Top Snorkeling and Diving Sites in Maui, Hawaii

Maui is such a beautiful land filled with wondrous adventure.  Truly one of the most spectacular places to dive and snorkel.  Whether it is to the iconic Molokini Crater or at the world renowned surf location of Honolua Bay, Maui has dozens of great snorkeling and diving locations to choose from.

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Honolua Bay

Let’s start off with the world famous surf location of Honolua Bay.  During the winter when the surf is strong this location is filled with surfers.  During the calm winter months Honolua Bay is known to house the Hawaiian green sea turtles, parrotfish, octopus and the visitors even account seeing the rare spinner dolphin from here as well.  Take Highway 30 west from Kahului, follow it past Lahaina and Honolua bay is just past Kapalua.

Molokini Crater

Perhaps one of the most famous diving and snorkeling areas on the island, Molokini crater is a real treat.  This crescent shaped volcanic caldera is located of the south western tip of the island.  A boat is needed to travel to the island (don’t try to kayak it – it’s too far).  Dozens of snorkeling tours will offer to take you there.  Hundreds of fish species call the Molokini crater home and truly a magnificent experience.  Adventurous Scuba divers are in for a real treat if they tackle the back wall which drops a straight 300 feet.

Makena Landing (Turtle Town)

The infamous Turtle Town has many different names around the island – here we will refer to it as the Makena Coastline.  The caves that dot the coastline make perfect shelter for the turtles in this area (hence the nickname).  Makena is south of Wailea.  From Kahului take 311 south until you hit 31 and follow that past Wailea until you reach Makena.

Pu’u Keka’a (Black Rock)

On the north west side of the island along Ka’anapali there are two beaches with a volcanic eruption spewing into the ocean separating them.  On the north is Keka’a Beach and on the south is Ka’anapali Beach.  In the middle is Black Rock.  The volcanic eruption spewing into the ocean has created a marvelous reef giving way to all kinds of beautiful ocean life.  Look for reef fish as well as sea turtles.  You may even see an adventurous cliff diver or two.

Ulua and Mokapu Beach

If you are a little timid in the water, you may want to give these beaches a try.  They bolster as being very accessible and as such are an ideal place for beginning snorkelers who may not be experienced out in the open ocean.  The beaches are just west of Wailea city.  Head for the rocky point between the two beaches to find the best assortment of fish.

The Cathedrals

Often called the First and Second Cathedrals these have become a great destination for scuba divers.   These off shore caverns provide a magical experience as the light shines through the water mimicking that of a cathedral window.  Dolphins, spinner fish and frogfish are very common in the area — as well as the occasional underwater wedding.

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