Best Maui Fish Snorkeling

Best Maui Fish Snorkeling: 2023 Reef Guide

Best Places For Maui Fish Snorkeling: Intro

Maui is a snorkelers’ and scuba divers’ paradise because it has clear blue Hawaiian waters, lots of sea life, and beautiful coral reefs. Maui, one of the Hawaiian Islands, is situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where the shallow water is clear and calm. From rocky to sandy shores, the island’s landscape gives marine life a wide range of places to live and grow. Snorkeling in Maui is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for both novices and seasoned pros.

Stunning snorkeling locations abound on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Maui has everything you could want if you’re a snorkeler: rocky outcroppings, sandy beaches, and every depth in between. In this piece, we’ll go over the top snorkeling places on the island as well as what you can anticipate seeing when diving into Hawaii’s most beautiful island’s underwater environment. Let’s plunge into Maui’s underwater paradise, so grab your snorkeling gear and take a closer look at the best snorkel spots in Maui.

Also see our guide for the best Oahu snorkeling spots here.

Best Snorkeling Spots on Maui

1. Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater Best Maui Fish Snorkeling

Molokini Crater is a great spot about three miles off the southwest coast of Maui. Some of the purest seas in Hawaii may be found in this crescent-shaped volcanic crater, which rises roughly 300 feet above the ocean floor. A boat is the only way to reach this best spot, but it’s worth the trip. The crater is close to the best place to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and is home to more than 250 small fish species, including the colorful Convict Tang. Snorkelers can also enjoy the spectacular coral reefs; during the winter months, they can even see a manta ray or humpback whale.

2. Turtle Town

Turtle Town, which is situated right off Maluaka Beach in South Maui, is a perfect snorkel site for those who enjoy snorkeling. A large number of Hawaiian green sea turtles live in the bay. You can see them swimming gracefully through the clear blue water or eating seagrass. Other marine life, like the Yellow Tang, Moorish Idol, and Raccoon Butterflyfish, can be seen in Turtle Town, which is a perfect area to do so.

Some of the best snorkeling tours stop at both Molokini Crater and Turtle Town.

3. Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay Snorkeling

With its pristine waters, white sand, and breathtaking scenery, Kapalua Bay is one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches and a favorite spot for snorkelers. With its calm waters and lots of sea life, the bay is a popular place to snorkel. Snorkelers who venture out to the rocky outcroppings will come across many different species of tropical fish, such as the Parrot Fish, Black Triggerfish, and Butterfly Fish. Kapalua Bay is also a great place to watch Hawaiian green sea turtles and eagle rays.

4. Black Rock Beach

Black Rock Beach is a well-known beach between Kaanapali and Lahaina on the west side of Maui. It’s named after a large lava field and rocky areas at the beach’s northern end. The beach is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand, and great snorkeling opportunities.

5. Honolua Bay

On Maui’s northwest coast, Honolua Bay is renowned for its magnificent coral gardens and much marine life. Since the bay is a marine reserve, snorkelers must follow a number of rules meant to protect the water environment. The Yellow Tang and Raccoon Butterflyfish and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are among the tropical reef fish that snorkelers can see. Surfers love Honolua Bay because of offers world-class waves.

Honulua Bay nearby excursions:

6. Maluaka Beach

Maluaka Beach Snorkeling

Maluaka Beach, which is on the south coast of Maui, is a beautiful beach with white sand and calm, clear water. The shore is a great place to snorkel because it has so much marine life, like the Moorish Idol and the Convict Tang. Snorkelers can also observe Hawaiian green sea turtles, frequently spotted swimming close to the coast. Maluaka Beach is a great place to snorkel for people of all skill levels because the water is calm and it is easy to get there.

Maluaka Beach is a great place to go swimming, snorkeling, and surfing, among other water activities. Swimming and snorkeling are great here because the water is usually calm and clear. It’s also a great place to snorkel or scuba dive because there are so many coral reefs and fish in the water.

There are a number of amenities along the beach, including changing rooms, showers, and picnic pavilions with grills. Near the shore, there is a sizable patch of grass perfect for outdoor activities like picnicking, ball games, or just lounging in the sun. Makena Beach and Golf Resort, a renowned eatery in the area, serves up tasty dishes and cold drinks.

7. Napili Bay

Napili Bay Snorkeling

The west coast of Maui is home to Napili Bay, a well-known snorkeling site. The area is excellent for snorkeling due to its calm and beautiful waters. The Yellow Tang, Raccoon Butterflyfish, and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles are just a few aquatic creatures that snorkelers can observe. A great site for underwater photography, Napili Bay also has stunning coral reefs to explore.

