Maui is a world-renowned snorkeling destination and its reefs are some of the healthiest and most diverse in the world. The warm, crystal clear waters make for perfect conditions for both beginners and experienced snorkelers alike. There is bound to be a great experience waiting for you and luckily we are here to help you find the best Maui vacation rental for you!
While other destinations may have more coral, Maui’s reefs are teeming with vibrant marine life. You’re just as likely to see a Hawaiian green sea turtle or manta ray as you are to see brightly colored fish. And because the reefs are so healthy, the visibility is unbeatable – you can easily see over 100 feet in all directions.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience or activities to do. Maui is the place to go. With its healthy reefs and diverse underwater world, it’s no wonder that Maui is one of the most popular snorkel sites in the world.
The Best Maui Snorkel Spots
There are plenty of great spots to choose from, depending on your experience level and what you hope to see.
Molokini Crater is one of the most popular snorkeling or scuba diving spots. It’s a crescent-shaped volcanic crater that’s about two miles off the coast of Maui. The crater is a Marine Life Conservation District, which means that the marine life is well-protected.
If you’re looking for something more challenging, try snorkeling at Black Rock in Ka’anapali. This spot is known for its dramatic cliffs and strong currents, so it’s not for the faint of heart. But if you’re up for the challenge, Black Rock offers some of the best underwater views in Maui and is close to our vacation rentals in Lahaina.
Closest to our Wailea vacation condo rentals is Turtle Town, one of the best Maui snorkeling spots for turtle sightings. As the name implies, this spot is known for its abundance of turtles or Hawaiian green sea turtles. You’re also likely to see manta rays and a variety of fish.
If you’re hoping to see the lava rocks flow into the ocean, La Perouse Bay is the place to go. This spot is located in South Maui and is known for its dramatic lava cliffs.
Honolua Bay is a Marine Life Conservation District, which means that the marine life here is well-protected. As a result, the reefs are healthy and the fish are abundant. You’re likely to see turtles, rays, and a variety of colorful fish.
Coral Gardens in West Maui is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a place where colorful tropical fish can swim alongside green sea turtles. This beautiful environment, located just south of Olowalu and fronting breathtaking mountains that perfume our air with fresh mountain scent all year, allows sea life to thrive.
Kapalua & Napili Bays
Kapalua & Napili Bays are two of the best snorkeling spots in Maui. If you’re staying in Lahaina, Kihei, or Wailea, you’ll have to drive to get there, but it’s well worth the effort. These two bays are adjacent to each other and both offer an excellent snorkeling experience. The coral reefs here are teeming with fish, and you’re likely to see turtles, too.
The Best Time to Go Snorkeling in Maui
The best time to snorkel is during the summer months, from June to August. The water is warm and the visibility is at its best. However, if you’re not a fan of crowds, avoid the peak tourist season (July and August). The shoulder months (May and September) are a great compromise between weather and crowds.
When Is the Best Time of Day to Snorkel?
The best time of day for snorkeling in Maui is early in the morning before the crowds arrive and the sun gets too hot. The water is calm and the visibility is at its best. If you can’t make it out early, late in the day (around sunset) is also a good time to go.
Is It Better to Snorkel at High or Low Tide?
It is better to snorkel at high tide because the water is deeper and there are more fish to see. However, if you are looking to snorkel at a coral reef, it is better to snorkel at low tide so you can see the coral.
What to Wear & Pack for Your Maui Snorkeling Adventure
Now that you know all the best places to snorkel and when the best time of day is to go, it’s time to start planning what to wear and pack for your adventure.
This should go without saying, but it’s important to wear reef-safe, mineral-based sunscreen during any outdoor activity in Maui, especially while swimming in the ocean. The sun is incredibly strong and the reflection off the water can intensify its effects. Be sure to apply sunscreen before you get in the water and reapply every few hours, even if you’re wearing a wetsuit.
Wear a Wetsuit
Speaking of wetsuits, Maui’s waters are usually pretty warm, but they can get chilly occasionally – especially in the winter months. A wetsuit will not only keep you warm, but it will also protect your skin from the sun.
Bring a Rashguard
A rashguard is a type of shirt that’s made from quick-drying, UV-resistant fabric. It’s a good idea to wear a rashguard when you’re snorkeling in Maui to protect your skin from the sun.
Bring a Reusable Water Bottle
Maui is a beautiful island, and we want to keep it that way. Be sure to bring a reusable water bottle with you so you can stay hydrated without creating plastic waste. Be sure to take it back with you to your vacation rental!
Snorkeling can be pretty tiring, so it’s always a good idea to bring snacks with you. This is especially important if you’re with kids – they tend to get hangry pretty quickly!
Most resorts and hotels have equipment or gear that you can rent for a fee. If you’re staying in Lahaina, Kihei, or Wailea, there are also several rental shops where you can rent snorkel gear.
Maui Snorkeling Tours
The best way to maximize your Hawaii adventure is to go on a Maui snorkeling tour. The tours will take you to the best spots, provide you with all the gear you need, and give you an experience you’ll never forget.
Maui snorkel tour prices vary, but you can expect to pay around $100 or more per person.
Some of the best Maui snorkel tours are:
The Potential Dangers of Snorkeling
Although snorkeling is safe when basic safety guidelines are followed, individuals with prior health concerns like asthma, seizures, heart conditions, or panic attacks should always speak to their doctor beforehand.
- Getting stung by a jellyfish. To avoid getting stung, wear a wetsuit or rash guard.
- Getting sunburned. To protect yourself from the sun, wear mineral-based sunscreen and a hat.
- Getting caught in a rip current. One of the most common dangers when snorkeling is being caught in a rip current. A rip current is a powerful, swift-moving current of water that can drag even the most robust swimmer out to sea.
You can identify rip currents by looking for a channel of smooth surface water where the waves are lower and there appears to be less whitewater. If you find yourself in a rip current, don’t try to swim against it. Swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the current’s pull. Once you are free, swimming back to land should be easy.
Start Your Trip by Booking the Best Place to Stay in Maui
AA Oceanfront offers the best Maui vacation rentals with unbeatable views of the ocean. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay for your next snorkel Maui adventure or just want to relax and take in the beauty of the island, our rental properties are perfect for you!