantastic snorkeling.

Marine Life: The area around Slaughterhouse Beach is teeming with abundant schools of bait fish, impressive unicorn fish, and giant sea turtles like the leatherback and hawksbill, especially on the deeper north end leading to Honolua Bay. Fish species in this region tend to be larger than average.

Explore the underwater wonders of underwater drop-offs, coral-lava channels, cannons, and intriguing ledges as you snorkel in this captivating area. In the shallows you'll find many invertebrates like colorful starfish, sea urchins, crabs, and shrimp.

Parking: Parking can be limited as this beach does not have a designated parking lot. Along the Honoapiilani Highway (Highway 30) near Slaughterhouse Beach, there may be roadside parking available. There are a few parking lots located near Honolua Bay, which is adjacent to Slaughterhouse Beach.

Please note that this beach is not accessible for individuals with mobility challenges as it can only be accessed via a tall stairway. Additionally, there are no restroom facilities available at this beach.

Location North West Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

12. Coral Gardens (Olowalu)

Nestled south of Olowalu, with the stunning backdrop of the West Maui Mountains, Coral Gardens is a haven for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and a diverse array of fish species. The surrounding cliff lines provide natural protection, shielding the cove from windy conditions and rough seas.

Coral Gardens (Olowalu) best snorkeling location map
Situated near the coastline, Coral Gardens runs along the underwater reef from the southern end of Papalaua Beach towards the majestic cliffs.

Marine Life: Coral Gardens offers an idyllic setting teeming with vibrant Hawaiian marine life. The snorkeling experience is enhanced by the gentle slope of the ocean floor, transitioning from shallow to medium depths. The seabed itself is a mesmerizing tapestry of colors, gracefully adorning the underwater landscape.

Prepare to be awe-struck by a dazzling array of tropical fish, including triggerfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and butterflyfish. As you explore the underwater realm, you may also encounter green sea turtles, crabs, octopuses, eels, and Hawaiian monk seals (endangered species).

Parking: To reach Coral Gardens, the best option is to access it by boat, which can be arranged through various snorkel tour operators in Maui.

For the adventurous souls, it is possible to hike to Coral Gardens. Begin by parking at the Lahaina Pali Trail parking lot. Cross the highway with caution and make your way towards the shoreline. Keep in mind that walking across the rocks towards Coral Gardens may pose a medium to hard difficulty level, but it is definitely achievable with proper caution and determination.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Boat or Rocky
Snorkeling Ability Beginner - Intermediate

13. Palauea Beach (White Rock)

Palauea Beach, commonly referred to as White Rock, is a hidden gem nestled between Makena and Wailea, south of Polo Beach. Set in a residential area, this picturesque beach is adorned with lava rock formations that attract a vibrant array of fish. Despite its beauty, Palauea Beach remains more frequented by locals than tourists.

Palauea Beach best snorkeling location map
Spanning just 300 yards in length, the beach offers a gentle slope, making it easily accessible for snorkelers. For the best snorkeling experience, head to the south end of the beach, where excellent conditions persist all the way to Po’olenalena Beach.

Marine Life: Palauea Beach is renowned for its captivating lava rock formations that foster a vibrant marine ecosystem. These rocks serve as a haven for colorful tropical fish and often attract gatherings of graceful sea turtles.

On the north side of the beach, you'll discover intriguing tide pools teeming with a multitude of fascinating sea star species.

Parking: Palauea Beach, situated along Makena Road in the Makena area of Maui, offers easy accessibility for visitors. The beach is conveniently located near popular resorts and attractions, making it a convenient destination for day trips and leisurely visits.

For parking, a public gravel parking area can be found near Palauea Beach. Look for the designated parking spot on the left-hand side of Makena Road, just around 100 feet from the access road. This parking area provides convenient access to the beach.

It's important to note that Palauea Beach does not have restroom facilities on-site. For restroom access, you can drive a short distance north to Polo Beach.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

14. Maluaka Beach (Turtle Town)

Maluaka Beach, situated along the Wailea-Makena coastline in front of the Makena Beach and Golf Resort, is often hailed as Maui's Turtle Town. It has gained a reputation as one of the top snorkeling destinations for encountering sea turtles.

Maluaka Beach (Turtle Town) best snorkeling location map
For the best snorkeling experience at Maluaka Beach, head to the left side of the beach as you face the ocean (the south side of the beach). Begin your snorkeling adventure here and venture out approximately 200-500 feet towards the south, following the expanse of the healthier section of Maluaka's reef to maximize your chances of finding sea turtles.

Marine Life: As its name suggests, this is the perfect spot for sea turtle lovers, and well known for its frequent sightings of green turtles. These magnificent creatures can be observed swimming or resting on the ocean floor.

While turtles steal the show, it's not uncommon to spot other marine creatures like rays, octopus, reef sharks, and even dolphins passing through the area.

Parking: To reach Maluaka Beach, follow Wailea Alanui Drive from Wailea and continue onto Makena Alanui Drive. Take a right turn onto Honoiki Street and follow it until you reach the end, where you'll make a left turn onto Makena Road.

Access to Maluaka Beach is also possible from the north Makena Road, although there is more parking available at the south entrance, which is also closer to Turtle Town.

