The Complete Guide on Snorkel Tours in Maui


Snorkel tours on Maui, Hawaii, are the easiest option for exploring the beautiful waters and amazing marine life surrounding the island. You can swim along the reefs and enjoy all that these incredible underwater ecosystems have to offer.

There are many different snorkel tour companies in Maui, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time and find an operator that fits your Maui snorkeling needs and budget. Read on as we’ll discuss everything you need to know about snorkeling in Maui!

A person snorkeling to the bottom
A person snorkeling to the bottom

Is a Snorkeling Tour in Maui Worth It?

Snorkeling Maui is an adventure of a lifetime. A snorkel tour in Maui lets you explore thriving coral reef areas and see the amazing sea life of Hawaii. A snorkel tour is something you don’t want to miss! 

Some of the wildlife you can get the chance to see includes colorful corals, brilliant reef fish, sea turtles, and, if you’re lucky, the endangered Hawaiian monk seals.

However, in order to get the most out of your Maui snorkel boat tour, it’s important to choose a reputable snorkel tour company that has knowledgeable guides who can show you the best spots for viewing wildlife. They should ensure that you have all the gear and information you need for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Beach at maui
Beach at maui

These are the most popular spots for snorkeling in Maui you won’t want to miss:

1. Molokini Crater

You may have already heard of tours to snorkel Molokini Crater waters. Molokini Crater is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged extinct volcanic crater located off the coast of Maui. 

Molokini island
Molokini island

Known for its crystal clear waters and excellent marine life, Molokini Crater attracts both visitors and locals alike. Many are looking to explore the beautiful underwater world. Here, you can spot colorful tropical fish, green sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, manta rays, and much more. 

You can also see humpback whales during whale season. A whale watch adventure is always a good call in Molokini Crater.

This picture-perfect location offers the ultimate ocean adventure. So, don’t hesitate to book a trip to snorkel Molokini Crater waters! 

2. Black Rock

Located at the northern tip of Kaanapali Beach in West Maui, Black Rock is a popular snorkeling spot due to its calm sea waters and abundance of marine life. 

Green turtle by black rock beach
Green turtle by black rock

This area is also home to one of only two lava tubes known to exist in Hawaii, making it a great destination for adventurous snorkelers and scuba divers.

3. Turtle Town

Green turtle in turtle town
Green turtle in turtle town

Turtle Town is another popular snorkeling spot located just off the coast of Makena State Park. With its clear waters and varied marine life, Turtle Town is a great destination for families or anyone looking to explore Hawaii’s stunning underwater world. 

Some of the species you might see on Turtle Town include green sea turtles, sea urchins, octopi, moray eels, and so many fish! 

4. Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay is a world-renowned snorkeling spot located on the island’s northwest shore. With its calm waters and abundant wildlife, Honolua Bay is ideal for advanced and beginner snorkelers, especially those looking to experience the beauty of Hawaii’s marine life up close. 

Monk seal by the water
Monk seal by the water

If you’re lucky, you might even swim with a monk seal or spot one sunbathing on the beach! 

5. Five Caves (Five Graves)

Snorkeling by makena
Snorkeling by makena

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, consider heading out to Five Caves, one of Maui’s hidden gems. This snorkeling location is best visited during the summer months when the waters are calm, and visibility is good. With several caves and unique marine life, snorkelers here will enjoy exploring the area.

6. Kapalua Beach

Kapalua beach
Kapalua beach

Landing a spot on our list of the best spots for a swimming and snorkeling adventure is Kapalua Beach. Located in the northwestern part of the island, this beach features calm waters and beautiful coral reefs. 

It’s also an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. Make sure to spend some time exploring the nearby marine reserve, which is known for its unique sea life.

6. Napili Bay

Napili bay
Napili bay

Napili Bay is another excellent snorkeling spot in all of Hawaii. Located at the northern end of Napili Beach, this bay features beautiful white sand and some of the best snorkeling options along the island’s coastline. 

