Whether you’re planning your first snorkeling getaway, or you’ve got a family vacation booked and want to try out some group snorkeling for the very first time, you’re making a good choice to visit Maui!
A true tropical paradise, Maui sees plenty of sunshine and is filled to the brim with sandy beaches and crystal waters that are perfect for snorkeling.
The welcoming island of Maui has some of the most breathtaking snorkeling locations in the entire world and is home to species of fish that you simply won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Maui has an abundance of beautiful beaches that are ideal for snorkeling, so much so, that you can snorkel just about anywhere you like, especially across the southwestern coast of Maui.
Just like with other snorkeling destinations, your viewing experience will vary depending on what part of Maui you decide to snorkel, and not all spots are suitable for those who are just starting out.
So, where can you go to make your first-time snorkeling experience one to remember? Below, you’ll find a quick breakdown of some of the best snorkeling spots for beginners in Maui – let’s check them out:
If you’ve already begun planning your itinerary for your vacation to Maui, then we’re sure you’ve already stumbled upon Makena Beach!
One of Hawaii’s most popular beaches, Makena is a snorkeling treasure trove and contains a variety of unexplored water caves that might very well contain a shark or two.
Don’t panic, though, because there’s plenty of beginner-friendly snorkeling spots near the shore that can be enjoyed for all the family – and there are also plenty of guided snorkeling trips you can take, too!
Molokini Crater is another popular snorkeling spot, especially for tourists. This snorkeling location is home to a volcanic crater and has incredible snorkeling views thanks to its clear waters.
Spend a day here, and you’ll be sure to see a variety of tropical fish, a few turtles, and maybe even a shark or two! If you do fancy checking out this snorkeling spot, then keep in mind that you will need to book a guided tour.
Love sea turtles? If you answered yes to that question, then you should be sure to stop at Turtle Town!
Just like the name suggests, Turtle Town is a snorkeling spot located in the south of Maui that is home to all sorts of turtle species, including leatherbacks and green turtles.
It’s also a great place for beginners to snorkel, thanks to the calm waters, clear views, and guided snorkeling tours.
Can you rent snorkel gear on Maui?
If you’re planning a trip to Maui, then the great news is that you don’t have to worry about losing precious luggage space, because there are a variety of ways that you can go about renting out your snorkeling gear once you have arrived.
Renting snorkeling gear on Maui is relatively inexpensive and super easy to do.
As soon as you arrive at your hotel, we recommend asking reception if they offer snorkel equipment for rent, as many hotels and resorts on the island do offer this service to their guests, and often at a discounted price.
Nevertheless, if you arrive in Maui and discover that your hotel doesn’t offer any snorkeling equipment to rent, you can always make your way down to a local snorkel rental shop located all throughout Maui. These rental shops are often a little more expensive than hotel prices, but they are still relatively affordable.
To give you an idea of how much you might spend on renting out snorkeling equipment, the average cost for basic snorkeling equipment is usually around 9 dollars for 7 days, although you could opt for a daily rate if you only plan on snorkeling for just one of the days of your trip to Hawaii.
Can you snorkel off the beach on Maui?
In Maui, it is possible to snorkel off the beach, although we don’t recommend trying it if you aren’t a confident swimmer and experienced snorkel. For intermediate to advanced snorkelers looking for breathtaking snorkeling views of a lifetime, consider heading over to the uninhabited Molokini Islet.
Accessible only by boat, the Molokini Islet is surrounded by stunning, crystal clear waters that will provide brave snorkelers the chance to enjoy an unparalleled look into the depths of Maui’s underwater world.
There are a variety of tour guides in Maui that will take keen snorkeler’s over to this isolated cove, where guests can then swim past a steep drop-off point that is home to a variety of ocean creatures, including whale sharks, jellyfish, and even manta rays!
Another popular snorkeling spot that allows snorkelers to head off the beach and into deeper waters is at Olowalu.
Home to an incredibly large snorkeling site that spans 450 acres, brave snorkelers can swim out past the calm waters of the coral reef and into the open ocean, where octopuses, manta rays, and sharks can sometimes be spotted.
However, not all spots in Maui allow you to snorkel off the beach alone, so make sure that you double-check to ensure your safety.
As a side note, this beach is covered in a mesquite tree that goes by the name of Kiawe and is a species of tree that contains large thorns. These thorns often get blown into the sand – so you’ll need to make sure that you never go barefoot at this beach!
Can you snorkel on your own on Maui?
Yes, it is possible to snorkel on your own (or with your partner or friends) in Maui! Seeing as Maui has an abundance of snorkeling spots at a variety of its beaches, it means that you can quite easily rent your own snorkeling gear and spend an hour or two swimming around, viewing a variety of tropical fish and maybe even a turtle or two.
When planning a trip to Maui, many people make the mistake of thinking that they need to book a guided tour in order to enjoy some snorkeling, but this is far from the truth.
If you only want to engage in a little bit of snorkeling with you and your family, then you can rent out some snorkeling gear for the day and head to one of Maui’s beaches.
Once there, you can enjoy crystal clear waters, a welcoming atmosphere, and the opportunity to view some tropical fish, while also enjoying soaking up the sun and sunbathing on the beach.
If you need a recommendation, then Honolua Bay is a great place to go. To get there, you’ll need to walk through a beautiful forest path and, as soon as you get there, you’ll be able to head down the beach’s smooth stones and make your way to the water’s edge, where crystal clear waters will be waiting for you to explore.
Is it dangerous to snorkel on Maui?
Snorkeling on Maui is generally considered safe, although there are some dangers that you should keep in mind.
For starters, due to the very nature of snorkeling, it means that you’ll be exposed to open waters that are home to a variety of aquatic creatures including fish, turtles, and sometimes larger oceanic life, such as sharks.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that this risk is the case for snorkeling spots around the entire world, so as long as you’re vigilant and aware of your surroundings, there’s absolutely no reason why you won’t be able to enjoy snorkeling on Maui safely.
Generally speaking, snorkeling on Maui is deemed as being one of the safest snorkeling locations in the world, and this is due to the shape of its beaches, which are home to calm waters and gentle currents.
But if you are a nervous swimmer, and still want to snorkel, then we recommend booking a guided snorkeling tour to put your mind at ease. Or, instead, opt to snorkel in shallow waters.
What is the best time of day to snorkel On Maui?
If you’re heading to the beautiful island of Maui and want to enjoy some breathtaking snorkeling views while you’re there, then the best time of day to go snorkeling is in the early morning – especially if you’re interested in checking out some of Maui’s tropical fish varieties.
Plus, on average, winds are typically far less strong in the morning than in the afternoon in Maui, which means that you’ll be able to see the different types of marine life far more clearly in the morning, as the calm waters will not be disturbed by the wind, which will help to keep visuals clear.
Where is the best snorkeling on Maui?
It’s no secret that Maui is home to an abundance of incredible snorkeling spots that are dotted all around the island. However, one of the most popular snorkeling spots by a longshot is Maluaka Beach.
Otherwise referred to as Turtle Town, Maluaka Beach is a sandy beach located in the South of Wailea and is a snorkeling location that caters to snorkelers of all levels, as well as being suitable for families and young children.
If you don’t want to venture too far off into the open waters, then you can opt to snorkel in the shallower areas of the beach, where tropical fish and turtles are rife.
However, if you are feeling adventurous, bold snorkelers that head further out into the Maluaka Beach stretch can discover stunning underwater ocean arches where turtles, tropical fish, and manta rays can be spotted. It’s also a popular tourist destination, so there are public restrooms, bars, and restaurants nearby.