Check out 3 Top Snorkeling Spots to visit during your vacation to the island of Maui.

Maui snorkeling

Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay, located on the northwest end of Maui, is a designated Marine Life Conservation District. It’s flanked by high, rocky cliffs on both sides, which shield the bay from winds and create calm waters ideal for snorkeling.

Parking is available along the roadside, with a short walk to the bay. A shaded path lined with jungle-like trees leads to the beach, enhancing the scenic route. Visitors should bring beach chairs, coolers, and snorkeling gear. Although the beach is composed of black rocks rather than the typical golden sand, the exceptional snorkeling experience is well worth the visit.


Warning: Do not snorkel here when there are any waves present. It can be treacherous when waves are expected.

Insider Tip: When planning to snorkel, avoid entering the water from the sandy central part of the beach. Instead, walk along the rocks on the right-hand (north) side of the shore before entering the water. Proceed cautiously, as the rocks can be slippery. The coral and fish are predominantly located on this side of the bay, offering better visibility and saving you a longer swim from the beach.

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Turtle Town

Turtle Town Maui is the long stretch of coastline in between Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach in the southern district of Makena.

Although a large area, generally, most people who say ‘Turtle Town’ are specifically referring to Maluaka Beach.  Why?  Because Maluaka is the best snorkeling beach in the Turtle Town Maui area!

Maluaka Beach is just south of Wailea at the end of Makena Road. The snorkeling is easy and relaxed.  The soft sand is perfect for tanning, relaxing, beach games, and castle-making with the kids.


Warning: The large catamaran Kai Kanani does a shore-entry here when picking up and dropping off passengers.  If you see the boat coming in towards the beach, please give them space, or they won’t be able to operate.

Insider Tip: To find the turtles, walk south down the beach until you get to the rocks at the end of the sand.  The coral reef begins here.  Make sure not to get too close to them, as they’re protected by law.

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Ahihi Kinau

Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve is located on the southern coast of Maui just past Makena.  It’s a marine life conservation district, so no fishing of any kind is allowed.

One of the things I like most about snorkeling Ahihi Kinau is that the coastline is mostly made up of lava rock intermixed with coral.  Lava rock is a major plus when it comes to snorkeling.  The abrupt contours of the sea floor make perfect homes and hiding places for aquatic life to flourish.  The area is relatively shallow too, so sunlight is able to reach the coral (making everything colorful.)


Warning: Enter via the cement block at the north end of the bay.  It allows you easy access to get your fins on and enter the water without damaging reef.

Insider Tip: When you enter the water from the cove, swim to the right (north) and snorkel in front of the first rocky point with the house on it.  Many turtles frequent this point and with a little luck you should be able to spot a few.