Destination

Maui

Maui is the second biggest island in Hawaii and one of the islands most favored by tourists. Along with Big Island, it is one of the best snorkeling destinations in the region. Its 120 miles (200km) of coastline are the home of dozens of snorkeling spots for all levels.

Choose a spot on the map below to see the detailed description:
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Maui is particularly famous as a spot for observing green turtles, many of which take shelter on its coastline. While Turtle Town (Maluaka Beach) is the ideal spot for swimming with these fascinating animals, you can come across them in many other spots. The reefs of Maui are rich in fish, and figure among the most spectacular and the best preserved of the archipelago.

Snorkeling Report Maui Hawaii
Piilani Highway, ornate butterflyfish at Ahihi Kinau, and the Haleakala National Park


Most of the snorkeling spots in Maui are concentrated on the west coast of the island, where they are sheltered from the wind and the sea is especially calm. So, like on Big Island, you can explore reefs that are completely open on to the ocean (neither situated in a sheltered bay nor protected by a coral barrier), which is not really possible in Oahu or Kauai. Another feature that will delight snorkelers who are looking to relax is that access to the water is often from sandy beaches, which is not often the case in Hawaii.

For the absolute snorkeling must in Maui, you should set off for Molokini Island, about 30 minutes from the island by boat. This former volcanic crater is partly submerged and particularly photogenic, and is the home of a magnificent coral reef.
When to go to Maui?

There are two main seasons in Hawaii. The summer, from May to October, is the warmest, driest and sunniest season (with an average of 80°F/26.5°C, and maximum temperatures of 85°F/29.5°C). This is the hurricane season, but they are rare in the North Pacific. In winter, from November to April, the weather is wetter and more changeable (intermittent tropical rains and sunny spells), and the air is cooler (an average of 75°F/24°C, with maximum temperatures of 78°F/25.5°C).

As so often in tropical islands, the windward coast of Maui (the west) is dryer and more sheltered. Most of the snorkeling spots are concentrated there. The water temperature can fall to 73°F/23°C in winter, and reach a peak of 84°F/29°C at the heart of the summer (June to September).

CDC Maui EN

Where to spot them?

Green sea turtle

You can't miss them at Turtle Town

Yellow tang

On all spots, common at Ahihi Kinau

Saddle wrasse

On all spots

Reef triggerfish

On all spots

Red pencil urchin

On all spots, common at Ahihi Kinau and Napili Bay

Millet butterflyfish

On all spots

Ornate butterflyfish

On all spots

Black triggerfish

On all spots

Elegant unicornfish

On all spots

Hawaiian cleaner wrasse

On all spots

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