Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

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Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

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If you are thinking of snorkeling on your next vacation the island of Maui offers a wide array of breathtaking sights beneath the surface of its clear, warm waters. I know many who rave about their experiences here and others who seek out the next best spot.

Snorkeling on Maui isn’t just a leisure activity—it’s a journey into a diverse and vibrant underwater world. From vibrant coral reefs teeming with life to the chance encounters with rare marine species, each dive introduces you to a new, delightful spectacle.

If this list doesn’t keep you busy enough on your vacation there are dozens of other things to do on Maui but I have a feeling these snorkel spots will be the highlight.

All of Maui has been significantly impacted due to the recent fires. Check directly for up-to-date information and consider donating via a trusted Maui charity.

Honolua Bay

Beautiful view of Honolua Bay waves crashing near the rocks. This is one of the best places to go snorkeling on Maui.

Honolua Bay is a marine life conservation district and one of the best snorkeling spots in Maui. The bay is a protected area, so marine life is abundant. You’ll see colorful coral, tropical fish, and if you’re lucky, sea turtles and dolphins.

Tip: The bay is rocky, so water shoes are recommended. Also, there are no facilities or lifeguards, so come prepared.

Nearby Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua

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If you’re looking to experience Honolua Bay in all of its glory, you need to book with this snorkel tour company.

Slaughterhouse – Mokuleia Bay

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Despite its ominous name, Slaughterhouse is a fantastic snorkeling spot. The bay is home to a variety of marine life, including turtles, eels, and a plethora of fish species.

Tip: The beach can be a bit tricky to access, with a steep trail leading down to the water. It’s worth the effort, though!

Nearby Hotel: Montage Kapalua Bay

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DT Fleming Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

DT Fleming Beach is a popular spot for both snorkeling and surfing. The beach is lifeguarded and has facilities, making it a good choice for families.

Tip: The best snorkeling is on the right side of the beach, near the rocky area.

Nearby Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

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Kapalua Bay

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Kapalua Bay is a crescent-shaped beach with calm waters, making it perfect for beginners. The bay is teeming with marine life, including butterflyfish, parrotfish, and the occasional sea turtle.

Tip: Arrive early as the beach can get crowded, and don’t forget to check out the Kapalua Coastal Trail.

Nearby Hotel: Kapalua Villas Maui

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If you want to experience snorkeling in a new way, consider an underwater sea scooter tour here.

Napili Bay

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Napili Bay is a small, sandy beach known for its clear waters and abundant sea life. It’s a great place to spot sea turtles!

Tip: The bay is not lifeguarded, and the surf can get high in the winter, so always be cautious.

Nearby Hotel: Napili Shores Maui by Outrigger

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Kahekili – Airport Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Kahekili, also known as Airport Beach, is a long, sandy beach with excellent snorkeling conditions. The reef is close to the shore, making it easily accessible.

Tip: There are BBQ grills and picnic tables, so consider bringing a lunch and making a day of it.

Nearby Hotel: Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach

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If you’re a fan of biking and snorkeling, then you need to pick this bike and snorkel tour here.

Kaanapali Beach – Black Rock

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Kaanapali Beach, particularly the area around Black Rock, is a must-visit for snorkelers. The rock serves as a natural barrier, creating calm and clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling. The underwater landscape around Black Rock is vibrant and diverse, with a variety of tropical fish and green sea turtles known to frequent the area.

Tip: The beach can get crowded, especially near Black Rock, so consider arriving early. Also, be aware that the currents can get stronger the further you swim from shore.

Nearby Hotel: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

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Visit iconic snorkel locations and more with this snorkeling tour company.

Canoe Beach – Hanakao’o

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Canoe Beach, also known as Hanakao’o Beach Park, is a popular spot for local outrigger canoe clubs. The beach is long and sandy, and the water is typically calm, making it a great spot for snorkeling. The reef here is home to a variety of marine life, including colorful reef fish and occasionally sea turtles.

Tip: The beach is popular with locals, especially on weekends, so it can get busy. There are facilities and lifeguards on duty.

Nearby Hotel: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

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Enjoy a full day of snorkeling in Maui’s greatest locations with this tour provider.

Wahikuli Wayside Park

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots
Photo Courtesy of Hawaii Life

Wahikuli Wayside Park is a lesser-known spot that offers excellent snorkeling. The park has two sandy beaches separated by a small rocky point, and the water is clear and calm, perfect for spotting the variety of tropical fish that call this area home.

Tip: The park has picnic tables and BBQ grills, making it a great place for a beach day. There are also restrooms and showers available.

Nearby Hotel: Kaanapali Beach Hotel

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Tour West Maui by bike and snorkel with this highly detailed snorkeling tour, book your tickets here.