Maluaka Beach is located on the south shore of Maui and is known for its beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and has public restrooms and showers.

Maluaka Beach is a fantastic location for a variety of aquatic pursuits, including swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. Swimming and snorkeling are great here because the water is usually calm and clear. It’s also an excellent site to go snorkeling or scuba diving due to the beach’s numerous coral reefs and abundant marine life.

There are a number of amenities along the beach, including changing rooms, showers, and picnic pavilions with grills. Near the shore, there is a sizable patch of grass perfect for outdoor activities like picnicking, ball games, or just lounging in the sun. Makena Beach and Golf Resort, a renowned eatery in the area, serves up tasty dishes and cold drinks.

9. Kahekili Beach Park

On West Maui, Kahekili Beach Park is a fantastic site for snorkelers of all skill levels. The Moorish Idol, Yellow Tang, and Parrot Fish are just a few of the aquatic fauna found at the beach park. The calm waters are crystal clear, and snorkelers can spot Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Kahekili Beach Park is a great place to spend the day because it includes facilities, including showers and public restrooms.

10. Ulua Beach

Ulua Beach Snorkeling

In South Maui, Ulua Beach is a popular location for snorkeling.

Maui Snorkel & Boat Tour Recommendations

Maui Snorkeling: What to Expect

When you snorkel off the coast of Maui, you can witness the undersea splendor that is so characteristic of Hawaii. Moorish Idols, Yellow Tangs, and Raccoon Butterflyfish can be seen darting in and out of the coral reefs on the island, which is home to various tropical fish. Another feature of Maui’s undersea habitat is the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, or “Honu.” These beautiful animals can often be seen playing in the calm water of the island’s many bays and small coves. During the migratory season, whales and manta rays can sometimes be seen.

Maui is Hawaii’s most gorgeous island, and its underwater habitat is just as breathtaking as the rest. The beautiful, warm waters around Maui are home to various marine species. As soon as you put your head under the water, you’ll see an amazing underwater world full of beautiful coral reefs, strange tropical fish, and interesting sea creatures.

When snorkeling in Maui, the Moorish Idol is one of the most sought-after fish species. Large schools of these bright yellow fish with white spots and black stripes are a common sight for snorkelers, who love their graceful and beautiful behavior. One of the most exciting things about snorkeling in Maui is the chance to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. As a protected animal in Hawaii, you can often see these big mammals in the calmer waters of Maui’s bays and coves.

When snorkeling in Maui, you’ll probably come across the Yellow Tang, another common fish species. Seeing these brilliant yellow fish with white stripes move close to coral reefs is a treat. While snorkeling in Maui, you may come across the Convict Tang, a popular fish species. Though they are little, these black-and-white striped fish certainly don’t blend in with the rest of the marine environment.

When snorkeling in Maui, you’ll likely encounter the gorgeous Raccoon Butterflyfish fish species. The bright yellow hue of these fish makes them a favorite among snorkelers, and they have a distinct black area around their eye that resembles a mask. When snorkeling in Maui, you’re likely to encounter Parrot Fish, another brilliant and colorful fish species. The beak-like mouth of these fish, which can be any of several hues, sets them apart from other marine life.

Maui Snorkeling

Snorkeling in Maui will also expose you to the Black Triggerfish, a common fish species. These impressive fish may reach lengths of up to two feet and are easily recognizable by their striking black bodies and bright yellow fins. Snorkeling in Maui is also a great place to see moray eels. These tiny, snake-like critters are interesting and like hiding in cracks and under rocks.

Snorkeling in Maui is a great way to see a lot of different sea creatures, like sea stars, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. These interesting animals are often seen near coral reefs, which makes Maui’s marine ecosystem even more interesting and diverse. When snorkeling in Maui, you might come across beautiful Butterfly Fish fish species. Many underwater photographers seek these fish because of their eye-catching colors and patterns.

Snorkeling in Maui is a great way to see tropical fish, sea turtles, and other beautiful sea creatures. Snorkeling is an excellent way to see and appreciate the diverse ecosystem that exists beneath the water on Maui. Get your snorkel gear ready, then travel to one of Maui’s

Time of Year: When to Go Snorkeling in Maui

Although snorkeling is fun year-round in Maui’s warm and clear seas, there are a few things to remember when organizing your excursion. During the summer months, from May through September, when the water temperatures are warmer and the weather is calmer, it is the greatest time to snorkel in Maui. Most of the time, the seas are calmer and you can see further at this time, which makes it a good time to go diving. The water is a nice 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that almost anyone can snorkel there.

