With hundreds of species of fish, a wide variety of marine animals, and some of the clearest ocean on the planet, Maui snorkeling is a beloved activity of Hawaii locals and tourists alike. Just a short drive from the Old Wailuku Inn, guests can swim alongside rare Hawaiian sea turtles, explore coral reefs, and admire the striking beauty of volcanic lava formations on a snorkel tour with Pride of Maui. Traveling to some of the snorkeling best destinations around the island, this spacious boat offers a variety of tours for both novice snorkelers and experienced divers and guarantees the adventure of a lifetime – so don’t forget to bring an underwater camera! Here are some of our favorite spots to explore.
Where To Go for Awesome Maui Snorkeling
Also known as “Turtle Town”, Maluaka Beach is one of the most sought-after Maui snorkeling beaches and is just 20 miles south of our inn. This stretch of coastline is notorious for its high population of Hawaiian green sea turtles that can be seen in shallow waters as well as deeper areas. The beach’s coral reef also offers an abundance of other sea life like brightly-colored tropical fish, eels, crustaceans, and octopi. As an added bonus, Maluaka is hidden behind the mountains of Haleakala and is protected from Hawaii’s strong trade winds, so you can expect calm water that makes snorkeling easy and relaxing. The best snorkeling conditions are in the morning, so be sure to head out early!
Molokini Crater is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater that features some of the clearest water for snorkeling anywhere in the world. The crater is home to a lush reef that offers spectacular 150-foot visibility and is home to over 250 species of fish, including yellow tang, raccoon butterflyfish, and even small whitetip reef sharks. Because the area is frequently visited by tourists, the marine life at Molokini is less skittish and more comfortable around humans, giving snorkelers the unique opportunity to capture incredible underwater photos. The boats leave in the morning from Ma’alaea Harbor, just 6 miles from our inn, and will bring you back in time for lunch.
Home to a hundreds of tropical fish species including Angel Fish, Parrotfish, Triggerfish, and more, Coral Gardens is one of the best Maui snorkeling spots. This unique natural reef formation is located off the shoreline along the West Maui Mountains and is ideal for beginner snorkelers, as its shallow depth provides crystal-clear views of marine life. Keep your eyes peeled for full-time residents including crabs, eels, octopus, turtles, and even the occasional Hawaiian Monk Seal, and avoid stepping on coral, as it is a fragile living creature.
If snorkeling isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other opportunities to interact with Hawaiian fish. The Maui Ocean Center gives guests the chance to encounter animals that are native only to Hawaii, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. This facility is home to the largest collection of live corals in the nation and houses over 60 exhibits, interpretive displays, outdoor touch pools, and a 750,000 gallon Open Ocean exhibit. A trip to the Hawaiian Aquarium helps visitors understand and appreciate Hawaii’s beautiful marine environment and local culture, without having to get in the water.
Head Back the Old Wailuku Inn
After an incredible day of swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing, come home to our Maui bed and breakfast and rest up in one of one of our beautiful rooms or suites! The next morning, you can enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast that will leave you feeling refreshed, restored, and ready for another afternoon of adventure in Hawaii. We can’t wait to hear about where the tide takes you!
For more information on incredible Maui snorkeling tours, including ocean safety tips, visit our attractions page.
Photo Credit: neicebird | Thinkstock