Restrooms and showers are located at the parking lot across the street from the Keawala'i Church.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

15. Ulua Beach

Ulua Beach, situated on Maui's south shore, is a snorkeler's paradise. With its distinctive lava fingers, this beach boasts a unique and diverse marine ecosystem. Stretching for half a mile, its pristine white sand offers a picturesque setting with stunning views of Kaho’olawe island and the majestic west Maui mountains.

Ulua Beach best snorkeling location map
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, Ulua Beach caters to all skill levels, as rescue-certified scuba divers are often present in the water, ensuring added safety.

Marine Life: For the ultimate snorkeling experience at Ulua Beach, head to the right-hand side of the beach, facing the ocean (north side), where Ulua and Mokapu beaches converge. This area boasts lava fingers that protrude from the water, creating an exceptional reef system teeming with coral and diverse marine life. The most vibrant and untouched corals can be found in depths ranging from 10 to 25 feet.

You're likely to encounter a variety of nudibranch species, frogfish, parrotfish, conger eels, triton's trumpet shells, milkfish, and if you're fortunate, sightings of Kellog's scorpionfish, trevally, and whitetip reef sharks.

Parking: Ulua Beach, situated adjacent to the Andaz Resort in Wailea, offers a convenient and accessible location for visitors.

Ample parking options are available, with two areas to park. The main parking lot, located on the right-hand side of the beach, provides easy access for beachgoers. Additionally, there is a smaller row of parking spaces closer to the beach, which is beneficial for individuals with health conditions, offering a shorter distance to the shoreline.

Restrooms and showers are conveniently located near the beach access, ensuring convenient facilities for visitors. If you have snorkel gear, there is a paved roadway encircling the restrooms, allowing for convenient unloading of equipment from your vehicle.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Beginner

16. Pu'u Olai Beach (Little Beach)

Pu'u Olai Beach, also known as Little Beach, is a haven for fish lovers. Although the hike to reach Little Beach can be a bit strenuous, the effort is absolutely worth it! However, it's important to note that due to the open-water conditions in this area, snorkeling should only be attempted by confident and experienced snorkelers.

Pu'u Olai Beach (Little Beach) best snorkeling location map
For snorkel entry, aim between the rocky path that divides little beach (north) and big beach (south). The fish life here is truly impressive, hence why this ranks as one of our best Maui snorkeling spots.

Marine Life: Ulua Beach is a popular spot for spearfishing due to the open currents that attract Ulua, Ono, and occasional Tuna. The diverse marine life found here includes unique species rarely encountered elsewhere in Maui.

Snorkelers can expect sightings of zebra, snowflake and whitemouth moray eels, devil scorpionfish, octopus, spotted eagle rays, various butterflyfish species, and an abundance of honu.

Parking: Parking at Pu'u Olai, also known as Little Beach, is usually abundant, allowing visitors to arrive at any time. The recommended parking area is at the first entrance to Makena State Park, commonly referred to as Big Beach. Please note that as of January 2020, visitors without a Hawaii State ID are required to pay a $5 fee for all-day parking.

After parking at Big Beach, head north and locate the rocky trail that leads up and over the headland. Although it is a short distance, be prepared for a steep scramble to reach Little Beach on the other side.

Location South Maui - View map
Entrance Sandy beach
Snorkeling Ability Intermediate - Advanced

Essential Gear for Snorkeling in Maui

Good snorkeling gear is essential in Maui due to the island's unique ocean conditions. Maui is known for its strong and sometimes unpredictable currents, especially in certain areas. These currents can create challenging snorkeling conditions, particularly for inexperienced or unprepared snorkelers.

Recommended snorkeling gear for Maui
Discover our top picks for snorkeling gear that will elevate your underwater adventures in Maui.

Having high-quality snorkeling gear, such as a well-fitting mask, reliable snorkel, and efficient fins, can greatly enhance your safety and comfort in the water. A properly fitted mask with a tight seal will prevent water from entering and impairing your vision. A good snorkel with features like a dry top or purge valve will ensure easy breathing and help prevent water from entering the tube.

Fins are essential for maneuvering through the water and can provide extra propulsion, making it easier to navigate against currents. With the right gear, you'll have better control and stability, reducing the risk of getting caught in a strong current or being swept away.

Check out our full snorkel gear checklist for highly rated equipment.

The Best Time to Snorkel Maui

The best time for snorkeling in Maui is generally during the summer months, from May to September. During this time, the ocean conditions are typically calmer, with clearer visibility and warmer water temperatures. The weather is also more favorable, with lower chances of rain and storms.

Snorkeling in the morning, preferably between sunrise and noon, is generally the best time. During this time, the water conditions are often calmer, with less wind and waves. It also allows you to beat the crowds and find easier parking at popular snorkeling spots.

The winds in Maui tend to pick up in the afternoon, typically between 1 pm and 3 pm. These stronger winds can create choppier water conditions, reducing visibility and making snorkeling more challenging. It's best to finish your snorkeling adventures before the winds become too strong.

Before embarking on your snorkeling adventure, it is recommended to check the current weather condition forecasts for Maui.

Want more great snorkeling in Hawaii?

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