Baby Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Baby Beach, located in Lahaina, is a family-friendly spot with calm, shallow waters protected by an offshore reef. The beach is perfect for snorkeling beginners and children. While the marine life isn’t as diverse as in other spots, you can still spot a variety of fish and occasionally sea turtles.

Tip: There are no facilities or lifeguards at this beach, so come prepared. Also, the beach can get hot, so bring an umbrella for shade.

Nearby Hotel: The Plantation Inn

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Launiupoko Beach Park

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots
Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Launiupoko Beach Park is a favorite among locals. The park has a large grassy area with picnic tables and BBQ grills, and the beach is protected by a rock wall, creating a calm pool that’s great for snorkeling, especially for beginners and children.

Tip: The park can get busy on weekends, so consider visiting on a weekday. There are restrooms and outdoor showers available.

Nearby Hotel: The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali

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Olowalu

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Olowalu, located on the west side of Maui, is known for its extensive coral reef, often referred to as the “Coral Gardens.” This snorkeling spot is home to a variety of marine life, including green sea turtles, manta rays, and countless tropical fish species. The clear, calm waters make it an excellent choice for snorkelers of all skill levels.

Tip: Olowalu is not a sandy beach, but rather a rocky shoreline, so water shoes are recommended. Also, be mindful of the strong current that can occur outside the reef.

Click Here For Recent Trip Advisor Reviews

Get a brand new view of the ocean floor with this clear kayak and snorkeling tour, book your tickets here.

Charley Young Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Charley Young Beach, located in Kihei, is a beautiful sandy beach that offers excellent snorkeling, especially around the rocky points. The beach is less crowded than some of the larger parks, making it a peaceful spot for snorkeling and sunbathing.

Tip: There are no facilities or lifeguards at this beach, so plan accordingly. Also, parking can be a bit challenging during peak times.

Nearby Hotel: Maui Sunset

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Kamaole Beach I, II and III

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

The Kamaole Beach Parks, often referred to as Kam I, II, and III, are a trio of beautiful sandy beaches in Kihei. All three beaches offer excellent snorkeling, particularly around the rocky areas. The parks are well-maintained, with facilities and lifeguards on duty.

Tip: The beaches can get busy, especially on weekends, so consider arriving early. Also, be aware of the surf conditions, as the waves can get large, particularly at Kam III.

Nearby Hotel: Aston at the Maui Banyan

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Explore every one of the Kamaole Beaches via bike and snorkel at each one with this company.

This map highlights Kamaole Beach I but both II and III can be seen just below on the same coastline, zoom in on the map to see them in detail.

Keawakapu Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Keawakapu Beach, located in Kihei, is a long, sandy beach that’s perfect for a day of snorkeling and relaxation. The water is clear and calm, and the rocky areas at either end of the beach are great for snorkeling. You’ll find a variety of tropical fish and, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a sea turtle.

Tip: The beach is less crowded than some of the larger parks, making it a peaceful spot for snorkeling. There are no lifeguards, so always be cautious.

Nearby Hotel: Days Inn by Wyndham Maui Oceanfront

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Go through Keawakapu Beach and test your luck at seeing spinner dolphins with this tour provider.

Ulua and Mokapu Beaches

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Ulua and Mokapu are two connected beaches located in Wailea. Both beaches offer excellent snorkeling, particularly around the rocky points. The beaches are well-maintained, with facilities and lifeguards on duty.

Tip: The beaches can get busy, especially on weekends, so consider arriving early. Also, be aware of the surf conditions, as the waves can get large.

Nearby Hotel: Andaz Maui At Wailea Resort

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While the map only focuses on Mokapu Beach, Ulua Beach can easily be found since it is connected on the same coastline; zoom in to view both beaches.

Wailea Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Wailea Beach, located in front of the luxurious Wailea Resorts, is a beautiful, sandy beach with clear, calm waters that are perfect for snorkeling. The beach is well-maintained, with facilities and lifeguards on duty.

Tip: The beach can get crowded, especially near the resorts, so consider exploring the northern end of the beach for a quieter experience.

Nearby Hotel: Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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If you’re a beginner and new to snorkeling then this is the best pick for you, the tour guides will help you along every step of the way. Book here.

Polo Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Polo Beach, located in Wailea, is a beautiful sandy beach with clear, calm waters that are perfect for snorkeling. The beach is well-maintained, with facilities and lifeguards on duty. The rocky areas at either end of the beach are great for snorkeling, and you’ll find a variety of tropical fish and possibly even a sea turtle.

Tip: The beach can get crowded, especially near the resorts, so consider arriving early. Also, be aware of the surf conditions, as the waves can get large.

Nearby Hotel: Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

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Explore Polo Beach and other famous locations with this beautiful bike tour of Maui. Book your tickets here.