During your excursion here, you might catch a glimpse of green sea turtles or spotted eagle rays as you explore the nearby coral gardens. You can also spend time at the beach afterward at a more relaxed pace.

7. Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve

Green turtle by the coral reefs
Green turtle by the coral reefs

Located on the island’s southern coast, Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve is a popular destination for snorkelers thanks to its pristine waters, rich coral gardens, and diverse marine life. 

Many visitors also come here to see the native Hawaiian monk seals that gather on the beach throughout the year. With its calm waters and abundance of wildlife, you’re sure to have a wonderful experience at Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve.

With so many great snorkel spots in Maui, it’s easy to see why this island is such a popular vacation destination for both tourists and Hawaiian locals alike. Whether you’re looking for an exciting adventure or a more relaxing experience, there are plenty of options for you!

What Month is Best for Snorkeling in Maui?

The best time for a snorkel tour in Maui is during the northern hemisphere summer, from mid-June to mid-August. During these months, the waters are calmer and clearer. 

However, this is also peak season for tourism. If you’re looking to avoid crowds while still taking advantage of the best weather conditions, you may want to consider snorkeling during other times of the year as well.

What Months Are Sharks in Maui?

Sharks are typically found in the waters around the island during the fall and winter months, between late August and November. The best time to spot sharks is near sunset or sunrise, as this is when these large predators tend to be more active.

Whitetip shark hiding by the ocean floor
Whitetip shark hiding by the ocean floor

If you’re worried about encountering sharks while on the best snorkel tour in Maui, always be sure to listen carefully to your guide’s instructions and follow all safety protocols. This can help ensure that you will have an amazing snorkel experience in Maui!

Which Side of Maui is Best for Snorkeling? 

The best side for snorkeling is the west side, which has calm, clear waters. The west side also offers excellent access to popular snorkel spots like Molokini Crater and Turtle Town, which are home to some of the most diverse marine life in all of Hawaii. 

If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable snorkeling experience, you can’t go wrong with the west side of the beautiful Hawaiian island!

An angelfish
An angelfish

If you’re planning a Maui snorkeling trip, then be sure to book your boat tour in advance and prepare for an amazing adventure. And don’t forget to bring along plenty of sunscreen and water, as well as a waterproof camera to capture all of the beautiful sights and sounds you’ll encounter on your snorkel tour.

Is Molokini Snorkelling Worth It?

A Molokini snorkeling tour is definitely worth it, as you’ll have the chance to see some of the most incredible marine life and underwater scenery in Hawaii. Molokini Crater is home to a diverse ecosystem that includes colorful coral gardens, vibrant fish species, turtles, and more. 

A boat at molokini bay
A boat at molokini bay

With the right amount of preparation and a knowledgeable guide to show you the best spots, you’re sure to have an unforgettable snorkeling experience at Molokini Crater.

A reputable Molokini snorkeling tour will offer safety, cleanliness, and fun nature. In fact, tourists often recognize the crater as one of the best snorkeling spots in all of Hawaii and the world! So if you’re looking for a unique, rewarding experience, then be sure to book your Molokini snorkeling tour!

Where Is the Safest Spot for Snorkeling in Maui?

The safest spot for snorkeling in Maui is at Molokini Crater, as the waters are typically much calmer and clear. Additionally, this area has been a protected wildlife refuge since 1977. This means that it is considered one of the most pristine and well-preserved environments in all of Hawaii.

A school of manta ray
A school of manta ray

The Pacific Whale Foundation advises visitors only snorkel with a trained guide, as the waters can sometimes be unpredictable.

What Should You Not Do on Snorkel Tours in Maui?

There are a few things that you should never do while snorkeling in Maui. When you are planning to go on a Maui snorkeling tour, it is important to take some safety precautions. 