The water temperature may dip throughout the winter months, from November to March, making snorkeling less pleasant. Also, the weather can be more unpredictable in the winter, with strong winds and currents that can make it hard to snorkel in some places. Snorkelers also need to be mindful of the yearly migration of humpback whales, which can make it dangerous to snorkel in certain regions.

Even if the water temperature is lower in the winter, snorkeling in Maui can still be enjoyable for people who don’t mind the chill. Maui’s waters are home to many kinds of marine life, like humpback whales on their way north and small schools of fish that can only be seen in the winter. Snorkelers should always check the weather and sea conditions before setting out, but many of Maui’s greatest snorkeling areas are still accessible during the winter.

It’s crucial to think about your safety when organizing a snorkeling trip in Maui. Only go snorkeling after first checking the weather and ocean conditions, and pick a site that matches your degree of experience. Only snorkel with a companion. A mask, snorkel and fins are all required snorkeling gear. Many of the places to snorkel on Maui also rent snorkeling gear, so even people who don’t have their own gear can have a pleasant and worry-free time snorkeling.

Best Beaches In Maui

Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is popular for snorkeling, swimming, and other water activities. With crystal-clear waters, soft white sand, and a long stretch of beach, it’s a great place for families and beach lovers.

The cliff diving ceremony at the northern end of Kaanapali Beach at sunset is one of the most visited events on the beach. To pay homage to the traditional Hawaiian custom of lele kawa, or cliff jumping, a skilled diver leaps from a 30-foot cliff into the water below as part of the event.

There are many hotels, eateries, and stores along Kaanapali Beach. Explore the area around the beach; there’s a walkway that traces the shoreline and provides breathtaking vistas of the water. Several golf courses, in addition to other outdoor pursuits like hiking, may be found in the area.

Airport Beach

Airport Beach

Airport Beach is a local favorite for its easy access and calm waters. The beach is also known for its stunning views of the neighboring islands.

Big Beach

Big Beach Snorkeling

Big Beach is located on the south shore of Maui and is known for its long stretch of soft white sand and clear blue water. The beach is popular for its great snorkeling opportunities and stunning views of the Molokini crater.

La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay is located on the south side of Maui and is known for its lava rock formations and unique underwater world. Though it doesn’t have the white sandy beaches of other locations, It’s a great spot for snorkeling, especially for those who are experienced and comfortable in deeper waters and stronger currents.

Snorkeling Equipment and Safety

We prefer to bring our own snorkel equipment on vacation, if we have the space. Note: While full face masks are popular, be sure to read the pros and cons on these types of masks.

Snorkeling Gear: Having the proper snorkeling gear is essential for a great time. Snorkeling equipment, including a mask, snorkel, and fins, may be rented from local shops like Boss Frog. Having equipment that fits you well can guarantee a more enjoyable and secure time. To ensure a watertight seal, your mask should fit snugly over your face, and your snorkel shouldn’t be too big or too tiny for your mouth. To prevent slippage and maximize underwater propulsion, fins should fit snugly. Before going into deep water, it’s best to get used to your gear in shallow water first.

Where To Stay In Maui

Maui is a fantastic vacation spot for families, and there are lots of lodging alternatives that are kid-friendly. Some of the top places for families to stay in Maui are listed below:

Hotel at Kaanapali Beach
On the western side of Maui, there is a family-friendly resort called the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Family-friendly activities at the hotel include lei-making, hula instruction, and cultural arts and crafts. Moreover, there is a children’s pool and a daily calendar of events and activities geared at families.

Grand Wailea

On Maui’s southern coast, there is a posh resort called The Grand Wailea Maui. Families may enjoy a range of activities at the resort, which also has a water park with nine pools and water slides as well as a lazy river and a rope swing. Families with kids of all ages will love it because it has a kids’ club and a teen lounge.

Click here to check availability and prices on Expedia

Hawaii’s Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa

On the western side of Maui, there is a family-friendly resort called the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. Family-friendly activities at the resort include a kids’ club, a waterslide, and a penguin display. A daily schedule of family-friendly activities is also available, including lei-making workshops and hula lessons.

Click here to check availability and prices on Expedia

Best Deals Hotels & VRBOs on Maui:

In general, Maui has a range of lodging choices that meet the requirements of families with kids. There are accommodations for every taste and budget, including family-friendly resorts, suites, and cottages. Families can have a pleasant trip on this lovely island by selecting the appropriate lodging.