Po’olenalena Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots
Photo Courtesy of Maui Guidebook

Po’olenalena Beach, also known as Paipu Beach, is a less crowded spot that offers excellent snorkeling, particularly around the rocky points. The beach is sandy, and the water is clear, offering good visibility of the coral and fish.

Tip: There are no facilities or lifeguards at this beach, so plan accordingly. Also, parking can be a bit challenging during peak times.

Nearby Hotel: Makena Surf, A Destination by Hyatt Residence

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Five Caves – Makena

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots
Photo Courtesy of Haole In Maui

Five Caves, also known as Five Graves due to the small graveyard nearby, is a unique snorkeling spot in Makena. The area is named for its underwater caverns that adventurous snorkelers can explore. You’ll find a variety of marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and even white-tip reef sharks.

Tip: This spot is recommended for experienced snorkelers due to the strong currents and waves. Always be cautious and aware of the conditions.

Click Here For Recent Trip Advisor Reviews

Maluaka Beach

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Maluaka Beach, also known as Turtle Town, is a beautiful sandy beach located in Makena. The beach is well-known for its resident Hawaiian green sea turtles, making it a fantastic spot for snorkeling. The coral reef here is healthy and vibrant, attracting a variety of tropical fish.

Tip: The beach has facilities and lifeguards on duty. The best snorkeling is towards the right end of the beach, near the rocks.

Click Here For Recent Trip Advisor Reviews

Big Beach – Makena

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Big Beach, officially known as Oneloa Beach and located in Makena State Park, is one of Maui’s largest beaches. The beach is beautiful, with golden sand and clear blue water. While the beach is more known for its big waves and bodyboarding, the ends of the beach have some decent snorkeling.

Tip: The beach has strong waves and undertows, so it’s not recommended for beginner snorkelers or swimmers. There are lifeguards on duty.

Nearby Hotel: Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux

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Ahihi-Kinau Reserve

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

The Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve is a protected marine life conservation area. The reserve offers some of the best snorkeling on Maui, with an abundance of coral, tropical fish, and other marine life. The clear, calm waters make it an excellent choice for snorkelers of all skill levels.

Tip: As this is a protected area, touching or standing on the coral is strictly prohibited. There are no facilities, and the area can get very hot, so bring plenty of water.

Nearby Hotel: Wailea Ekahi Village, A Destination by Hyatt Residence

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La Perouse Bay

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

La Perouse Bay, located at the end of the road in Makena, is a unique and historical snorkeling spot. The bay is part of the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve and offers excellent snorkeling with a variety of marine life. The area is also known for its lava fields from Maui’s last volcanic eruption.

Tip: The bay is rocky, so water shoes are recommended. Also, the area can get very hot, so bring plenty of water and sun protection.

Nearby Hotel: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

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Explore the beauty and glory of La Perouse Bay with this 5-star company.

Turtle Town

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots
Photo Courtesy of Hawaiian Paddle Sports

Turtle Town is a series of underwater lava formations located between Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach. As the name suggests, the area is known for its large population of Hawaiian green sea turtles. Snorkeling here offers a high chance of spotting these magnificent creatures.

Tip: The area is not marked by any signs, and the best access is by boat. Several snorkeling tours in Maui visit Turtle Town.

Nearby Hotel: Wailea Beach Villas, A Destination by Hyatt Residence

Click Here For Recent Trip Advisor Reviews

Enjoy a snorkeling tour of this beautiful location and enjoy the wildlife, this tour also provides photos. Book your ticket here.

Molokini Crater

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots

Molokini Crater is a volcanic atoll located off the south coast of Maui. The crater is a marine life conservation district and bird sanctuary, making it a unique and exciting snorkeling spot. The clear, calm waters within the crater are home to about 250 species of fish, many endemic to Hawaii.

Tip: The crater is only accessible by boat, and several tour operators in Maui offer snorkeling trips to Molokini. The best time to visit is in the morning when the water is calmest.

Nearby Hotel: Maui Oceanfront Inn

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Embark on the excursion of a lifetime with this 5-star tour of Molokini Crater and other attractions. Get your tickets here.

Coral Gardens

Snorkeling on Maui: The Ultimate Guide To 27 Amazing Spots
Photo Courtesy of Four Winds Maui Snorkeling

Coral Gardens is a beautiful snorkeling spot located near the West Maui Mountains. The area is known for its healthy coral reefs and abundant marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and occasionally spinner dolphins.

Tip: The area is best accessed by boat, and several snorkeling tours in Maui visit Coral Gardens. The currents can be strong, so it’s recommended for experienced snorkelers.

Nearby Hotel: The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali

Click Here For Recent Google Reviews

You need to book this 3-hour long boat and snorkel tour of Coral Gardens in order to get the best experience. Book here.

Let me know if you have snorkeled at any of these locations and what you thought in the comments section below. Maui has some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii and it’s something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime.

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