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Hey! We are two Michiganders with adventurous souls looking to explore the beauties and wonders of this spectacular world. Our mission is to provide you with budget-friendly itineraries that inspire and encourage you to get outside, eat delicious foods, and enjoy high-quality brews. Ultimately, there are three key ingredients to any amazing trip: 

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Maui, Hawaii: Top 8 Snorkeling Beaches

Updated: Jan 19

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii

Headed to Maui for surf and sand? How about to witness the beauty below sea level? There are many beautiful and secluded beaches on Maui that make for ideal snorkeling. However, one of the biggest factors in finding good snorkeling is going during low tide when the waters are calm and fish scavenging. Check the daily tides near your location on Maui to determine an ideal time for snorkeling, however, low tide will generally be early morning and late afternoon. To avoid swimming in the dark, your best bet is to go early in the morning. This is certainly one of those cases where the early bird gets the worm!

If you are a beginner, we highly recommend researching more about the best conditions for snorkeling, techniques, and safety conditions before heading to any of our below recommendations.

For more tips, borrow from your local library: Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook by Andrew Doughty

1. Kapalua Beach

Located in Kalapua on the west side of Maui is the secluded bay of Kapalua Beach. This was our #1 choice for snorkeling on Maui due to the calm waters, magnificent coral reefs, and abundance of sea turtles. Start your day snorkeling at Kapalua Beach and then continue north on the Kapalua Coastal Trail, one of our recommended top things to do on Maui.

J&L Recommended: Great for beginners!

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii


2. Honolua Bay Access Trail

When conditions are right with calm waters, Honolua Bay offers great snorkeling. So great, that tour companies drop off paying customers to snorkel in this exact location.

Tip: Save yourself a $100 snorkeling tour, park at Honolua Park, and hike the short Honolua Bay Access Trail to this desirable snorkeling bay!

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii

3. Maluaka Beach

Looking for sea turtles? This secluded beach is near one of the famous "turtle towns" that boats take paying tourist to snorkel. The south side of the beach has great snorkeling with coral and turtles. Head to the end of Maluaka Beach South Access Parking for ample parking and a quick walk to the south side of the beach.

Tip: Never approach any wildlife when snorkeling. Allow them their space and let them approach you.

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii


4. Kahekili Beach Park

Located on the west side of Maui in Lahaina, Kahekili Beach Park provides great opportunities for snorkeling under the right conditions. The best snorkeling is located directly in front of the main pavilion where there are a variety of coral and fish roughly 75 feet out into the water.

Also Read: Top 11 Restaurants on Maui

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii

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5. Palauea Beach

Located on the south side of Maui in Wailea, Palauea Beach is a secluded beach that can be accessed via a short trail off of Makena Rd. There is minimal street parking on Makena Rd so get here early and during low tide (prime snorkeling conditions) to have the best experience. Snorkeling on the southern side of the beach close to the rocky point is the best area to snorkel on Palauea Beach.

Also Read: 2 Week Hawaii Travel Itinerary

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii


6. Kanahena Cove (aka Fish Bowl)

Located on the south side of Maui, Kanahena Cove parking is located within the Ahihi Kinau Natural Reserve and requires a small fee. There is a short path that leads to the cove with signage directing you where you should and should not snorkel along the cove. The beach area is all rocks, therefore, coming here should be for the purpose of snorkeling and not laying out in the sun.

J&L Recommended: Stop here in the morning on your way to the Lava Fields, one of our top things to do in Maui

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii

7. Five Graves

If you are an experienced snorkeler looking for a hidden gem of a location, head to Five Graves which is located very close to the famous Turtle Town dive location. Park along Makena Rd and take one of the shoreline access trails to reach the rocky shoreline. A word of advice, if you do not see other snorkelers, it probably is not a safe time to be snorkeling! Use extreme caution at Five Graves and never snorkel during high tide.

J&L Recommended: Not for beginners, experienced divers only!

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii


8. Molokini Crater

The calm, crystal clear waters within the Molokini Crater is home to over 250 species of tropical fish. Unfortunately this is not something you can reach on your own (unless you happen to own a boat), making it one of the most popular spots for snorkeling tours on Maui. As a beginner, or someone looking for the opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife in one location, you may consider booking one of the below tours:

What are the best conditions for snorkeling?

Ideal snorkeling conditions are calm waters near coral reefs. Check the daily tides near your location on Maui to determine an ideal time for snorkeling, however, low tide will generally be early morning and late afternoon. To avoid swimming in the dark, your best bet is to go early in the morning. If you are a beginner, we also recommend that you use the general rule of thumb to not snorkel where no one else is snorkeling. If visiting a popular snorkeling location, you will likely see other snorkelers, which is a good sign that conditions are safe.

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii

What should I wear when snorkeling?

We recommend considering the below things when snorkeling:

  • Waterproof Dry Bag to avoid leaving your belongings unattended on the beach

  • Reef Safe Sunscreen to protect the beautiful wildlife you are witnessing. Regular sunscreen contains chemicals that are harmful to ocean wildlife. The animals are sharing their home with you, please do not pollute the waters with harmful chemicals.

  • Wetsuits: Covering your skin rather than using reef safe sunscreen is the best way to leave no trace in the ocean.

  • Do Not Wear: Shiny jewelry (attracts the eye of unwanted predators) or anything of value.

Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii


Where can I get snorkeling gear on Maui?

If room in your luggage allows, it may be more cost effective to bring your own snorkel gear on your trip. However, snorkel gear can also be rented on the island at both daily and weekly rates.

Looking for a place to stay in Maui?

Search for a great deal on hotels during your travel dates below!

Happy Adventuring!


Top Snorkel Spots of Maui Hawaii

Travel Planning Resources

Below are the resources we use to plan all of our trips, find great deals, and pack our bags with affordable gear. We received a small kickback whenever you purchase something through a link on our site. But rest assured, there is no additional cost to you. In fact, in some cases you even get a greater discount for shopping through NBV! A Win, Win!

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