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe while snorkeling:

  1. Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat, as you will be in the sun for a while.
  2. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  3. Avoid snorkeling if you are not feeling well.
  4. Stay aware of your surroundings, and be aware of potential hazards, such as rocks and sharp objects in coral gardens.
  5. Do not touch coral gardens, as most parts are delicate and can be damaged easily.
  6. Make sure to have flotation devices, e.g., life jackets or buoyancy aid.
  7. Follow the directions of your professional guide at all times.

How to Choose The Best Snorkeling Tour in Maui

There are various operators offering snorkeling tours in Maui that are highly rated among tourists. To help you choose the right snorkeling trip and operator, consider these factors:

1. Cost

Maui snorkeling tours can be expensive. So it’s important to do your research and find one that fits your budget. When it comes to cost, while it’s important to work within your budget, you should also remember that you typically get what you pay for. 

It’s often worth investing in a more expensive snorkel boat trip that offers good food, amazing onboard amenities, top-notch equipment, qualified guides, and greater safety.

2. Safety

Safety is always a top priority when it comes to snorkeling, as many Maui snorkel tours operate out of rough seas or potentially dangerous marine environments. When considering safety, look for a service provider that has a good safety record and offers comprehensive safety training to their staff.

3. Equipment

Having the right snorkeling gear can make all the difference. Make sure that the operator you choose provides high-quality snorkel gear.

4. Location

Some tours take you to more remote areas, while others stay closer to the shore. When considering location, think about what type of snorkeling environment is best for you and whether or not the trip will allow you to explore these snorkel locations.

5. Overall Experience

When picking an operator, consider factors such as customer service, onboard amenities offered, and overall experience. Ideally, you should choose a provider that is known for its excellent customer service and has a good reputation among past customers.

6. Duration

How long do you want your snorkel adventure to last? Most tours take 4 to 5 hours, while others can last all day or even multiple days. Consider how much time you have available during your trip and which types of snorkeling experiences are best suited to your schedule. 

For the majority, a trip snorkeling around the island for 5 hours is ideal to have a memorable experience.

7. Experience Level

Do you want a trip that is beginner-friendly or more advanced? Consider your experience level and whether or not the trip you choose is tailored to meet your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, there is a snorkeling experience that is perfect for you.

8. Group Size

Some people prefer smaller groups, while others don’t mind a bigger crowd. Before choosing a snorkeling adventure, consider whether you would feel comfortable in a large or small group setting. 

Use these factors to help guide your decision in choosing the best snorkeling operator for your unique needs and preferences.

What Is The Best Time of Day for a Maui Snorkeling Tour?

Three people snorkeling and a green sea turtle swimming on a sunny day in maui
The complete guide on snorkel tours in maui 1

The best time of day to go snorkeling will depend on a variety of factors, including what type of environment you are looking for and the weather conditions at the time of your visit. 

A great time to consider snorkeling is early morning when the winds are calmest and there is less boat traffic. Midday is also great as it is when the water is calm and you are more likely to see clear skies. Late afternoon or early evening, on the other hand, is when the light is low, and it can be ideal for taking pictures. 

Ultimately, the best time of day to go snorkeling on the island will depend on your preferences and what type of experience you are looking for. Some good factors to consider when choosing the ideal time of day for snorkeling include weather conditions and water visibility.

Check today’s Maui snorkel report to get the latest updates on conditions in your area, and talk to local guides or other snorkelers to learn more about what time of day is best for a snorkeling experience.

How Many Days Is Enough for Maui?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the amount of time you need will depend on your individual travel plans and preferences. Some people may be content with a few days exploring the island’s beaches and hiking trails, while others might want to spend several weeks exploring all that the island has to offer.

There are many fun and exciting things to do in Maui, including hiking to waterfalls, whale watching tours, surfing lessons, snorkeling trips, and more. Ultimately, the amount of time you need will depend on what activities you plan to do during your trip, as well as how much time you want to spend relaxing and taking in the beauty of the island.

Can You Snorkel in Maui Without a Tour?

Yes, it is possible to snorkel without booking an operator. However, there are many benefits to going on a guided snorkeling trip, including having access to specialized equipment and guides who can help you find the best spots for viewing marine life. 

