The Pacific Ocean around Hawaii’s islands such as Maui is resplendent with wonderful marine life. A snorkeling boat trip is the best way to encounter this other world.
Maui island and the underwater volcano of Molokini, whose crater rim pokes above the blue Pacific waters, are havens for fish and other marine life. In turn this, along with the generally high underwater visibility, makes the region perfect for snorkeling. Maui and Molokini’s rich biodiversity and fascinating shipwrecks make a snorkeling trip one of the must-dos for any visitor to Hawaii. Here are five of the best snorkeling tours available in and around Maui, based on factors such as price, itinerary and previous guest reviews.
Maui Turtle Town Kayak and Snorkel Tour
Turtle Town is a revered location for snorkeling off the south coast of Maui. And there’s no better or more environmentally friendly way to experience this area than by kayak. This tour leads you, paddling through Makena Bay for roughly 2.5 miles. The bay generally enjoys calm waters, and you’ll stop at two great locations to snorkel, where you’ll have a chance to see green turtles, but potentially also manta rays and even humpback whales during the November to March whale season. From $84 per person.
Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel Tour with Lunch
If you’d like to explore further afield, including the shoals around the crater of Molokini, a boat tour is the best option. Board the boat at Maalaea Harbor and begin with a light breakfast before heading for Molokini. Here, while snorkeling, it is common to see an abundance of life, ranging from colorful fish to manta rays and sharks that live and swim near the coral throughout the year. A lifeguard will be in the water with you to ensure safety. Next head to Turtle Town to look for green turtles, before lunch back on board your boat. From $100 per person.
Lanai Snorkeling and Dolphin Encounter from Maui
Departing from the west-coast town of Lahaina on Maui, there’s a snorkeling tour that seeks out the local dolphin population for a unique experience. You’ll also get to explore the coastline of Lanai island, the sixth largest in Hawaii but often overlooked. During your catamaran ride you will be served breakfast to start as you leave Maui behind and Lanai comes into view. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for spinner dolphins breaching the surface. There’ll be plenty of chance to snorkel in Lanai’s calm bays before heading back to Maui. From $110 per person.
Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard the Calypso
Over 200 different species of fish inhabit the ancient volcanic caldera known as the Molokini Crater, and you’ll have the chance to spot plenty of them during this five-and-a-half-hour tour, starting at Maalaea harbor. Through your Calypso boat’s glass bottom viewing port, you might also see manta rays, dolphins, and even the odd shark, while you’ll also be invited to swim alongside green turtles, overseen at all times by a professional lifeguard. You’ll also have use of two on-board water slides and guests can rent an underwater digital camera for an extra fee. From $140 per person.
From Maui: Lanai Coast Sail and Snorkel Trip
Hop aboard a luxury sailing catamaran in Lahaina for this fantastic five-hour snorkeling excursion off the coast of nearby Lanai island. You’ll experience the lovely reefs and snorkel beneath the island’s imposing sea cliffs. One of the great merits of snorkeling tours to Lanai is that fewer people know about and visit this region, making it much more peaceful. As with all boat tours on this list, all snorkeling equipment, an on-board breakfast and buffet lunch plus other amenities such as freshwater showers and a restroom, are included in the price. From $151 per person.