Getting Around Maui

A rental automobile is the most convenient way to explore the island of Maui. If you rent a car, you may see the island’s best sights at your own pace. Kahului Airport, Maui’s principal airport, is home to a number of automobile rental agencies. The island’s larger cities also typically have automobile rental firms.

Renting a car in Maui requires a valid driver’s license and proof of age (usually 21). Standard, intermediate, and full-size cars, in addition to sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and premium automobiles (limousines), are all available from most car rental agencies.

Driving on Maui is simple and easy, with a few exceptions. You should know that many of Maui’s roads are narrow and twisting, and some of them only go in one direction. Second, congestion is a problem in and around big cities and other urban centers.

Check out the best rental car deals here:

Top Maui Snorkeling Advice

Snorkeling off the coast of Maui is one of the best ways to see the underwater beauty of Hawaii, and it is one of the best sites to do so anywhere in the world. In Maui, you may snorkel among beautiful coral reefs and a wide variety of fish and other aquatic life. You can snorkel in Maui regardless of your skill level, as the island is home to a wide range of excellent snorkeling locations. Take your snorkeling gear and head to Maui’s pristine seas to witness the splendor of aquatic life up close and personal.

Keep these things in mind to make the most of your time snorkeling in Maui:

  • Snorkeling beginners should practice in shallow seas before venturing into deeper waters. This will give you more confidence and help you get used to the underwater world.
  • Exploring rocky outcroppings is exciting because of the diverse marine species. There are a lot of colorful fish and other sea creatures in these places, which makes snorkeling there fun and different.
  • Snorkeling in areas with strong currents can be challenging and even dangerous. Only snorkel in places with strong winds after first checking the weather and water conditions.
  • Keep your distance from water creatures, especially turtles, while snorkeling in Maui. They are protected by law in Hawaii and should not be touched or disturbed.
  • It is crucial to remember that coral reefs are delicate ecosystems whenever you go snorkeling. Never put your bare feet on a coral reef, and stay away from products like sunscreen that contain chemicals that might destroy reefs.
  • It is highly recommended that you bring an underwater camera to Maui to photograph the stunning aquatic life that can be seen there. Your snorkeling trip may be over, but the photos you took will help you remember it for a long time.
  • The larger fish and sea turtles can threaten Maui’s snorkelers. These animals are simple to detect because of their unique dorsal fin and pectoral (on the side of it’s body) fins. Enjoy the splendor of these animals from a safe distance.

The Water and Air Temps

It’s smart to look at the forecast and the water’s state before you set out. Snorkeling can be hazardous and challenging amid strong winds, waves, and currents, so it’s better to stay away from them. You should always check the weather report and sea conditions before setting out. When swimming in the seas around the Hawaiian Islands, watch out for things like rip currents and jellyfish that sting.

Dive with a friend.

It’s best practice to snorkel in pairs. This adds to the excitement of snorkeling and makes it safer. The two of you can rely on each other in times of crisis. You may enjoy and learn more about the underwater environment if you go snorkeling with a friend.

Identify Your Capabilities and Limits

Best Maui Fish Snorkeling

Knowing your boundaries will help you have a more enjoyable and calm snorkeling experience. Never snorkel in locations that are too deep or have strong currents for your ability level. Beginners should start in shallow water and work their way up to deeper, open water.

Recognize and abide by all applicable laws and regulations.

To protect the marine environment, Maui has put in place strict rules and limits about snorkeling and other water activities. Adherence to these guidelines will safeguard Maui’s marine ecosystem and unique beauty. Check regulations in your destination’s area before setting out, and be mindful of marine life and its environment.

Snorkeling is a fun and risk-free hobby if done so with care. You should always check the weather and water conditions and pick a snorkeling area appropriate for your level of experience before stepping out on the ocean. Snorkeling should always be done with a friend, and you should respect Maui’s marine environment by following the rules and laws of the area. You should take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to snorkel in Maui, as long as you have the right gear and follow all safety rules


The marine life off the coast of Maui is unique and diverse, making it one of the top spots in the world for snorkeling. By following these rules, you’ll be able to snorkel in Maui’s waters safely and comfortably, so you can fully enjoy the island’s beautiful underwater landscape. Grab your snorkeling gear and head to Maui to explore the pristine waters and see the splendor of the aquatic life, whether you’re a novice or an expert snorkeler.

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