Additionally, many people prefer organized tours when they visit a new destination as they provide a convenient way to see the area without having to do extensive research or planning. You can also meet new people and make friends with like-minded snorkeling enthusiasts.

Where Is the Bluest Water in Maui?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the bluest waters in Maui will depend on a variety of factors. Some possible factors that may affect water color include depth, clarity, and sunlight conditions.

If you are looking for the bluest waters, the best snorkeling locations mentioned above are a great place to start. All of them, especially Molokini Crater, Black Rock, and Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve, are known for their beautiful blue waters and abundant marine life. Additionally, Honolua Bay presents stellar snorkeling conditions with stunning views of the ocean.

When Do Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles Come to Shore in Maui?

Turtles (called honu in the local dialect) crawl to the beach to lay eggs
The complete guide on snorkel tours in maui 2

The timing of when a sea turtle visits the shore in Maui will depend on a variety of factors. Some possible factors that may affect these visits include weather conditions, ocean currents, and the availability of food sources.

If you are hoping to see turtles while visiting the island, your best bet is to plan your snorkel trip during the warmer months of the year, as turtles are more likely to be seen in shallow waters at this time. Additionally, you may want to go to one of the more secluded beaches or head offshore to snorkel, as these areas tend to attract sea turtles more often than busy tourist destinations.

Some great spots for seeing sea turtles include Molokini Crater, Black Rock, La Pérouse Bay, Turtle Town, Peah Island, Blue Pool, and Honolua Bay. Lastly, you may want to do some online research ahead of time to learn more about the behavior patterns of sea turtles in order to increase your chances of spotting them while visiting Maui.

What Is the Cheapest Month to Go to Maui?

If you are looking for the cheapest time to visit Maui, the best option would be to plan your trip during the offseason, which is typically between May and mid-June and between September and the first half of November. Early January can also be a good time to secure cheaper flights and tours. During this time, travel costs tend to be lower due to the reduced demand for tourism during the offseason. 

Additionally, you may find more affordable accommodation options by booking in advance or looking for deals online. However, keep in mind that weather conditions during the offseason can be unpredictable and potentially less favorable for outdoor activities like snorkeling.

There are many factors to consider when planning your trip (even if it’s only an afternoon snorkel tour of the island). The best way to ensure an affordable vacation is by doing your research ahead of time and preparing appropriately. 

Whether you’re looking for the best spots to snorkel in Maui or simply hoping to enjoy some sunshine and relaxation, there are plenty of options for enjoying a budget-friendly trip to this beautiful island destination.

Where Can I Find Good Maui Snorkeling Tours?

There are many different options for snorkel boat trips in Maui, both online and in person. Some popular resources for finding a guide include WildVoice’s booking platform.

When looking for a snorkel guide, it is important to consider your specific needs and preferences. For example, some people may be looking for a more affordable option with fewer frills involved, while others may prefer a more personalized and guided experience. 

Additionally, as mentioned earlier, you may want to consider factors such as the guide’s level of experience, the type of equipment provided, and other services offered.

Book Your Snorkeling Tour in Maui Today at WildVoice

Looking for a great snorkel guide in Maui? Look no further than WildVoice, where you can find the best guides and snorkeling tours available to suit all of your needs. With our professional guides and top-quality equipment, you are sure to have an unforgettable snorkeling experience in Maui.

Whatever your level of experience and interests, there is something for you when it comes to snorkeling in Maui. Whether you want to explore a marine reserve teeming with diverse fish and coral gardens or simply relax on a secluded beach while watching the waves, you are sure to have an amazing time on this beautiful island. 

WildVoice is the first and only booking platform for professional guides and tour operators with a focus on both conservation and customer experience. Our nature-focused and customer-first approach allows us to deliver the best tours, activities, and private charters at unbeatable prices while helping to protect the environment. 

We’re working hard every day to bring unique experiences all over the world right to your doorstep! Learn more here or book your next adventure today!

Shopping cart